When it comes to comedies, it’s never a good sign when the blooper reel at the end of the credits is the highlight of the film. Such is the case with “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” a mostly unfunny, extended episode of the popular Funny or Die web series that’s stretched into a feature Netflix film. Although when at its best this idea could generate enough quality material, the brief 82 minute run time feels like an eternity.
There’s hardly any story here, as the film is mostly a series of jokey celebrity interviews that are one-note and silly. It’s a brand of comedy that won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s amusing for a few minutes (especially the opening bit with Matthew McConaughey) until it takes a swift nosedive into repetitive staleness.
The movie tells the (mostly) fictional story of Zach Galifianakis (Zach Galifianakis), a wannabe actor who created a North Carolina public access television show where he would interview celebrities between two actual ferns. When megastar Will Ferrell (Will Ferrell) discovered his show, he uploaded it to Funny or Die and Zach quickly became a viral laughing stock. In the film, Zach and his crew set out on a road trip across the country to interrogate a menagerie of famous folks (like Adam Scott, Brie Larson, Chrissy Teigen, Tiffany Haddish, and Peter Dinklage), hoping to restore his reputation.
The result is a dumb movie with few laughs, and it’s something you’d be better off consuming in short doses. It’s much better suited as a web series rather than a feature film, as the comedy wears thin very quickly. Even better, just watch the opening bit and fast forward to the end credit bloopers. You won’t miss anything of great importance.