What's New NetflixNews10 Best Movies of 2023 that Mastered Meta Humor Beyond 'Deadpool'

10 Best Movies of 2023 that Mastered Meta Humor Beyond ‘Deadpool’

10 Best Movies of 2023 that Mastered Meta Humor Beyond 'Deadpool'

Deadpool revolutionized humor in films for many young viewers, but there’s a whole new level of meta movies that take it even further. These movies invite the audience to join in on the fun by poking fun at themselves and the whole filmmaking process. They don’t want us to forget that what we’re watching is all make-believe; instead, they embrace the medium and play with it to keep us fully engaged. Brace yourself for some seriously side-splitting and clever moments!

These meta movies are like a secret club that knows all the tricks of the trade and uses them to mock different movie genres and storytelling traditions. They also love to toy with our understanding of how movies are made and how we watch them. Sometimes, they even break through the screen and talk directly to us, the audience. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, we know you’re sitting in a theater, and we’re going to make you laugh even more because of it!”

So, which meta-movie moments do you think are even better, funnier, or more mind-blowing than Deadpool? Don’t keep it to yourself! Share your absolute favorites below!

And hey, check out the latest addition to this meta-movie madness: Barbie! Get ready for a plastic fantastic ride like no other!

1. Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles
Meta Construct: Blazing Saddles, a Western parody, cleverly incorporates intentional historical inaccuracies by including modern elements and references in its period setting. One notable example is the film’s main antagonist, attorney general Hedley Lamarr, whose name pays homage to Golden Age actress Hedy Lamarr.

Memorable Moment: In a hilarious twist, Lamarr sends an army of thugs to confront the townspeople and the newly appointed sheriff, played by Cleavon Little. The ensuing brawl breaks the fourth wall, transitioning from the movie set to a nearby glamorous musical film set. This chaotic fight spills out into the streets of Burbank, ultimately culminating at the premiere showing of Blazing Saddles at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Why It Works: What sets Blazing Saddles apart is that its characters are fully aware of their existence within a movie, which is directly acknowledged in the film’s climactic moments. For instance, as Lamarr tries to escape the final showdown, he jumps into a taxi and demands to be driven out of the picture. Similarly, the heroic sheriff and his sidekick, in a comedic twist, abandon their horses and depart in a limousine during the film’s closing scenes.

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The story of “Meta Construct” is a hilarious parody of the legendary King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail. What makes it even funnier is how self-aware the storytelling is. The creators cleverly blend animation with live-action, and they don’t shy away from breaking the fourth wall to involve the audience in the jokes. Taking inspiration from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the humor in this film reaches new levels of absurdity.

One standout moment in the movie is when a character unexpectedly turns to the camera and declares that they believe it to be the best scene in the entire film. This leads to a series of interviews with other characters, each sharing their own opinions on the matter. This direct address not only acknowledges the audience but also suggests that all the characters are fully aware that they are part of a movie.

The brilliance of this approach is that by acknowledging the fictional nature of the film, all dramatic stakes are removed from the narrative. This allows Monty Python to go all out with their silliness, without any worry of consequences. It’s this freedom that makes the humor in “Meta Construct” truly work.

3. Duck Amuck

Duck Amuck
Duck Amuck, a Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring Daffy Duck as a musketeer, starts off like any other animated adventure. However, things take an unexpected turn when the background animation suddenly disappears. Breaking the fourth wall, Daffy directly addresses the animator and proceeds to give instructions for the rest of the cartoon. Unfortunately, the animator either ignores or deliberately misinterprets Daffy’s requests.

One of the most memorable moments in this cartoon is the surprising twist at the end, where it is revealed that Bugs Bunny is the actual animator. This twist adds another layer of brilliance to an already groundbreaking piece of meta cinema.

What makes this short film work is its recognition that nothing is set in stone or rigidly defined in the world of animation. Even the character design of Daffy himself can be altered at the animator’s whim. At one point, the animator even threatens to erase Daffy from existence. This approach serves as a constant reminder to the audience that they are watching something that is entirely subject to the animator’s creative control.

4. Fight Club

Fight Club
Fight Club is known for its meta references and fourth-wall-breaking moments. One example is an apartment designed to resemble the catalog where its contents were purchased. Another is when the film itself appears to go off track in the projector, adding to its self-awareness.

A standout moment in the movie is when the Narrator, played by Edward Norton, explains Tyler Durden’s part-time job as a projectionist. He describes the process of connecting separate movie reels together, marked by “cigarette burns.” Those who watched Fight Club in theaters in 1999 would have noticed these burns, reminding them that they were watching a movie.

The reason this technique works so well is because Durden uses his job as a projectionist to splice single frames of pornography into films. Director David Fincher cleverly makes the audience aware of this by splicing an adult image into the final frames of Fight Club. Durden himself is also inserted into the film at various points, foreshadowing the manipulation happening from the beginning.

5. Last Action Hero

Last Action Hero
Meta Construct: In the movie, a young boy named Danny, played by Austin O’Brien, gets the chance to attend an early screening of a new film from the popular Jack Slater action series. But something strange happens: he actually gets sucked into the world of the movie!

Memorable Moment: The movie’s main villain manages to escape into the real world and hatches a plan to kill Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor who portrays Jack Slater. In a surprising twist, Schwarzenegger, playing himself, breaks free from the film and must save his own life while attending the premiere of his latest movie.

Why It Works: What makes this movie work is that despite Schwarzenegger’s tough guy image, he portrays himself as a vulnerable and scared actor, in stark contrast to the macho character he usually plays on screen. This adds an interesting layer to the story and keeps the audience engaged.

6. Scream

Meta Construct: Wes Craven, the iconic horror legend, crafted a slasher film called Scream that not only adheres to the rules of the genre but also cunningly subverts them at every twist and turn.

Memorable Moment: One standout moment occurs when Randy, brilliantly portrayed by Jamie Kennedy, watches Halloween on TV. In a burst of excitement, he energetically shouts at the film’s star Jamie Lee Curtis, urging her to “look out!” Randy repeatedly calls her name, cautioning her about the impending danger “behind you, Jamie!” Simultaneously, Ghostface, the film’s menacing killer, stealthily creeps up behind Randy. This scene cleverly mirrors how the audience might find themselves in a similar position, desperately warning Jamie, the actor in Scream, about the lurking danger.

Why It Works: Scream not only serves as a successful horror movie but also flawlessly parodies the very genre it embodies. This unique characteristic has remained a constant throughout the entire series, even in the forthcoming 2022 installment.

7. Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Gremlins 2 is a movie that is all about being self-aware and poking fun at itself. Right from the start, we see Daffy Duck invading the Warner Bros. logo, convinced that he is a better mascot than Bugs Bunny. This sets the tone for the rest of the film, which is filled with meta moments and parodies of pop culture.

One of the most memorable moments in Gremlins 2 is when the gremlins themselves interrupt the movie. They cause the film to stall and even burn in the projection booth. We see the silhouettes of the mischievous creatures putting on another film, which turns out to be an old black-and-white nudist documentary. As if that wasn’t enough, a mother in the theater complains that this film is “even worse than the first.” It’s all part of the meta humor in the movie.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. In a clever twist, the manager of the theater convinces none other than Hulk Hogan, who happens to be in the audience, to yell at the gremlins and make them put the movie back on. What’s interesting is that Hogan doesn’t just interact with the characters in the movie, he also breaks the fourth wall and addresses the actual audience. It’s a clever way of involving the viewers in the gag.

Overall, Gremlins 2 works because it embraces its meta nature and constantly pokes fun at itself and the audience’s expectations. The inclusion of references to the first Gremlins movie, as well as pop culture parodies, adds an extra layer of enjoyment for those who are in on the joke. It’s a quirky and fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

8. The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods
Meta Construct: At first glance, this horror movie seems like just another slasher flick, following all the typical tropes. But hold on! It turns out to be something much more intricate. It is actually a cleverly designed setup to draw unsuspecting victims into a monitored horror scenario. The whole thing is controlled by a team of technicians in an underground facility. And guess what? The victims themselves are manipulated to act out stereotypical horror movie behavior.

Memorable Moment: Picture this – two of the victims stumble upon the secret underground facility. Lo and behold, they come face to face with a whole bunch of captive monsters. And guess what? These monsters are none other than the iconic creatures we’ve seen in popular horror genres.

Why It Works: Here’s the kicker – the technicians watching the horror unfold through hidden cameras are basically playing the role of a film crew. It’s like they’re making a real horror movie, complete with actual violence, but without the cast being in on the secret. And to make things even crazier, there are hints that the horror movies we watch in theaters might have been created in the same twisted way.

9. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Meta Construct: In a clever nod to Sunset Boulevard, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang opens with a shot that creates the illusion of Harry Lockhart (played by Robert Downey Jr.) floating in a pool. Right from the start, Lockhart introduces himself as the narrator, breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience. As the story unfolds, Lockhart not only acknowledges the film itself but also criticizes his own storytelling abilities.

Memorable Moment: One particular moment stands out when Lockhart scolds the audience for not noticing a crucial piece of information revealed in an earlier flashback. However, he soon realizes that the audience was unable to see this information due to an obstruction. Determined to rectify this, Lockhart replays the sequence and commands a pair of extras to move out of the way, clearing the obstruction and allowing the audience to finally see what was previously hidden.

Why It Works: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang successfully subverts the traditional film noir formula. It takes a self-referential approach with its voice-over narration and presents the story in a non-chronological manner. This non-linear structure is often a result of Lockhart’s forgetfulness and the need to backtrack to fill in missing details. By playing with these conventions, the film adds a fresh and unexpected twist to the genre.

10. Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard
Meta Construct: The story of Sunset Boulevard revolves around Norma Desmond, an aging silent film star who is desperate to make a comeback in the film industry, despite being forgotten by much of Hollywood. Director Billy Wilder chose Gloria Swanson, a former silent star who hadn’t appeared on screen in almost ten years, to play the role of Desmond. This choice provided Swanson with a comeback that Desmond herself would have envied, and even earned her a nomination for an Academy Award.

Memorable Moment: The most iconic meta moment in Sunset Boulevard is probably the opening sequence. It begins with the discovery of screenwriter Joe Gillis’s body, floating in Desmond’s swimming pool. Gillis then provides a voice-over narration, explaining the events that led to his own demise.

Why It Works: Sunset Boulevard effectively blurs the lines between fiction and actual film history. While the characters are fictional, many of the industry professionals portrayed in the narrative are real people playing versions of themselves. For example, Buster Keaton appears in an ongoing bridge game with former stars, and Desmond tries to revive her career by reaching out to her former colleague and director Cecil B. DeMille, whom Swanson had also worked with during her prime.

Emma Isabella
Emma Isabella
Emma is a regular contributor to WhatsNewNetflix. She likes delving into the world of Netflix TV shows as well as studying films, especially comedies.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here