Meet the Hatchet Job

Meet the Spartans drives Slate movie reviewer Josh Levin over the edge:

Isn’t it massive consumer fraud to charge $10.50 for a barely hour-long movie? Perhaps, but it would’ve been unforgivable to make Meet the Spartans any longer than an hour. This was the worst movie I’ve ever seen, so bad that I hesitate to label it a “movie” and thus reflect shame upon the entire medium of film. Friedberg and Seltzer do not practice the same craft as P.T. Anderson, David Cronenberg, Michael Bay, Kevin Costner, the Zucker Brothers, the Wayans Brothers, Uwe Boll, any dad who takes shaky home movies on a camping trip, or a bear who turns on a video camera by accident while trying to eat it. They are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization’s decline under the weight of too many pop culture references.

It’s the bit about bear that makes this funny. And he’s right. I’d rather watch footage accidentally shot by a hungry bear than go see Meet the Spartans. (It’s running a 10 at Metacritic: “Extreme dislike or disgust.”)

Worse than Uwe Boll? I never thought I’d see anyone make that claim.

Guess I better not go see this movie.

That sure sounds like a bad movie.

I’ll admit that the trailers make me laugh, as do some of the reviews’ descriptions of the scenes. (Leonidas kicking Sanjaya into the pit of death? Oh snap!) I think that the movie could very well be amusing if you watched it in disconnected one- to two-minute increments over a year.

Here’s a deep irony: I just watched Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, which satirizes a future America where the main fare for entertainment is dumbed down versions of things like Meet the Spartans…but Idiocracy itself was barely watchable after a while!

Maybe satire is ideally a written form. I found that review hilarious, and I’m frequently entertained by the verbal poundings meted out by reviewers.