Thursday, November 26, 2015

Broken Lizard's "The Babymakers" is sterile

Gallery: Broken Lizard's "The Babymakers" is sterile
About the movie
The Babymakers
Action, Adventure; Comedy
MPAA rating:
for crude and sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use
Running time:
Release date:
Paul Schneider; Aisha Tyler; Olivia Munn; Hayes MacArthur; M.C. Gainey; Miles Fisher; Helena Mattsson; Jay Chandrasekhar; Constance Zimmer; Noureen DeWulf
Directed by:
Jay Chandrasekhar

BROKEN LIZARD, the boys behind "Super Troopers" and "Beerfest," are growing up. "The Babymakers," the comedy troupe's fifth film, is about the pursuit of parenthood in the face of infertility. Never fear, their taste hasn't matured at all. Their newest movie is still a two-hour compilation of boob-shots and semen jokes, but the subject matter has aged with the Broken Lizard crew.

Tommy (Paul Schneider, a considerably better actor than this movie lets him be) and Audrey (Olivia Munn) want a baby but are having trouble conceiving. Tommy is convinced it's not his fault — he donated sperm in order to buy Audrey a wedding ring. But years of testicular trauma had led to his infertility. Tommy locates the one vial of his seed still left and hatches a plan with his buddies Wade (Broken Lizard member Kevin Heffernan) and Zig-Zag (Nat Faxon, recent Academy Award-winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Descendants") and former Indian mob heavy Ron Jon (director Jay Chandrasekhar) to steal his sperm back.

For such an action-packed premise, it feels inert. Even a scene of Heffernan slipping and sliding his way through the fertility-clinic specimens doesn't elicit laughter. "The Babymakers" has a stronger narrative arc than Broken Lizard's previous films, but that doesn't better serve the gross-out sight gags or the flat one-liners.

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  • It's a shame, because Broken Lizard has hired outside their ranks for "The Babymakers" and doesn't use any of the new faces well. Schneider played the perfect deadpan straight man in the first and second season of NBC's criminally low-rated "Parks and Recreation," but those skills don't transfer without the writing to back it up. Broken Lizard also has a stable of comedians at their disposal: Munn, whose recent outtings in the "Magic Mike" and "The Newsroom" prove she's got chops beyond hot geek-goddess; Aisha Tyler; and Constance Zimmer. Unfortunately, they don't give them anything to do. I felt communion with the ladies in the film. At least we were both equally bored.

    Contact Molly Eichel at 215-854-5909 or, or follow on Twitter @mollyeichel. Read her blog posts at
    Inquirer Staff Writer
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