By D.G. McCabe
Some jokes are so stupid, so juvenile, that even if they were funny the first time (usually the answer to that is no), they sure as hell aren’t funny the third, fourth, or seventeenth time we’ve seen them. Let’s review five examples:
1. Needlessly stereotypical bullcrap will help us connect with the youth of today! – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
As anyone who’s seen the second Transformers movie can attest (which I assume is most of you, since this turd made almost a billion f*ing dollars worldwide) there are two, really uncomfortably written robots in it – Mudflap and Skids. Uncomfortable is actually a charitable word to describe this duo. Even Shia LeBeouf is preferable, and I’m already on record as wishing he’d be stomped by Megatron in every scene. These two sound like a bad SNL sketch making fun of a bad Mace video which premiered on a bad episode of Total Request Live with one of those non-Carson Daly hosts that were always terrible. No wait…it’s worse.
2. Slapstick comedy is always funny no matter what! – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
I understand that this could fit neatly into category 1 of this post by referencing anything Jar Jar Binks does, but another offense that the worst character in movie history makes is awful slapstick. No George Lucas, having some lizard thing numb his tongue in a energy beam is not funny. Now, if you had him hacked to bits by Darth Maul – THAT would have been hilarious.
3. Hey look – the gang’s all together again! – American Reunion (2012)
The original chemistry of a movie cast is a very hard thing to re-create (see: The Hangover, sequels), but worst offenders are typically movies made many years after the original. American Reunion is such a film. Just getting a bunch of actors together does not a worthwhile movie make, especially when there are dozen of throwaway scenes that scream “Oh hey it’s so an so, let’s remind the audience of some lame joke from a movie released 13 years ago!” Unfortunately, movie history is loaded with this kind of crap.
4. Look How Gross This is! – National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002)
Like most people who went to college in the early 2000’s, I still watch Van Wilder from time to time mostly for nostalgic reasons. Over the years, I’ve contemplated fast-forwarding a scene in this movie which I didn’t think was all that funny in 2002, no one who I’ve watch the movie with has laughed at since 2002, and the only people who even thought it was funny in 2002 were drunk, stoned, or both. Spoiler alert – it involves dog semen.
5. Sexual harassment is hilarious and not uncomfortable to watch at all! – Horrible Bosses (2011)
You can’t really play “male boss harasses female employee” for laughs anymore in Hollywood. Besides the fact that the concept was never funny to begin with, Susan Sarandon will be mad at you and if the movie “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) has taught us anything, it’s that Susan Sarandon has magical powers. Anyway this disappointing film tries to get more life out of the idea by having a female boss harass a male employee, but it only induces cringes when Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is harassed by horrible boss number who-the-hell-cares, played by Jennifer Aniston.
That’s it for today. Let me know if you think of any other really bad jokes in movies that you’ve seen over and over and over again for no discernible reason other than studio executive appear to live in a bizarre world where racial stereotypes, bad slapstick, cast reunions, the bodily functions of animals, and sexual harassment are f*ing hilarious in all situations all the time. This bizarre world is affectionately known as Hollywood, circa 1950.
(c) 2013 D.G. McCabe