Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

Proving less is definitely more, cult comics Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim torture their purposefully inept, shortform sketch work into feature length with "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie," to diminishing returns.

With: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Will Ferrell, William Atherton, Robert Loggia, Twink Caplan, Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum, John C. Reilly, Ronnie Rodriguez.

Proving less is definitely more, cult comics Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim torture their purposefully inept, shortform sketch work into feature length with “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie,” to diminishing returns. Even fans of their Cartoon Network series or those simply familiar with the pair via YouTube will likely find the extended version of their pathos-and-pain-driven comedy hard to digest, never mind the gastrointestinal shenanigans that run riot through the film. Ready-made aud assures some theatrical biz for the March 2 release, but if the “Billion Dollar” idea was to attract new viewers, someone should get their money back.

Which is more or less the premise of the movie: Tim and Eric have been given a billion dollars to make a feature called “Diamond Jim,” and blown most of it on real stones and a fake Johnny Depp (Ronnie Rodriguez). Having taken one look at the ridiculous movie they’ve paid for, the pair’s investors — Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia) and Earle Swinton (William Atherton), the menacing capos of the Schlaaang Corp. — want their money back, and intend to break legs, or worse, to get it. Tim and Eric have to skip town, and when the opportunity arises, they do.

In a desolate, litter-strewn shopping mall, inhabited by homeless vagrants, wolves and the few merchants who’ve managed to survive (the “Dawn of the Dead” allusion can hardly be coincidental), the two remake themselves into Dobis P.R. (Why P.R.? Why not?) Tim and Eric try to rally their depressed and/or delusional store owners — including Katie (Twink Caplan), Eric’s heartthrob, or the angry sword-salesman Allen Bishopman (Will Forte) — into imagining a better life, and a better mall. Obstacles must be overcome and conflicts resolved, but the real tension is generated from how far the pair is willing to push things, and it always seems to be too far.

A number of well-known faces pass in and out of the story, including Jeff Goldblum (as “Chef Goldblum”); Will Ferrell as the guy hoping to unload the mall on the witless pair; and John C. Reilly, whose performance is too good: As the ill, demented and discomfitingly childlike mall habitue Taquito, Reilly is genuinely disturbing, delivering a turn that would have worked well in a real horror film but is, unfortunately, inappropriate for a movie in which the governing ethos is failure. Tim & Eric, as a comedic entity, are about eliciting laughs by not being conventionally funny, much in the vein of Adam Sandler and Ferrell, performers whose chief asset is an ability to imbue their characters with an utter lack of self-respect.

“Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” recycles characters and plotlines from their show, along with badly made commercials and faux PSAs about inane subjects, a gambit that dates back to such comedy compilations as “Kentucky Fried Movie” or even “Laugh-In.” What “Tim & Eric” has that those others lacked are the many sexually outre, scatological and degrading moments that seem intended to shock — and perhaps will, if you’re really young or really old.

Tech credits are intentionally inept.

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Production: A Magnet release of a 2929 Prods., Funny or Die and Abso Lutely presentation. Produced by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Ben Cosgrove, Todd Wagner, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Dave Kneebone, Jon Mugar. Executive producer, Mark Cuban. Co-producer, Darren Demetre. Directed, written by Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim.

Crew: Camera (color), Rachel Morrison; editor, Daniel Haworth, Doug Lussenhop; music, Davin Wood; production designer, Rosie Sanders; art director, Melanie Mandl; set decorators, Sarah Staskauskas, Dean Styers; costume designer, Diana Contreras-Gonzalez; sound (Dolby Digital), Russell White; supervising sound editor, Trip Brock; re-recording mixers, Mark Rozett, Kelly Vandever; special effects coordinator, Wayne Beauchamp; visual effects, Gunslinger Digital, Robert Dahlin; associate producer, Shay Weiner; casting, Clark Reinking, James Levine/Typecasting. MPAA Rating: R. Reviewed at Broadway screening room, New York, Jan.12, 2012. (In Sundance Film Festival -- Park City at Midnight.) Running time: 92 MIN.

Cast: With: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Will Ferrell, William Atherton, Robert Loggia, Twink Caplan, Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum, John C. Reilly, Ronnie Rodriguez.

More Scene

  • Angler Los Angeles

    Angler Is L.A.'s Major New Seafood Destination

    San Francisco transplant Angler is set to make a major splash in Los Angeles, as Joshua Skenes’ innovative seafood-focused restaurant opens in the somewhat unlikely location of the Beverly Center. Angler is the latest and the most ambitious restaurant to join a fresh crop of spots, including Cal Mare and Yardbird, on the recently refurbished [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler Set for Special Performance at New York Pride (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler is set to appear at New York’s Pride Main Event this Saturday (June 29) at the Javits Center. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, she’ll perform a song accompanied by composer Marc Shaiman, of “Hairspray” and “Mary Poppins Returns” fame. Her stage time is set for 11 p.m. Also scheduled to [...]

  • Magic Johnson, Larry Bird

    Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Robin Roberts Honored at 2019 NBA Awards

    The NBA went Hollywood on Monday night, mixing basketball legends with a star-studded list of presenters including Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish and “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley at the 2019 NBA Awards. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal hosted the third annual award show, which aired live on TNT, kicking things off with a surprise [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Mumford and Sons, Sting, Ciara, Bebe Rexha Light Up Cannes Lions

    There was no shortage of excellent music at the 2019 edition of Cannes Lion. The international gathering of creatives drew top music brands – among them: Spotify, Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM/Pandora, VEVO and Universal Music Group – and a slew of well-known acts to stages across the Croissette, to villas above the city and onto [...]

  • Patrick Wilson

    Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace on Scary Stories From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Set

    Tales of spooky occurrences on the sets of horror movies like “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist” have circulated for years, and it looks like “The Conjuring” franchise is following in their footsteps in that regard. The cast of “Annabelle Comes Home” shared their unnerving stories from set at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at the Regency [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content