Frank Scheck at The Hollywood Reporter makes the case that, yes, Movie 43 is one of the worst movies ever.
Providing a rickety framework for the otherwise disconnected vignettes is a thin plotline involving a desperate filmmaker (Dennis Quaid) pitching ideas to a bewildered studio executive (Greg Kinnear) who eventually is forced to keep listening to them at gunpoint. The principals behind Movie 43 might want to employ a similar method on whatever baffled audiences the film manages to attract, since that’s likely the only way the keep them in their seats.
What’s so bad?
All of the segments feature the sort of cheap scatological humor aimed at the lowest common denominator, with the actors apparently eager to prove just what good sports they can be. Hugh Jackman plays a man with a scrotum hanging from his chin, much to the horror of his blind date (Kate Winslet). Gerard Butler plays a profane leprechaun doing battle with a pair of lowlifes (Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville) looking to steal his pot of gold. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber play a couple determined to replicate the high school experience for their home-schooled teenage son, including an incestuous make-out session and gay bashing. Anna Faris plays a woman who asks her boyfriend (Chris Pratt), “Will you poop on me?” with explosively messy results. Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant appear as a couple on a blind date who play an increasingly outrageous game of Truth or Dare.
Then there’s Justin Long playing Robin on a speed-dating evening featuring such potential dates as Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) and Supergirl (Kristen Bell), only to be interrupted by a gleefully licentious Batman (Jason Sudeikis) and an insanely jealous Superman (Bobby Cannavale); Chloe Grace Moretz as a young woman whose first menstrual period results in enough blood for a slasher film; and Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin as a couple whose flirtatious banter (“I want to give you a hickey on your vagina!”) is broadcast on a supermarket P.A. system.
Look, I enjoy slapstick humor as much as the next immature adult male. But it only works if it’s actually funny. And those jokes sound more painful than funny.