Film Review: Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Intentionally bad is the basic ambition of sketch comics Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and, if that’s enough, then all true movie masochists should adore this steaming pile of the very stuff that inspires so much of their humor.

Comics Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have developed a cult through their sketch work on a Cartoon Network series and, of course, YouTube. Their success has prompted them to extend their antics into a full-blown feature. The resulting mess, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, will surely rank, however early, as one of 2012’s absolute bottom-scrapers.

After an amusingly extended, ridiculously preening credit sequence, things begin to go almost immediately downhill, with the pair playing hapless filmmakers who have just blown a billion dollars on a turkey called Diamond Jim, using real gems and a Johnny Depp impostor (Ronnie Rodriguez). Their investors, Tommy Schlaang (Robert Loggia) and Earle Swinton (a desiccated-looking William Atherton) want their money back and, to escape their leg-breaking thugs, the two flee to a trashed-out, desolate shopping mall. There, they come up with idea of forming a PR company with the goal of transforming the mall into a success.

Actors like Jeff Goldblum and that ubiquitously pushy pair, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, must be desperate indeed for work to appear in this mire of unfunniness. Suffice it to say that there are more doo-doo jokes than I can recall in any recent film, which is really saying something these days, and that is the basic level of the humor here. Every now and then one can discern a comic glimmer in their work, but Heidecker and Wareheim need a real autocrat of a director to edit and refine it.