This movie was mediocrity at its best. It never really makes you laugh and it never really stirs up any kind of noteable emotion aside from boredom.
The movie is billed as “The Ten” obviously noting that this movie is supposed to be about the Ten Commandments. This is what I like to call “a stretch.” You don’t get the feeling that what you’re watching is ten stories interweaving in and out of eachother. You get the impression that they just used the ten commandments as guidelines for writing their script. You know there’s a problem when you don’t know what commandment was being covered when the first story is over, especially when they tell you which one it is before the story even starts.
It was hardly a clever movie and most of the jokes are highly predictable starting with the first one when the sky diver Stephen Montgomery, played by Adam Brody, jumps out of the plane. You suspect he’s not wearing a parachute, but then you assume he is because you don’t expect David Wain and Ken Marino to write such an obvious joke into their script, but ten seconds later the sky diving instructor is yelling at Winona Ryder, who is also in the plane, that Stephen Montgomery forgot his parachute.
Considering there are ten stories, of course a couple of them are going to be memorable, but it may just be because the other ones could have been written by anybody. A noteable exception is the second story, “Though Shall Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain,” where a 35 year old virgin librarian (played by the very attractive Gretchen Mol) takes a trip down to Mexico, falls in love with Jesus Christ (perfectly played by the sinister Justin Theroux), and comes back a changed woman.
Religious comedy is a guilty pleasure for most, and this is what we wanted the whole movie to be like, but again I stress the word “guidelines,” as alot of the stories were very loosely focused on the commandments. When a movie is written by “The State” alumnus David Wain and it concerns religion, you expect him to deliver and rip the religion a new one, but instead he almost dances around the entire subject. Only one story really tackles it head on, but still is almost reverent (real word?) to the subject, and it gets frustrating as an audience member, because it seems as if it was written while Jesus Himself was in the room, making it awkward for everyone.
The three people you want to see in this movie, aside from Paul Rudd, are in it for the least amount of time. David Wain, who helped write and direct the movie, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black. They appear as cameos which basically directly point out their celebrity and how their appearance is more effective as cameos than having them in an actual story. Jessica Alba is also billed as a main player, but she is only in two one-minute scenes. And all she does is make out with Paul Rudd.
It was just very dissapointing watching this movie that didn’t know what it wanted to be. We were all waiting for Wet Hot American Summer 2, and we basically got the version where someone shot it in the face, wrapped it in a blanket, and dumped into the Arctic Waters, but it still managed to be breathing… barely. It tried to have the adorable essence of Michael Showalter’s “The Baxter” and the crude humor of the rest of the gang’s “Wet Hot American Summer,” and it just managed to cancel each other out, and making you wish the movie was alot shorter than it was.