This year’s MTV Movie Awards were a real mixed bag of popcorn. Amy Schumer’s jokes were great, but her sketches lacked laughs. It was a night of “premiere clips” and “sneak peeks”, but the guest list seemed more elusive than exclusive – unlike MTV’s Video Music Awards, nominees who didn’t win weren’t in attendance. Sure, Zac Efron got his abs out, but what was going on with Channing Tatum’s hat? These are the highlights (and lowlights) of this year’s MTV Movie Awards.
Amy Schumer had an uneven night
From an archery malfunction during the intro to a more successful bit involving “flying for no reason”, Schumer was a peppy but imperfect host. While her opening monologue – which featured bits of her standup as well as new jokes tailored to the occasion – was funny and fearless, the sketches in between presenters failed to keep up the energy of the show.
Some of her better moments included jokes about herself (“Half of you don’t know who I am, and half of you think I’m Meaghan Trainor”) and other celebrity guests in attendance (“Kevin Hart’s been in a million movies this year. He was the baby in American Sniper”), but making out with Amber Rose seemed a bit desperate (not to mention tokenizing for bisexual Rose), and a racist bit about Gone Girl and “crazy Latinas” already has her in hot water on Twitter.
Schumer’s signature raunch seemed to pervade the entire affair, with Jessie J and Mark Wahlberg dropping butt-sex jokes, and Rebel Wilson introducing a sneak peek of Pitch Perfect 2 as a “super exclusive clit”. Efron and Dave Franco groped each other like teens after gym class, and one of the most successful sketches of the night was a delightfully dirty movie theater bit featuring Schumer, Rose and comedian Nikki Glaser all headed to see Magic Mike XXL and Fifty Shades of Grey, purses bursting with “personal massage devices”. Actually, Glaser just brought her Sonicare toothbrush and her shower head. Later, Bridget Everett skulked by, chained to her washing machine. Ahhh, cinema.
Vin Diesel commemorated Paul Walker through song
The first presenter of the night said the evening was bittersweet, because the last time he’d been on the MTV stage was as co-presenter with “my little brother Pablo”, a reference to his late Fast and Furious co-star Paul Walker. Diesel then, not for the first time, sang a few lines from the Furious 7 soundtrack in homage. It was weird but well-meaning, a sweet tribute if bizarre way to present Shailene Woodley with an award for best female performance.
J. Lo got a lap dance
What’s a girl to do when the cast of Magic Mike XXL is presenting your award (for “Best Scared as Shit Performance” in The Boy Next Door)? When Tatum, in costume as an extra from 2 Fast 2 Furious, tried to get a reciprocal shimmy from La Lopez, he was rebuffed: “Maybe next time.”
It was all about Shailene Woodley
One thing is certain: teens love Shailene Woodley. The 23-year-old, wearing perhaps the world’s highest-waisted pants, accepted the best female performance, best kiss and best movie awards for her role in The Fault in Our Stars. Woodley also won the Trailblazer award, given out every year to rising movie stars like Emma Stone and Emma Watson. This year’s winner and non-Emma dedicated her award to John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, who was in the audience crying like a teen at a cancer drama. Woodley’s speech kind of got away from her at the end – to the point that even she realized she had no idea where it was going. She quickly wrapped it up by encouraging teens out there to “blaze on … I don’t know if I can say that … trailblaze on!”
Robert Downey Jr was a grownup
Hey – a grownup who matched his tie to his sunglasses is still a grownup. RDJ got some love from the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast, who joined forces to present him with the Generation award. During a speech which outed him as old enough to remember a time before MTV, Downey Jr said: “I’ve grown up, I’ve struggled, I’ve failed. I’ve partied way too much. I’ve squandered, resisted, repented … I begged for second chances, and literally clawed my way to the top.” It was a touching and honest moment amid a night of mostly movie trailers, and ended with some great advice for Hollywood’s young stars: “Dream big, work hard, keep your nose clean.”
The musical performances fell flat
Where was Vin for the encore when we needed him? Fall Out Boy performed Centuries and it felt like even they weren’t completely buying this comeback. Charli XCX fared a little better, donning a one-armed catsuit and rocking a giant inflatable guitar to perform her new single Famous with gusto. This second performance had more promise, but Ty Dolla Sign and Tinashe got about 30 seconds to add their bit of Drop That Kitty before the whole thing was over.
It was the night of a thousand trailers
These events are always, at best, advertising hidden in punchy packaging. But with less punch than previous years, the sheer number of trailers and preview clips in last night’s show felt ridiculous. Most presenters went straight to the promo of their newest project, without even the pretense of some good old-fashioned celebrity banter. Over the course of the night there were previews or promo clips from Pitch Perfect 2, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scream, San Andreas and Paper Towns. Schumer even ended the night with “if we’ve learned anything from tonight it’s … to go see my movie, Trainwreck, in theatres this summer!” Can’t we at least pretend tonight is about honoring the voting choices of teens aged 13 and up?