Mocking the films of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer is roughly as easy as breathing, but then again Josh Levin’s take-down is just so perfect that it’s worthy of commendation:
Isn’t it massive consumer fraud to charge $10.50 for a barely hour-long movie? Perhaps, but it would’ve been unforgivable to make Meet the Spartans any longer than an hour. This was the worst movie I’ve ever seen, so bad that I hesitate to label it a “movie” and thus reflect shame upon the entire medium of film. Friedberg and Seltzer do not practice the same craft as P.T. Anderson, David Cronenberg, Michael Bay, Kevin Costner, the Zucker Brothers, the Wayans Brothers, Uwe Boll, any dad who takes shaky home movies on a camping trip, or a bear who turns on a video camera by accident while trying to eat it. They are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization’s decline under the weight of too many pop culture references.
Though I think something has to be for Amelie Gillette’s assertion that Friedberg and Seltzer are “simultaneously smarter and stupider than all of us”: despite their films’ readily evident horribleness, Meet the Spartans is #1 at the box office, besting even Rambo (frickin’ Rambo!). They’re able to make millions of dollars while simultaneously being held in lower regard than a typical sex criminal by the general public. It’s a paradoxical tragedy for the ages.