Friedberg and Seltzer

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Prepare your groaning muscles for something long and painful. Ready? OK, here goes:

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are working on a spoof of Taken.

I hope you stretched beforehand.

There are more details beyond that, and I will go ahead and list them. But chances are they’ll be lost amidst the ringing chaos currently plaguing your inner ear. The film will be titled Who the F#@k Took My Daughter?, and it’ll follow a gruff and Liam Neeson-like hero named Ryan Mills. Get it? It’s like Taken protag Bryan Mills, only without the “B,” and probably also without looking or sounding anything like Liam Neeson, as is tradition with the Friedberg/Seltzer movies.

But (B)Ryan has a “particular set of skills,” and he’ll use those skills to rescue his daughter from the hands of a bunch of unseemly abductors, along with a zany cast of characters that will probably include a Kanye West lookalike and a little person in a funny hat.

This is the fun part about a new Friedberg/Seltzer flick. For a brief period, human beings all across the Earth gain the ability to accurately predict the future. I’m calling it now: Who the F#@k Took My Daughter will be hated by everyone who sees it (to this day, the highest a Friedberg/Seltzer pic has ever scored on the Tomatometer is a whopping 6% — congratulations, Date Movie). It will also rake in a healthy profit, because there is no connective tissue between the part of the brain that can hate something unconditionally and the part of the brain that will gladly pay money to see it.That money will ensure that Friedberg and Seltzer can continue to make vaguely spoofish versions of popular films for years to come.

See? Future predicted.

Now, for a contrary opinion: Can we give Friedberg and Seltzer a break? This might seem a little hypocritical coming after multiple paragraphs of Friedberg/Seltzer vitriol, but I think it’s time we stopped beating this vague brown splotch that once resembled a dead horse.

Yes, they make bad movies. And yes, those bad movies are about as far from the concept of artistic expression as a movie can get. But the civilized world has been tearing into these two since they first burst onto the scene with Date Movie, and eight solid years of bitter hatred has done nothing to stop FriedSeltz from doing what they do best.

Oh, and when I said “bitter hatred,” I almost meant it. Here are a few of the slings and arrows aimed at two of the six writers from Scary Movie:

“They are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization’s decline under the weight of too many pop culture references. ” – Slate

“The worst filmmakers in Hollywood.” – NY Post

“Comic terrorists who cavalierly destroy what others create for their own ugly self-interest.” – AV Club

“A plague on our cinematic landscape, a national shame, a danger to our culture, a typhoon-sized natural disaster disguised as a filmmaking team, a Hollywood monster wreaking havoc on the minds of America’s youth and setting civilization back thousands of years.” – The Austin Chronicle

Booing and hurling rotten fruit at these two fellows hasn’t stopped them from making movies. If anything, it’s actually spurned them into making more movies. Friedberg and Seltzer started out their spoof parade at a pace of about one movie per year, but recently they’ve stepped up their game. Last year was kissed with two FriedSeltz ventures, The Starving Games and Best Night Ever. This year we’re set to receive Superfast (a spoof of those who drive cars both fast and furiously), with Who the F#@k Took My Daughter sure to follow shortly after.

These guys are like Emperor Palpatine. The hate flows through them, makes them stronger. Yet really, they don’t seem to care. A surprisingly thoughtful piece over at Grantland features one of the only Friedberg/Seltzer interviews in existence. Within, you’ll find that these two fellows never do interviews, because to step into the outside world is to willingly submerge oneself neck-deep in freshly spewed bile. And also because they don’t really care about what people have to say.

The negative energy set to fire at Who the F#@k Took My Daughter? will have no effect. It’s like burning someone in effigy — cathartic for those doing the burning, but ultimately useless and vaguely threatening once you look at it with sober eyes.

Friedberg and Seltzer will continue doing their thing. So will the the rest of the world. Let’s agree that these twain shall never meet, and leave it at that.


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