I want to start by saying I am a die hard T-n-E fan. I love Awesome Show, Tom Goes To The Mayor was damn good, I love most of their short films, and I am a huge fan of Eric's music videos. Needless to say I was looking forward to this movie for quite some time.
Now I sit here preaching to other fans who think the exact same thing. As I'm sure most fans already have seen the movie, I will gear this towards everyone. I don't know whether it was the massive hype that built me up too much, or the style of humor has been exhausted through my countless hours of watching and rewatching all that is Tim and Eric. Maybe it is the fact that a crossing of the fine line between my love for Tim and Eric and my hatred for Will Ferrell movies was inevitable. I hope its none of the above, but I know it is all of the above.
My biggest quarrel with this movie (and I know some might persecute me for this view) is the dirty humor. The brilliance of Tim and Eric lies in the not-subliminal-whatsoever absurdness that the style brings. Awesome show was just that. It was shock humor not based on the vulgarity but on the sheer surprise that a mind could conceive of the silliness. This is not new, just new in the way Tim and Eric have mastered the art. But now we bring vulgarity into it. In past shorts they have done, the vulgarity doesn't blend with the creativity well. As a matter of fact, it sort of takes it over. Shock value is great when it is done in a new, fresh, cerebral way. This movie pushed creativity to the side and rooted the shock humor in vulgar ways that just are too easy to do. To me, the movie was one big cheap laugh after the next. This stuff could be funny, even to me, but I expect that from a Will Ferrel movie or an American Pie 36: The Giant Maneating Boob, or something juvenile. The point is that Tim and Eric, who gained my trust as artists worthy of high appraisal, didn't "sell out" (I hate that term) but they damn sure got close. Towards the end of the movie, all I wanted was to watch their "Ooh Mama" sketch to feel some sort of creativity.
The next issue I had was the sheer arrogance of these guys. Look, I get it. They are famous and get lots of money to do what they do. As I see or listen to the guys outside of the entertainment, I can't help but feel like these guys are really full of themselves. The gimmicks leading up to the movie, the interviews where they act like they are above their fans. It doesn't have much to do with the movie, but it totally makes me not as psyched when I loose the feeling of "I can see myself partying with these guys".
The third issue I have is that when they had an opportunity to say something in the movie (that is, take the movie plot past the silliness and say something such as the ridiculousness of the cinema industry in Hollywood etc) they would always flirt with the idea and then never seal the deal. I often found myself hoping they would do something more to really make a bold and hilarious statement. Often, all lampooning or anything that could be applied to lives outside the movie fell flat. The plot didn't maintain the chiseled roundness I had hoped for in a feature movie. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (as well as Team America: World Police for that matter) is the textbook definition of making a statement and hammering it in to make the plot have value. This one did not... not even close.
Overall, I had a few laughs but not enough. I was not impressed with the carelessness of the writing and direction that past Tim and Eric projects had. As stated before, I wish they had done something more and something that is at least creative as the Tim and Eric I fell in love with. I hope this isn't me falling out of love with them.
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