Millennium Entertainment // 2012 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // October 22nd, 2012
She's fired up! He's firing blanks!
The Broken Lizard guys seem to have "officially" put the troupe's moniker to bed, though Jay Chandrasekhar continues to soldier on with the absurd comedy, and continues to bring familiar faces with him. So it's not Broken Lizard in name, which isn't entirely a bad thing, as outside of Super Troopers, there hasn't been much worth laughing about with that particular banner, but is there anything in The Babymakers worthy of a laugh?
Leading Man (Paul Schneider, Water for Elephants) and Leading Lady (Olivia Munn, Magic Mike) have been married for three years, and Leading Lady decides that it's time to settle down and start a family. The plan is complicated when we find out that Leading Man's sperm count is low. Goofy Best Friend "A" (Kevin Heffernan, Beerfest) hatches the perfect plan: Break into the local sperm bank and steal the sperm Leading Man sold to buy a wedding ring years back. High jinks of the wacky variety ensue.
In the eons since Super Troopers very nearly caused me to have a stroke, there's been very little in the way of comedy that's endeared itself to me. The SNL alumni continue to churn out mass-produced "paint by numbers" chucklefests that tear up the box office then get dumped into the cinematic landfill they so rightly deserve. Meanwhile every other comedy film just robs from the Sandler blueprint and churns out the same sort of drivel, minus a marquee star from the prime time players. Comedy has never been a particularly robust genre; it's always relied on sight gags and stock stereotypes, but what was once clever wit and satire has been replaced by pop culture parody and gross out gags. Outside of a few truly brilliant minds (Edgar Wright, I'm looking at you), the genre as a whole seems content to stagnate to the point of irrelevance.
This is where The Babymakers comes in. This is as forgettable and dull as comedies get. Our leads are uninteresting archetypes, our support characters are "Comedy support buddy 101" level jerks, the gross out gags are, in some cases, ridiculously gross, and worst of all...the whole damn exercise is completely and utterly un-funny. This thing took me three attempts to get through.
Where to begin...Paul Schneider's everyman loser is completely devoid of charisma, a phoned in phoney. Kevin Heffernan plays the stereotypical misfit freak show with a scenery chewing enthusiasm that feels far too forced and obnoxious, and Director Jay Chandrasekhar appears as the "token expert." but again, just feels totally flat. Strength of character wins you a lot, and this flick has none.
Absurdity is a given with comedy, but the truly brilliant comedies use absurdity as a plaything while establishing some rules at the outset. Some films feel more "real world," others go off the tracks into crazy town from the opening frames. The Babymakers shifts back and forth so much it lost me almost immediately. The plot doesn't exist, it just rolls from one gag to the next, and it never really establishes the narrative as anything other than to limply pin a few one-dimensional characters and horrible gags onto. It's like watching 90 minutes of really bad stand up crossed with "Must See TV."
Olivia Munn is hot. There, I've said something nice about this waste of life of a movie. One more nice thing? Ok. The disc, from an audio video standpoint, is about what one might expect from a flick released in 2012. That means it's perfectly passable. The extras aren't.
A solid disc doesn't help this movie at all. The Babymakers is the same old formulaic combination of gross-out gags, vulgarity as humor, and stock archetypes that Hollywood has come to embrace in comedy as a medium in recent years. It isn't clever, and most of all, it isn't funny. There's nothing here worth 96 minutes of your life. It's a waste of precious time that could be used re-watching Super Troopers, or even Horrible Bosses, or Anchorman, or better yet, Hot Fuzz, or Shaun of the Dead. Heck, go old school and break out Caddyshack or Police Academy, or The Blues Brothers or Clue, or...I'm going to stop now.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Millennium Entertainment
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated R