Ed Helms

Is it possible to take a film called Epic Fail seriously? It’s been years since that particular piece of slang was big; when any embarrassment or grievous bodily harm was met with a cry of “ha ha, epic FAIL!”

Seriously, years- since our legitimate newspapers now chronicle the rise and fall of internet memes (thanks, journalism), we can see “Epic Fail” enter the public lexicon around 2008/09. By 2011, it was already passe. And once “Epic Fail” was included alongside other hep phrases like “Pwn” and “Noob” in a how-to guide for parents to speak like today’s youth (and embarrass the unholy hell out of their children), it was safe to say that “Epic Fail’s” time in the slang spotlight had passed.

So when Deadline reports (as it just has) that Ed Helms is starting in a new comedy entitled Epic Fail, any kind of legitimate reaction to the movie has to take a backseat. Excited? Uninterested? Cautiously optimistic? Who cares! The movie’s called Epic Fail- we can talk about the movie once the involuntary, “Epic Fail”-induced groan is over.

Stranger still, the title doesn’t really match up with the actual premise. As per Deadline, here’s the story: “The pic follows an elite, but highly unorthodox special forces team as it takes its dysfunction and excessive firepower on a desperate mission to save America- led by the only soldier more badass and more mustachioed than a Navy SEAL: The Walrus.”

What part of that constitutes an “Epic Fail?” It’s not entirely clear. Could be the “unorthodox methods,” or maybe the impending doom of American people. Or the fact that this top special forces team must be led by someone codenamed “The Walrus.”And yes, that premise may sound a little ridiculous. And it might seem considerably more ridiculous after picturing Ed Helms in body armor and wielding a heavy-duty machine gun (and, potentially, a luxurious walrus moustache). But if 21 Jump Street has taught us anything, it’s that we should never pre-judge a comedy just because it sounds like something no one should take seriously.

Go ahead and pre-judge the title all you want, though. It will be repeated in the ads. It may well be repeated in the actual movie. And chances are, it’ll date the whole thing horribly — inserting an internet meme into anything is the pop culture equivalent of dipping it in buttermilk and letting it fester in the hot sun.

It’s happened before: movies like LOL and That Awkward Moment continue to exist, even if we wish they would just leave forever (and even if Safety Not Guaranteed was actually pretty good).With this and his The Naked Gun remake both in the works, Helms may be angling to brand himself as an action funnyman instead of the dweeby funnyman he is right now. And that’s all well and good. Just please, for society’s sake, pick another title that’s not Epic Fail.


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