First things first: If you don’t traditionally like Tim & Eric’s 11-minute episodes on Adult Swim, then their new film isn’t for you. If you’ve ever watched the first five minutes of one of their episodes, cringed and changed the channel, then their new film isn’t worth your money. If you can only watch their show when under the influence and with friends, I suggest this is how you go see the movie. Okay? Okay. Now let us continue.
Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie isn’t in theaters until March 3 but you can find it on the Internet (both legally and in a pirate-y version but we do not condone this) and that is exactly what I did (the legal version, you guys!). I have always enjoyed Tim & Eric’s sketches, and the obvious concern with bringing sketch characters into a feature film is whether or not they work for 90 minutes. To my delight, the story was there, and though extreme and often crass, you wouldn’t expect anything else from these two. They took the R-rating the film has and squeezed it for all it was worth.
In the flick, Tim & Eric — that’s Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim — get themselves into hot water when they get paid $1 billion to make a huge movie for the sadistic Mr. Shlaaang (played by Robert Loggia). The duo spent so much money on their makeovers and other insane production perks that they must pay Mr. Shlaaang back or else he’ll kill them without blinking an eye.
An advertisement from S’Wallow Mall President Damien Wiebs (played by Will Ferrell) gives the guys a chance to make their billion back, if only they can turn around his mall. The mall is foul, and full of terrible people played by the likes of John C. Reilly, Will Forte and Twink Caplan (who I fell in love with in 1995, when she played Miss Geist in Clueless). The film highlights a variety of upsetting sex acts, a religion whose followers will haunt my dreams, and no shortage of cringe-able moments. Other guest stars include Zach Galifianakis, Jeff Goldblum and various other character actors who you swear you’ve seen before– because you probably have.
For two men who have pushed limits of television for years, this is exactly what I expected from them on the big screen. Just like anything else they have put out, they’ve made it because they love it and they want to entertain. If you don’t like their show, you won’t like this. But if you’re a fan of the show, you’re sure to enjoy yourself.
I will say, however, that watching the movie in a theater full of other fans would have been fun. Hell, it would have been cool to see someone get annoyed and leave at the first sign of elderly abuse or gratuitous masturbation. Watching the movie on my iPad while on the couch didn’t have the same kind of energy I think the movie deserves. If you’re not a die-hard T&E fan who has already rented it online, I would suggest waiting to see it in the theater because I kind of wish I had.