Wet Hot American Summer [MOVIE REVIEW]

In preparation for the upcoming Netflix show detailing what happened on the first day of this camp, I decided to check out 'Wet Hot American Summer' for the very first time after having hearing the frauds on RedLetterMedia praise it several times. However did the style of comedy work on me or do I fall in line with how most people think of the film?

I am not going to beat around the bush here, I loved this movie. I can definitely see where a lot of people are coming from and I actually did not expect much because I looked up scenes on YouTube before I saw it and was not impressed at all. However when you see the full movie though, every single joke just work so much better and as the movie goes - it just descends into madness. I cannot imagine what the hell the Netflix show is going to do in comparison to this but I am really hoping for something truly special.

The movie came out in 2001 and when I saw it I honestly could have thought it was an early 80's film, I do not think a movie has captured that look more perfect than this, usually the film makers really try but the quality of the camera gives it away - here though I would not be surprised if they actually filmed it with a camera used in the 70-80's. The color palette could not have been more perfect for a movie like this. 

When looking at this cast in 2015, it is more than impressive for such a weirdly unique comedy. We have stars like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks showing up in a film that they probably would not have signed up for today (the Netflix TV-Show does not count as it is not like they would sign up for it if it was not for the cult following that this film garnered over the years).

This is not a movie everyone will enjoy, your head definitely needs to function a certain way in order for you to find the jokes funny. I am not saying you do not understand the jokes if you do not find them funny, there is a very weird comedic style this movie runs with that not everyone will be entertained by which might make for some awkward viewings if you ever decide to show this movie to a friend - who ends up not enjoying it. It has to be known though that at least this American comedy utilizes everything possible in making a funny movie. What I mean by this is that a lot of modern American comedies are just people in front of a camera talking. There is nothing creative about the camera angles, the framing or the scenery the characters are in. A lot of times it is not even scripted dialogue - it is improv. This is why Edgar Wright (writer and director of 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Hot Fuzz' and 'The World's End' is the best comedic director working today because he tries to get a laugh out of the audience from every single aspect possible. 'Wet Hot American Summer' is the same, it is not just people sitting in front of a camera talking - throughout the film we cut to black and a text pops up telling us what time it is which - if you pay attention to it; adds so many jokes in the movie as we see the characters go through so much and then finding out that it has only been an hour once the scene ends.

For a movie that is essentially just a really silly and chaotic mess - I doubt anybody could predict what was going to happen. In so many comedies nowadays the plot seem to always be of very little importance as they usually favor shoving in a story we have all seen before and then throw in some really lowbrow jokes that dummies would find funny. Yes 'Wet Hot American Summer' has some really silly jokes - but at least they are happening in a world that runs on being silly and stupid. You can watch the first 10 minutes of the film and then cut to the last 10 minutes and so much will have changed between all the characters in ways you would most likely not have seen coming.

Overall, the movie completely embodies what it is and makes sure to never let go of the audience or to try and pretend to be something that it is not. Everyone is great in the film as they all get multiple laughs each. This is a movie running with stupid jokes - but made by clever people which makes the jokes work and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.


- Lucas

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