Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (Magnet Releasing, R)

film tim-eric 75The film is a thuddingly unfunny, boring, irritating mess.

 

film tim-eric 500

When I set out to review Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, I had very limited knowledge of Tim & Eric’s television show from a couple of years ago. Aside from its mere existence, I knew Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! was a comedy show of some sort and often featured actors and/or comedians I like (John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis, etc.), but that was about all I had; I’d never seen it or anything. Situations like these are sticky, as I don’t think the filmmakers need to bend over backward to accommodate someone like me who knows next to nothing of what to expect, but at the same time if the movie truly has merit, won’t I be able to see that whether or not I’m versed in Tim & Eric lore?

With the above disclaimer in mind, coming out of the movie I was anything but—a fan, that is. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is a thuddingly unfunny, boring, irritating mess and, based on it, I hope to Christ that I never find myself watching their show.

At first, Billion Dollar Movie feels like it might be a sketch movie, a lá Kentucky Fried Movie or The Onion Movie or something, as it begins with an advertisement for “Schlaaang Super Seats”—a new way to more fully experience the movies—and then goes into some vague Chocolat parody/reference thing. As it turns out, these are two threads to the film’s sort-of overarching plot: Tim (Tim Heidecker) and Eric (Eric Wareheim) get a billion-dollar budget to make a movie for Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia), but they screw it up and turn it into a six-minute film that is the Chocolat thing we see at the beginning. Schlaaang demands his money back and to try to gather it, Tim & Eric take jobs rehabbing and running a downtrodden local mall because its owner Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell) says in a commercial that they can make a billion dollars in doing so. Once at the mall, Tim and Eric meet all manner of unfunny mall dwellers, including Taquito (Reilly), a maintenance man of sorts, and Allen Bishopman (Will Forte), the crazed owner of a sword emporium.

Despite this “plot,” the end result of Billion Dollar Movie is that it does feel like a sketch movie, as Tim and Eric are prone to constantly interrupting the film with dumpy, endless commercial parodies, infomercial parodies, motivational speaker parodies, and a hundred other similar things that you’ve seen a million times already, and probably done better in every single other instance prior to this movie. The remainder of the movie minus these parodic flights of fancy feels more or less what a Troma film would be like if Lloyd Kaufman suddenly had far more money and access to name actors but far less talent, creativity, or panache.

Admittedly, there was a very, very small number of things in the movie that keep it from being purely abysmal, though it often crosses that line anyway. An early scene where Eric gets a prince albert is surprising and funny (especially given the film’s R-rating; not sure how they pulled that one off, aside from that the cock looks extremely fake) and the always-likeable Reilly makes the most of Taquito, even though Tim and Eric don’t give him much to work with. And that’s really about it. I can’t explain why the aforementioned Reilly or Ferrell or other cameos like Galifianakis or Jeff Goldblum would’ve lent their names to this piece of shit, nor why anyone would willingly pay to see it. | Pete Timmermann

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