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Disaster Movie
Genre Comedy
Year: 2008

Disaster Movie follows in the tradition of Superhero Movie, Epic Movie, Date Movie and every Genre Movie that continues the so-called “legacy”. These slapstick spoof movies have become so intertwined in popular culture, that there’s very little to absorb in terms of actual content. The sole purpose of these movies is to ridicule contemporary films and pop culture symbols that have preceded them, so they have a limited shelf-life. This is what distinguishes them from classic slapstick comedies like Airplane!, The Naked Gun and Top Secret. They are time capsules of pop culture and have an expiry date. Disaster Movie is just another one of those movies, however it’s even more meaningless and trashy than the usual rubbish. The makers of Disaster Movie were so concerned about pop references of the day that they forgot to focus on the title of the movie. If you see more than five actual Disaster Movie references or gags, you’re doing well. Instead, the movie’s title became more of a self-fulfilling prophecy… resulting in some of the most pointless trash committed to film ever!

What Miley Cyrus, High School Musical, Sex in the City, Enchanted, Alvin & The Chipmunks and Juno have got to do with the disaster movie genre is beyond most people. The film uses the premise from Cloverfield, as a team of 20-something teeny-boppers hit the road after a crisis hits the city during a sweet 16 party. Most slapstick comedies would be able to inject a funny joke into a genre spoof without losing perspective, like Michael Jackson’s window departure in Spy Hard. This was a gag, which was short, sharp and funny. It was ridiculous, yet didn’t offset the film. Disaster Movie took several gags and turned them into themes, milking the name drop more than the comedy/satire. Instead of being a series of jabs to the belly, the film seemed to rely on the humour behind impersonations and themes, rather than genuine comic material. Several superheroes arrive to save the day, but their lame antics do little to amuse with a bottomless pit of gag material. At times, you wonder if the stranger sitting next to you could’ve done better.

Besides being wholly unfunny, the pop culture references are lame. They all seem half-baked and unable to deliver the goods. The writing was corny at best and the intended “jokes” just cascaded over each other with very little friction. The poor writing left the visual gag department to fend for itself, and besides some decent “replica” garments from the costume department, the effects were dismal. There were very few cameos, apart from Carmen Electra’s quick spot, and the actors didn’t seem to be in on the joke. It would actually have been funnier if they’d just played it straight. Most movie goers that didn’t catch the “do not watch” warning bells would have probably left the cinema in the first 15 minutes. Even if you give it a chance, it never gets better.

This is a poor excuse for film-making and its surprising that film studios even let this one out of the bag. As long as there’s a steady stream of easy-going spoof fanatics, these Genre Movies will continue to plague the earth. There hasn’t been a top spoof movie since the Zucker brothers’s efforts in the ’80s. One could argue that Ben Stiller’s Zoolander and Tropic Thunder have contributed to the pool, but they don’t have the same gag-a-minute consistency as the classics. Jason Friedburg and Aaron Seltzer are not even Ed Wood bad, they’re only in it for the money, and are the only ones laughing… on their way to the bank. The only thing that keeps Disaster Movie from hitting rock bottom is that there are some people out there that continue to support this garbage, and who actually find this low-brow-pop-trash-smut funny.

The bottom line: Abysmal.

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