Like Scary Movies 1-4 and Date Movie, the sarcastic Epic Movie plays on many of the most popular recent epics and emphasizes multiple humorous elements from the movies it references. In direct opposition to the serious nature of these movies, writers and directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer keep the tone of the movie light.
They designed the movie to break into random hip-hop backed dancing scenes whenever the plot threatens to become too heavy. Fortunately Friedberg and Seltzer’s technique keep this movie feeling like a series of loosely connected sketches rather than one epic spoof.
The plot centers around four orphans: Peter (Adam Campbell), Susan (Faune A. Chambers), Edward (Kal Penn) and Lucy (Jayma Mays). They are alone in the world, but just when everything seems to be going wrong, each of them finds a golden ticket in a candy bar. These tickets lead them to a chocolate factory and a cannibalistic chocolate maker who wants to include parts of them in his candy.
While trying to escape, the four stumble into a wardrobe and one at a time end up in the magical world of Gnarnia. This land is under the reign of the White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge), and the four orphans soon discover that it is their destiny to defeat her. Along the way they run into many characters including a homosexual faun, talking animals and students of magic who look much too old to be students.
Friedberg and Seltzer have a lot of good material to work with here; however, it seems that they simply tried to take on too much.
Instead of making fun of these intensely heroic stories, they made light of them. While they did manage to keep the movie from getting serious, they also kept the movie from getting too funny. More focused on moving out of the serious than into the funny, Epic Movie was less of a cinematic spoof and more of a string of movie references with little humorous content.