It’s always an exciting and equally worrisome affair when your favorite TV show or internet sensation gets their own movie. On the bright side, that gem of a show that you love and cherish oh so much is finally getting the feature film treatment that they deserve. But, on the downside, if big budget investors step in and ruin what made the source material so great, well, then you as the viewer have to deal with the heartbreak. There’s also the rare occasion when the program still airs after the movie has come out and it just flat-out sucks. A victim of this horrible occurrence? The one and only Spongebob Squarepants Movie. Great movie, everything after 2005 on the show was just complete and total s***.
Adult Swim comic geniuses Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, known for their extremely odd television program, “Tim and Eric, Awesome Show! Great Job!” have finally been honored with a feature film entitled, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Known for their random sketch comedy and short but hilarious ideas, many fans of the show were worried that when stretched to feature-length, the dynamic duo would lose their edge and the entire movie would just be one big, bad joke.
The plot involves Tim and Eric wasting a billion dollars on a movie funded by Schlaaang, a fictitious production company led by the diabolical Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia), who, after screening the movie and complaining, “I spent a billion dollars on this piece of s***?!”, demands that Tim and Eric get him his money back or he’ll kill them both. After getting Hollywood makeovers, they realize that they can no longer manage to afford the life of glitz and glamour that they love dearly. After being forced to fire their spiritual guide Jim Joe Kelly (Zach Galifianakis), they go to their favorite night club to deal with their remorse, making a plan to drink themselves into oblivion and do countless stupid things.
While in the bathroom, Eric sees an advertisement at his urinal that claims to have the answers to all the problems. The S’Wallow Valley Mall, located in the “historic S’Wallow Valley” needs a new owner. Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell), the current operator of the S’Wallow Valley Mall promises anyone who comes to “run my mall” a billion dollar paycheck. Desperately, Tim and Eric decide to make the trip out and see if they can get their billion dollars.
Arriving at the entrance, the two men suddenly realize how decrepit and possibly diseased this place is. Hobos are scattered all over the floor, the place looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in days, but low and behold, there are still a few shops up and running. After an awkward meeting with Weebs which includes two back-to-back viewings of Top Gun, Tim and Eric decide to take over the mall under the name Dobin PR.
Tim and Eric are Gods in the world of cult classics, with Hall of Fame photos right next to Tommy Wiseau and Jared and Jerusha Hess. They had an extremely successful show on Adult Swim until 2010, when the pair decided that they had stretched themselves to their comedic limits as far as the show was concerned. They then started working on Billion Dollar Movie, abbreviated as B$M, and the final product is this masterpiece of comedic cinema that I’m reviewing right now.
The only possible comparison that I can give this movie is Napoleon Dynamite meets A Serbian Film. The humor is equal parts bizarre and disgusting, and you know that the thing that most comedy films have, it’s called a heart? Yeah, well this movie doesn’t have that. When your movie involves a small child being blown to smithereens mid-air, you know you’ve got a hit on your hands. The performances are surprisingly committed from the supporting cast, but John C. Reilly steals the show as Taquito, a sickly homeless man who was abandoned at the mall when he was a child. Literally everything that came out of that man’s mouth during this movie had me busting out in laughter, no matter how sickening it could have been.
Will Forte plays Allen Bishopman, a vengeful sword salesman who plans to rat out the whereabouts of Tim and Eric to the Schlaaang corporation. Forte plays the role extremely well, offering up quite a bit of gut busting laughter whenever he’s on screen. In fact, most of the cast members of B$M have had recurring roles on “Awesome Show, Great Job!” so they’re extremely familiar with the often irreverent material of Tim and Eric.
Many fans have complained of the film’s rather linear storytelling, but I find it to be a blessing in disguise. At the end of the day, there’s a reason why episodes of “Awesome Show, Great Job!” are only 10 minutes long. Because, unlike Jackass, 95 minutes of oddball skits can get very old, very quickly, and B$M quickly finds a wonderful balance between what worked on the TV show, and what works in a feature film. In fact, I applaud Tim and Eric’s ability to create a feature film out of a premise that seems impossibly short-winded.
Fans and newbies alike will find something to love in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Produced by Funny or Die pioneers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the film is an inviting introduction to the most lovable idiots since Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, but is also a faithful jump to the big screen for longtime fans. Granted, this movie isn’t for everybody, but if it is for you, you’ll be getting a nice dose of shrim in your life.