Australian Council on Children and the Media

Epic Movie

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Short takes

Not recommended under 15 (themes, sex, drugs, violence, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Epic Movie
  • a review of Epic Movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 January 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended for children under 15 due to sexual references and scenes, violence, alcohol abuse, crude scenes and coarse language.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Epic Movie
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Consumer advice lines Infrequent moderate coarse language, Comedic violence

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens with four seemingly unrelated orphans Lucy (Jayma Maays), Edward (Kal Penn), Susan (Faune Chambers) and Peter (Adam Campbell) entering the film through  different film parodies; The Da Vinci Code, Nacho Libre, Snakes on a Plane, and X-Men. Each of the four stumbles upon a golden ticket inviting them on a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. When the four arrive at the chocolate factory they find that all is not what they thought it to be. Willy wants to chop up the four and put their body parts into his chocolate recipes. The four attempt to escape Willy’s clutches via a wooden wardrobe and in doing so enter the land of Gnarnia (pronounced with a silent G).
In Gnarnia the foursome encounter the evil White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge), Queen of Gnarnia and from here on the film mainly parodies the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, although characters from other films continue to appear. After many adventures, the film’s four heroes emerge out of the wardrobe back at the chocolate factory only to meet their end in the film’s dramatic finish.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Parody of action and adventure movies

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

While most of the violence presented throughout the film is depicted in a humorous cartoon or slapstick manner, there are concerning scenes including:

  • A man dressed as a priest (The Da Vinci Code) whips his own back.
  • The same man crashes headfirst through the glass of a vending machine.
  • A small child attacks a male adult, breaks the man’s arm, slaps his ears and drags him along a dinner table.
  • A man runs around on a plane with a snake attached to his crotch and a woman has a snake attached to each of her nipples (as though being bitten by the snakes).
  • A woman is pushed out of a plane at a high altitude to then falls on and squashes a woman standing on the ground.             
  • A woman (Rouge from X-Men) kills another woman by touching her.
  • A young man is knocked unconscious after being slammed in the face with a school locker door.
  • While at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory the film’s four heroes have various body parts removed for the making of Willy Wonka products. A young man is tied down and then hit in the groin with a sledgehammer, a young woman is decapitated when kicked in the head, and a young man has a tooth pulled out of his mouth.   
  • A fight amongst the four heroes involves the four being punched in the head, kicked in the stomach, smashed across his head with a vase, and hit across the head with a lamp stand. 
  • A young woman has her tongue stuck to the pole of a frozen street lamp and then has her tongue ripped from her mouth when a second person yanks her head away from the pole.
  • A young woman kicks a beaver in the chest, hurling it through the air.
  • A young man reminiscing of being Superman is shot in the eye at close range.  
  • Mr. Tumnus (Narnia) is parodied in Al Pacino’s role as Scar Face He indiscriminately fires a large machine gun and is shot multiple times.
  • Susan shoots a man through the neck with an arrow.
  • A number of different people throughout the film are punched in the face.
  • My Tumnus slaps a young woman across the face.
  • A man dressed as a priest shoots Mr Tumnus several times in the chest.
  • A young man accidentally stabs and slashes several men and women with a large sword.
  • A pirate captain picks up a young man and hurls his body around like a weapon knocking a number of other pirates to the ground.
  • The Pirate Captain smashes a glass bottle over another pirate’s head.
  • A young man is electrocuted with a stun gun.
  • The queen of Gnarnia stabs pirate king with her wand.
  • A half man half lion creature engages in an extended martial arts fight with a priest involving numerous kicks and punches to the face and body. At the end of the fight the lion creature punching the priest in the groin and breaks his neck.
  • Queen of Gnarnia kills man/lion creature by slashing his with her wand.
  • A young woman is shot in the chest with an arrow, another young woman has an axe embedded in her chest, while a young man is stabbed by the queen of Narnia.
  • During a final battle scene parodying the Narnia film, the evil side is frozen in time leaving the film’s four heroes to shoot, slab, zap (Harry Potter wands) them at their leisure.           
  • The pirate king riding a giant water wheel squashes the queen of Gnarnia
  • The film’s four heroes are buried beneath the rubble of a house when the pirate king riding a giant water wheel crashes through the house.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The snakes on a plane have large open mouths with fangs sticking out and they drop onto people and bite them.
  • The film’s parody of The Da Vinci Code depicts an assassin priest who younger children may find threatening and scary.
  • Several characters are scary in appearance. These include the Queen of Gnarnia , Aslo, (half man/ half lion), Mystique and the Oompa-Loompas..
  • The film parodies the X-Men character Wolverine, who at one point unsheathes his knife-like claws.
  • A dead cat on a plate is served up as dinner.
  • Body parts including a severed head are used to make chocolates/sweets
  • Some of the more gross humour such as people being vomited on may disturb younger children.    
  • There is violence to animals, such as a talking beaver being kicked and hurled through the air. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Most children over the age of thirteen years should be able to interpret the parody nature of the scary images and not be scared or disturbed as a result.

Product placement

None

Sexual references

Epic Movie contains many instances of sexual references and crude humour. Examples include:

  • Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory has a machine called the “Nut Cracker”, which involves strapping a man to a table spreading his legs and then bashing him in the groin with a sledgehammer after which two small nuts went rolling down a chute. This act was followed with the one liner “Now with real nutty flavour” in reference to the flavour of the chocolate.
  • Lucy polishes a brass knob in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and says, “Willie told me he wanted his knob polished”, the implication being sexual.
  • The Narnian talking beaver was called Harry Beaver pronounced “Hairy Beaver
  • A woman crouches down with her face in front of Mr. Tumnus’s crotch and only the top of her head showing. This suggests that the woman is engaged in oral sex although she is actually shining Mr. Tumnus’s hoofs.
  • A reference is made to the Queen of Gnarnia not allowing gay marriages.
  • During the Harry Potter parody scene, reference is made to an obviously pregnant Hermoine being on the pill. Reference is made to Harry getting “wasted” and then showing you his “Philosopher’s stone.”
  • Reference is made to Hermoine and “Pussy Warts.”  
  • Peter says that he likes “Big Hooters” and “Ghetto Booty,” and states, “I like a lot of junk in the trunk.” 

Nudity and sexual activity

Epic Movie contains sexual activity presented in a crude humorous manner and some suggestive partial nudity, including: 

  • During one scene, the Queen of Gnarnia sucks on Edward’s finger in a sexually suggestive manner. When the Queen removes her mouth from Edward’s finger his finger has swollen to five times its normal size and is throbbing
  • Mystique, who is covered in body paint and scales, looks naked and during one scene she moves in a sensuous manner, rubbing her hands over her body.
  • The Queen of Gnarnia rips her vest open and flashes her breasts at a small group of people. We see only the queen’s clothed back and the viewer’s facial expressions .
  • A man dances wearing only leopard skin underwear.
  • Mr. Tumnus shares a spa with several women dressed in sexy swimwear and responding to him in a sensual manner.
  • Harry Potter fondles Lucy’s breasts through her clothes.
  • A group of female pirates dressed in sexy clothing perform an erotic dance which involves rubbing their soapy hands over their breasts and fondling bananas and hotdogs in a sexually suggestive manner. Two of the women almost kiss each other.
  • Aslo, Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edward are shown in bed with both image and dialogue suggesting that the group has just finished engaging in some form of sexual orgy
  • Mr. Tumnus and Harry Beaver are depicted passionately kissing each other on the mouth.
  • Mystique climbs into Peter’s bed telling Peter that she can shape shift into anything he desires. Peter gets Mystique to enlarge her breasts and buttocks. While it is not depicted the viewer is left with the inference that the two then engage in sexual activity.
  • A woman with large breasts, wearing a revealing low cut top, is shown jogging in slow motion.
  • There are a number of scenes of women wearing tight tops that expose large amounts of cleavage.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The fridge in Mr. Tumnus’s house is full of champagne.
  • The Queen of Gnarnia uses magic to make a bottle of malt whisky for Edward.
  • A reference is made to Harry Potter getting “wasted.”
  • Aslo mixes a cocktail in front of a bar lined with various bottles of alcohol.
  • Lucy sculls alcohol while being encouraged by a group of people shouting “Choke, choke, choke.” Lucy appears drunk staggering and slurring her words.
  • Lucy encourages Susan to drink alcohol. A plastic tube with a funnel on the end is placed into Susan’s mouth with alcohol poured into the funnel. Susan consumes a large quantity of alcohol in this manner and then projectile vomits over a number of people.
  • The end of the film depicts a drunk Mel Gibson in jail. When asked what he is in for Mel responds by holding up a bottle of alcohol saying the words “Glug, glug, glug” imitates the actions of driving a car, and then imitates the actions of a police siren.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Shit bitch…,” “God damn snakes on a god damn plane,” “Numb nuts,” “Peters too much of a pussy to stand up for himself,” “Dip-shits,” “Who’s the bloody hells that,” “Shit… holy shit,” “White Bitch,” “Shot me in the fricken eye,” “Shit,” “For Christ’s sake,” “Screw Narnia,” “I’ve been suck a prick,” “O bugger,” “I hate those fucking kids,” “Get your but out of my face,” “Lucy the dumb shit,” “Really F-ing creepy,” “Pump that arse,” “Sugar tits.”      

Other scenes which may offend.

  • A character either throws up or sneezes on food with the end product resembling Nachos.
  • While at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factor, Edward drinks from what appears to be a river of chocolate which covers his face. Willy Wonka states that Edward is drinking from the sewer line. 
  • We see Peter from the back with a stream of yellow urine landing on the snow. This lasts for some time with Peter writing his name in the snow in urine and then playing a game of Sudoku. The same gag is repeated with the 4 heroes towards the end of the film
  • Mr. Tumnus urinates in a toilet while watching a video screen at the bottom of the toilet.
  • Aslo makes loud farting sounds while lying in bed.
  • Susan vomits over a group of party goers. 

In a nutshell

Epic Movie is a comedy that parodies most of the major action, adventure and fantasy films from the last three years.  The film targets older adolescents and younger adults. The film relies heavily on bad taste jokes, crude humour, and putting familiar film characters in embarrassing, but not necessarily funny situations. There is little really clever humour.

The film is intended as parody and does not contain any meaningful messages. Parents may wish to discuss the excessive way in which Susan and Lucy consume alcohol, the glamorous manner in which the film portrayed drinking by younger adults, the real life dangers associated with sculling alcohol and ways of combating associated peer pressure.  Parents may also wish to discuss the promiscuous behaviour of both men and women and the portrayal of women as sex objects

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