Review: The overworked satire would have been a great video on Funny or Die, but at 93 minutes…
What’s funny to one person is just a prolonged poop joke to another person.
Not that there’s anything wrong with scatological humor. “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” is full of it. Literally. The film, already available free on cable and opening theatrically on Friday, is going to appeal to a very limited audience. But for those on its wavelength — I’m guessing mostly men, mostly younger — it hits all of their requisite stations of the comedy cross.
Joke about masturbation? Check. Extended scene of defecation filled with gaseous sound effects? Peeing scene? Drug taking scene? Romp with sex toys? Check to all of ‘em. The list could go on, but you get the idea.
The titular Tim and Eric in “Billion Dollar Movie” are multi-hyphenates Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the comedy duo behind the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim cult series, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job!” and its successor, “Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule!” They wrote, directed and star in “Billion Dollar Movie,” playing characters named — big creative leap here — Tim and Eric.
The movie’s premise is that corporate mogul Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia) has given $1 billion to Tim and Eric to fund making a movie. They spend the full amount, mostly by going Hollywood and hiring a fulltime personal guru (Zach Galifianakis), but the resulting film is a three-minute bore-athon starring a Johnny Depp impersonator.
Schlaaang demands his money back, and our two nincompoop heroes try to raise the funds by renovating a failing shopping mall.
The mall is a decaying mess, filled with squatters and a hungry wolf. Tim and Eric set about cleaning it up, which means getting rid of the shop devoted to selling used toilet paper and other similarly dopey, floundering businesses.
Somewhere in all of this is a satire making fun of consumerism, business buzzwords and late-night TV commercials. But those are all targets that have been parodied before and Heidecker and Wareheim don’t, by any stretch, do it smarter or funnier than their predecessors.
Will Ferrell, who’s also a producer of the movie, pops up for a cameo (during a job interview, he makes Tim and Eric watch “Top Gun,” twice), as do Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum and John C. Reilly. All have been sharper elsewhere.
As for Heidecker and Wareheim, they happily play moronic doofus buddies. Heidecker, who looks a little like Steve Zahn, thinks he’s the brains of the operation, while Wareheim, a walrus of a man, is the sad sack half of the duo. They seem to be straining their minor talents to the maximum here.
Had “Billion Dollar Movie” been just eight minutes on the Funny or Die website, where Heidecker and Wareheim have often appeared, it might have worked. But at 93 minutes, that’s asking way, way too much of all but their most ardent fans.