Wet Hot American Summer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wet Hot American Summer Reviews

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½ January 22, 2017
Though containing a bunch of future stars and having some pure comedic moments, Wet Hot American Summer ultimately lacks solid characters to actually make anyone care about its story, which went nuts upon itself.
January 11, 2017
the second best of this type, the best when is dumb movie, only behind dazed and confused - 20/12/2016
November 14, 2016
One of the 20 best comedy movies of the 2000s.
October 9, 2016
Absolutely delightful, silly, stupid, and constant fun, this movie was a perfect parody within a parody. Is it an Oscar-winning blockbuster? Of course not. Is it a perfect low-budget indie romp? You bet. Watch it alone, watch it with your friends, watch it with your parents, watch it with your little siblings. It's a constant good time with so much cheesiness and goofiness to make it the perfect comedy for the person who just wants to have a good time. I am head-over-heels in love with this nonsense.
August 7, 2016
absolutely despise this movie the first time I saw it. It is now one of my favorite movies
July 17, 2016
The jokes are few-and-far between; and when they do land it generates nothing more than a chuckle.
July 6, 2016
A ridiculous, over-the-top comedy... I guess the overall ridiculousness is what makes it work.
June 20, 2016
After watching how awful was criticized, I was curious about this movie. Having a great cast in this day. But on that day the not so known cast was doing a satire of other movies which no one really seem to understood. It has some funny moments and it's an enjoyable ride, with some interesting characters, if you don't expect much you will get a fun ride.
½ June 9, 2016
plenty of good actors that dont give a flying funk in this movie. U see two men get it on, a kid thrown out of a van in the middle of no where, a kid drown, an old lady robbed and good old herion use. Plenty to feel ok about laughing at in this movie tho. Make it ya beeswax to watch it one day when you are in a silly mood.
½ May 18, 2016
Okay... I don't know what all the fuss has been all about. That wasn't very good at all. So many of the juvenile, cringeworthy jokes just fall completely flat. It's just a lame attempt to just do another Meatballs clone. The cast is great and they're very enthusiastic, so that helps, but ultimately they're just wasted here. I think this might be a lot funnier if I was really drunk or high, but sorry, that doesn't make a good comedy...
½ May 7, 2016
It's such a thin line between clever and stupid. Wet Hot American Summer's director David Wain seem to have found the right balance with the help of his brilliant cast.
May 2, 2016
So outrageous it that it just plain rules. Be proud of who you are.
April 20, 2016
Deliciously stupid haha.
½ April 10, 2016
On of the worst timesucks.
April 1, 2016
One of my all-time favorite comedies. It gets better every time I watch it.
March 25, 2016
This is the sort of movie that probably didn't get any rewrites. It felt like a series of random events strewn together. I guess it's going for the quirky vibe, but it doesn't make it any funnier/more entertaining. That said, there were 3 or 4 laugh out loud moments and seeing some familiar comedic faces in the cast made it more forgivable. It could've been a great parody, but I guess that's why it isn't a mainstream film and achieved cult status.
March 12, 2016
Only funny to those moviegoers who will laugh at anything stupid... Like an Adam Sandler fan.
March 5, 2016
Never before have I seen a movie attempt to take itself less seriously. Through some bizarre moments, you get a fun teen movie all under the guise of a hilarious parody.
March 5, 2016
Cheeseballs, But I Liked It....
February 28, 2016
With such an extensively talented cast from prior to their heyday lined up as actors for Wet Hot American Summer, it's existence seemed more relevant to watch now than ever before.

Capitalizing on the recent success of the teen sex comedy American Pie (1999), Wet Hot American Summer takes a low budget and uses it to put contemporary actors back in the heyday of the genre within the 1980's. It does this by spoofing the genre as a whole through capitalizing also on the success of the hugely successful horror-comedy spoof Scary Movie (1999). The start of this amalgamation of genres comes from having obviously adult actors portraying archetypes of the young characters from teenage films. Since it relies on a generic comedy formula and a series of inconsistent spoof gags, the success of the humour can be rather sporadic.
The teen sex comedy genre is largely a parody genre in itself. It relies on gags that come from ridiculous situations and idiotic teenagers in the endless pursuit of sex. As a means of parodying an already ludicrous genre, Wet Hot American Summer is full of ridiculous plot points and meta-humour. Director David Wain ensures that it doesn't even pretend to have a direct plot so that nobody can take the film seriously in the slightest and as a result it is certainly an easy experience to watch. It's just that some of the gags can be a little too stupid for their own good. The way the film parodies 80's movie conventions and uses its cast is worthy of praise since the general idea of an ensemble cast of great talent in such a low-brow comedy is funny enough, yet many of its jokes are too simplistic or repetitive to achieve all that much. Some are really memorable such as the parody of teen romance cliches and the use of a training montage to a catch 80's-style song entitled "Higher and Higher" by Craig Wedren and Theodore Shapiro, while others such as Victor Pulak's quest to lose his virginity can end up stretched on for too long.
Essentially, it all boils down to the fact that Wet Hot American Summer is a ridiculously absurdist comedy which can be a little too ridiculous for its own good. It's clearly aimed at a cult audience as Wet Hot American Summer is a film that takes pride in being dumb, and audiences have to have a very lowbrow standard of comedic expectation if they are to enjoy it. Even then, it walks an inconsistent path. However, since the majority of key actors in the film have gone on to have extensively large careers, Wet Hot American Summer retains more relevance now than ever before. Since the eventual success of the film and the cast was enough to justify creating a superior Netflix prequel series entitled Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015), its lasting legacy is indebted to the ridiculous vision of David Wain.
Considering that the film is a low-budget production, it relies on the talents of the cast to bolster it to success more than anything. It can't get big-budget visuals in to provide the gags or use a creative variety of settings as the source of the jokes, relying almost entirely on the actors to find humour in a single campsite setting. The scenery for the film is nice and gives vibrant colour to the visuals of the film within the context of minimal locations, yet they leave the actors to find the situations themselves instead of relying much on their location to procure humour. In short, Wet Hot American Summer's success relies almost entirely on the talents of its cast.
Paul Rudd is the most iconic cast member in Wet Hot American Summer. Having just portrayed the titular role in the superhero blockbuster Ant-Man (2015), his career is at an all-time high right now which makes his role in Wet Hot American Summer funnier. The same can be said about four-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper in the supporting role of a geeky gay teenager, but Paul Rudd dominates in this area as the leading braindead rebel without a cause. His shallow and idiotic nature hides nothing about the stereotype as it is clearly a role the actor loves playing, and he embodies himself so deeply in the part that he makes the bleak repetition of the role instinctive to the point of hilarity. Paul Rudd's comic brilliance is a key factor in the success of Wet Hot American Summer.
However, David Hyde Pierce is the cast member responsible for the funniest moment in Wet Hot American Summer. Coming from a time when he was still playing Niles Crane on the sitcom Frasier (1993-2004), David Hyde Pierce steps away from the iconic role yet brings his neurotic nature with him to put it into the role of Professor Henry Newman. This time, it is in the role of an intelligent but anxious man pursuing a woman of interest amid all his confusion. The aforementioned moment of greatness comes from a casual conversation David Hyde Pierce shares with Janeane Garofolo where she is encouraging him to attend the campsite against his reluctance when out of nowhere he angrily shouts "I said no!" before reverting back to his stereotypical self. As a fan of his many roles in television and cinema, I can certify that this one scene is the greatest thing he has ever done.
Janeane Garafolo puts a very gentle spirit into her role which makes her a very likable character, working to create a very funny chemistry with David Hyde Pierce and adding a humourous element of relationship drama to the film.
Michael Showalter works to put a really geeky nature into his performance which goes off without a hitch and allows for a consistently satirical chemistry with Marguerite Moreau with both actors aware of how pretentious the situation is. Their part in the story may drag on a bit at times, but the actors work to keep it engaging.
Amy Poehler's over-the-top brainless character archetype is full of her distinctive style of comic life which gives her a flair for strong chemistry with Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks is fun to look back on. And the most ridiculous character in the story is played by Christopher Meloni, sharing a zany chemistry with the voice of H. Jon Benjamin.

Wet Hot American Summer may uneasily blend a satire of 80's cliches with spoof humour to a sporadic rate of success, but the brilliant work of a now-legendary ensemble cast keeps the ludicrous spirit of the film alive through its path of unpredictable twists and turns.
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