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Edward Falzon

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I'm No Movie Critic, But Innocence of Muslims is SOOO Bad!

Posted: 09/21/2012 3:07 pm

In recent days, a certain film has received a great deal of buzz, but nobody has taken the time to review it. I have decided to oblige.

I can take a bad movie. I'm almost always glad to suspend belief for the sake of immersing myself in the fiction of a good show, so I find myself enjoying some flicks that other, more-sophisticated movie-goers might poo-poo.

But Innocence of Muslims by nobody-knows-who, going by the 14 minutes that have been released in trailer form, might well be the worst movie ever made on this or any other planet.

But I can think of a couple of reasons you might want to see it. Firstly, if you're a budding filmmaker, you can observe and later avoid the many, many techniques this director uses to ensure eternal embarrassment for every single person involved in its production.

Secondly, watch the trailer as a test of your willpower. Christopher Hitchens (PBUH) subjected himself to waterboarding; I subjected myself to this atrocious, atrocious film. I'm proud to say that I lasted longer than Hitch did, though in retrospect, I'd rather have been waterboarded.

In the first few seconds, Innocence of Muslims demonstrates that one can, in fact, use a laptop microphone to film an entire motion picture. There's so much reverb in the dialog that I quickly became convinced that the whole thing was shot in the director's bathroom.

Throughout the trailer, the persistent use of extreme close-ups and cutting-edge green-screen technology shows that a director really doesn't need, you know, sets and stuff. I'd be very surprised if the film had a larger total budget than the lunch costs of The Blair Witch Project.

The opening scene has some kind of military fellow, as evidenced by a badge that looks like something one can pick up at german-helmets.com, crazy-glued to his beret. Score one for the costume-designer. He's speaking to what initially seems to be a comedy-doctor who instantly reminded me of 30 Rock's Leo Spaceman.

Then, still in a more-or-less modern-day setting, we see an "angry mob," consisting of exactly seven people in a slow jog, making absolutely no sound. This causes our caricature doctor and extremely American daughter to close his clinic for the day. The "riot" scenes show various individuals, again each in close-up, knocking different things off the same bookcase in what I suspect are supposed to be different houses. One rioter is wielding, I kid you not, a plastic, He-Man battle axe, which he gingerly holds in one hand while using his free hand to accost the rickety, wooden bookcase.

All this in the first minute. Dear me.

Before the trailer shifts gears to ancient times, we see more, um, "creative directing." The doctor writes on his whiteboard, "Man + X = BT" while saying "Man plus X equals Islamic Terrorist." Aside from the obvious fact that "Islamic Terrorist" does not have the initials "BT," the "equals Islamic Terrorist" dialog is clearly a different voice-actor, recorded in a shameless and poorly executed act of post-production dubbing.

Throughout the trailer, in fact, all utterances of the word "Muhammad" are clearly dubbed in, as are all mentions of Islam, Christianity and the Quran. It would be funny if it weren't ... no, it's just funny. Clearly, the director filmed one movie, then decided to make another with the footage.

It's hard to know what genre this film is intended to be. It could be an action/war film; there seem to be plenty of half-baked attempts at action in the trailer; mainly people standing still, looking at the camera and yelling. But for the same reason, the film might be trying to be an anger-management documentary.

It might be porn; with references to polygamy, a poorly played-out oral sex scene, discussions about homosexuality and allusions to paedophilia and wife-swapping, the full-length picture could be very hardcore indeed. But with so many disparate pornographic plot-lines, it would be unlikely to appeal to any specific audience. Also, and I have to be brutally honest here, the cast can't act well enough to be in porn.

Perhaps it's a comedy? There's a very Benny Hill moment with two of the protagonist's wives chasing him in a figure-eight, each repeatedly whacking him with a shoe. It's not funny, mind you, but neither was Benny Hill. No, the genuinely funny parts are the scenes that were intended to be serious, but really, really aren't. So if it's a comedy, it's entirely by accident.

This film is an embarrassment to film-making, human intelligence, humanity in general, and easily snatches the prize from Highlander 2: The Quickening as worst film ever made, ever, ever. Such a blight it is for all our senses -- yes, even taste, for I did throw up a little in my mouth a couple of times -- I just wish people hadn't kicked up a stink over it, because then it would have remained unnoticed with 27 views, and I'd not have had to watch it.

Perhaps that's the reason everyone's rioting. They want their 14 minutes back.

But would it inspire me to kill? Yes, I actually almost killed myself half-way through, just to get out of watching the rest.

 

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