Sundance Review: Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Tim and Eric may be unknown to most of the populace, but fans of their Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! TV show could not be more excited about a feature length film coming out. Given the title, one might think that this was a billion dollar film, but that is misleading, this is in fact a movie about a movie that cost a billion dollars.

Tim Heidecker (Tim Heidecker) and Eric Wareheim (Eric Wareheim) were given a billion dollars to make a movie, unfortunately they frittered away their money and were left with only three minutes of usable footage.  Their investors want to be repaid, and so begins the quest to make back a billion dollars. Tim and Eric see an ad requesting some managers to run a mall, and agree to whip the S'Wallow Valley Mall into shape. They must deal with the locals, some irate business owners, as well as exterminate an errant wolf. Along the way, Eric and Tim fight over the same woman, gain a son, and turn the mall profitable. But will their financiers hunt them down with guns and try to kill them? (Yes, they will try.) How will it all end? This is Tim and Eric, so the most deeply bizarre way possible.

There's nothing normal about this film, other than it vaguely has a beginning, a middle and an end. Featuring appearances by Will Farrell, John C. Reilly, Robert Loggia, Jeff Goldblum, Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte, Ray Wise and a host of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! regulars such as James Quall and David Liebe Hart, the film packs in quite a few familiar faces in the hour and a half run time. The story veers from ridiculous to surreal to half-baked and back around again, and it's impossible to guess what might happen next, given the sheer inanity of what is currently occurring. There's only a few recurring characters from the show, no Dr. Steve Brule, no Casey, in fact Tim and Eric only play Tim and Eric the whole time, no other deviations.

It's fascinating to see what Tim and Eric do with a feature length film.  Tim and Eric are extremely gross and inappropriate most of the time, and they appeal to a very distinctive sort of personality and type of humor. I was dubious that the humor could translate to a feature film since their TV show episodes are only about 15 minutes long, but somehow it works.  There's a lot of awkward interactions, some swearing, some pooping (please don't ask me about Shrim), and some extreme sexual situations with near-naked antics and um, penile piercings.  But that's what Tim and Eric do, gross-out, knock-down strangeness.

Here's the thing, almost anyone going to this movie is going to be a fan of Tim and Eric's previous work which means they'll know what to expect, and be ready to laugh and enjoy themselves.  There'll be a few hapless people who wander into the theater and will likely be confused and walk out, and ultimately Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie isn't for everyone, but for the few, the brave, it's extremely strange and hilarious. Great Job!

Grade: A-

VMAs 2018