We are in somewhat of a comedy wasteland at the moment. Whilst the comedy clubs are full of fantastic stand ups, the multiplexes have been remarkably chuckle free these last few years.
American comedy in particular seems to have reverted to regurgitating former success stories (Hangover 3 anyone?), or just simply not trying very hard (Jack & Jill, your taxi is here). To save us all from the apathy and banality of a slow, humourless demise come Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, creators and stars of the sublime and wonderfully surreal Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, which was broadcast on the Adult Swim network in the States for five seasons.
With the big screen adaptation of any lucrative and successful comedy show come certain pitfalls, for every In the Loop there is an Inbetweeners Movie. Fans of Awesome Show! may be concerned that the fast paced irreverence may not transfer well to a 90 minute running time. They needn’t be worried.
From the hilarious Johnny Depp pastiche in the opening scene (Diamond Jim, in which a diamond encrusted American superstar wanders the streets of a French village, wowing the local women with his debonair attitude and fistfuls of jewels), the movie consistently provides a succession of genuinely brilliant moments which range from the uncomfortable to the bizarre. Assisted by a veritable plethora of Hollywood greats (Twin Peaks’ Ray Wise, John C Reilly, Jeff Goldblum, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to name but a few), the duo go all out in trying to make us crack up. I must add at this juncture that the humour contained is puerile, adolescent and offensive, but I for one don’t have any issues with that whatsoever.
Comedy will always be a subjective area of discussion and so it is not my place to tell you that you will definitely find this funny. This movie will have its fair share of criticism hurled at it. The plot is so threadbare it is almost translucent, however, there is a charm and daftness which would crack a smile in even the most cynical of viewer.
It isn’t necessary to offer a synopsis of all the best scenes and so I will leave that as a surprise should you decide to investigate further. Knowledge of the TV show is not essential and, as a result, the uninitiated viewer can dive right in and wallow in a healing warm bath of ‘Shrim’ (you’ll see).
Tim & Eric have achieved a remarkably difficult feat, they stuck to what they do best and have modified it to the challenges which a big screen adaptation presents. It offers more with each viewing and is definitely the funniest thing that I have witnessed in the cinema so far this year.