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Gag Reels That Are Even Better Than The Movie

In Hollywood, as in life, even the most meticulously laid plans tend to go awry. Lines go unmemorized. Costumes are ripped. Jokes prove to be so funny that they can't be delivered without giggling. And that's where the gag reel comes in — a collection of hilarious mistakes, missteps, and outright mayhem committed on the way to making a movie. 

Most are, at least, worthy of a chuckle or two. After all, who doesn't like to see a famous face screwing up like the rest of us? But some are more than just okay. Some are actually better than the movie they spring from. And in the age of streaming video, they're easier than ever to enjoy and, perhaps to the dismay of the filmmakers, to compare to their movie of origin. So what gag reels are the absolute pinnacle of this phenomenon? Which ones are hilarious to the point of eclipsing their source material? We're here to introduce you to them in all their line-missing, prop-fumbling, set-ruining glory. 

I Feel Pretty's gag reel is actually pretty funny

Has there ever been a more confused movie than I Feel Pretty? The Amy Schumer vehicle follows Renee, an ugly duckling in a cosmetic industry bursting with svelte swans, who comes to believe she's gorgeous upon sustaining a head injury. An important lesson is learned about self-love, and the movie declares itself a win for women everywhere. Except that for all the film prattles on about warped beauty standards, it sure does want you to laugh at Amy Schumer in a bikini. Sure, sure, it seems to say, she's beautiful the way she is — just don't think about that when we want to imply there's something hilarious about her body.

The gag reel, however, is an altogether funnier creation. Schumer and her co-stars come alive on-screen, rib each other for dressing like Archie Bunker, poke fun at odd facial hair choices, and generally relax into their characters. In these bloopers, Schumer brings to mind her early, truly subversive successes. She gets to be a bit weird, a bit messy, and a bit abrupt without the movie either making it into a shocking moment of unladylike behavior or a contrived moment of messaging. If I Feel Pretty had contained the sort of confidence in its star that its gag reel shows, it could've been an innovative look at society's worst habits. Instead, it's just an also-ran comedy with a bewildering mean streak.

Pitt and Jolie are amazing in the bloopers for Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith made headlines upon its debut in 2005. It was, essentially, co-stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's debut as a Hollywood power couple. In this sense, the movie has always mattered more as a cultural artifact than as a work of art unto itself. This is in its favor, as the film is middling in quality. It chugs along, fueled by star power and charisma, but the train never really builds up much steam. In the end, the drama playing out off-screen was the one audiences would remember.

The gag reel is another story entirely. Jolie and Pitt's relationship crackles like fireworks, freed from the pressure of having to be calculatingly cool. They crack each other up, ham up the most climactic moments, and boast over getting to have the most classic "spy lines." It's a vision of Mr. and Mrs. Smith sans the strained sense of style the actual movie is smothered by, one in which the titular couple behave like people actually rediscovering their passion for another another. Sure, Pitt and Jolie are as beautiful as ever in these scenes, but they laugh, preen, and make mistakes, cracking the audience up as readily as they invoke real feeling. The cast might be impossibly sleek, skilled, and stunning, but that doesn't mean their fans don't enjoy seeing them act like everyday people once in a while.

The Ugly Truth is far uglier than its outtakes

There are bad movies, and there are awful movies. To be truly awful requires something extra — a certain cruelty, laughably bad performances, awkward cinematography, and anything else that pushes a production over the edge of "lacking" into "execrable." The Ugly Truth qualifies easily. It's not just a charmless romantic comedy any viewer could likely guess the ending of from the poster, it's actively mean. Abby and Mike, played as well as anyone probably could by Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, are meant to be endearingly mismatched as a guileless producer and a snarky chauvinist. Yet they never convince. It's clear, from beginning to end, that they bring out the worst in each other.

The bloopers, however, reveal a far sunnier side of the production. Heigl and Butler break character, giggling over the antics of an on-set cat, stunts gone wrong, and, most often, the absurd lines they're meant to be voicing with practiced smarm (in Butler's case) or earnestness (in Heigl's). Immediately, their characters open up, freed from the constraints of rom-com stupidity. This is a movie that might have been worth seeing, one in which talented actors used genre conventions as a springboard for truly interesting storytelling instead of a rubric to which they had to stick. Butler laughing as a telephone's dial tone interrupts a forgettable line is more affecting that anything that made it into the movie, and really, that says it all.

The gag reel for Suicide Squad is more fun than the movie

Was Suicide Squad a good movie? The answer depends dramatically upon what one defines as success. Financially, it injected a serious amount of money into the fledgling DC cinematic universe. Creatively ... well, it sure ain't perfect, but there's a reason convention halls are still full of Harley Quinn cosplayers. It was the most mixed of bags, a story that divided fans as readily as it excited them, and it will likely remain a focus of nerd debate for years to come.

Happily for Squad fans, there's a gag reel to enjoy, and its success is a lot less compromised than the movie it sprang from. Here in the cast-off bloopers is the ragtag misfit charm the movie so assiduously sought. Jared Leto's Joker salutes his mom, Will Smith's impossibly cool Deadshot drops his guns, and blink-and-you-miss it characters like Slipknot get to make an actual impression. Unlike the movie proper, the gag reel allows the Squad's characters to mess up in ways that actually embarrass them, something that makes them a good deal more interesting than the half-baked stabs at vulnerability the film actually went with. Harley bemoaning not having anything cool to do, as Robbie does in the gag reel, feels a lot more believable than her third-act longing for Leave It To Beaver-style conformity. The gag reel is truly odd and actually funny — two things its movie strove for but didn't quite achieve.

Twilight's bloopers are brilliant

Whatever jokes have been made about sparkly vampires, Twilight was a cultural phenomenon. And how could it not have been? When you combine lush Northwestern forests, an epic clash between vampires and werewolves, and a pair of star-crossed lovers, you've basically got cinematic dynamite on your hands. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson might be spending time in fictional locales far removed from Forks, Washington, nowadays, but fans will never forget just how deeply they once stared into each other's eyes.

What was it like to be on the set? As the gag reel reveals, significantly less serious, but just as entertaining. Robert Pattinson mumbling his way through introductions as an increasingly amused Kristen Stewart looks on is just as endearing as watching them play young lovers. The unabashed excitement supporting actors express at doing their own stunts is an outright joy to behold. But just as in the movie proper, nothing touches the baseball sequence. Anything sprung from that scene — perhaps the most memorable of the first movie, in which the Cullen family use a thunderstorm as cover for a family baseball game — would be gold, but the bloopers really are exceptional. Seeing characters as graceful as Rosalie and Carlisle getting whipped around by harnesses, stuck between ziplines, and absolutely ruining what were meant to be shots of high-speed running has to be watched to be believed. Vampires might sparkle in the Twilight universe, but that doesn't mean they don't take a pratfall now and then.

Dragonball: Evolution can't compare to its gag reel

Live-action adaptations of anime are tricky affairs. For every decent flick, like Alita: Battle Angel, you get a garish mess like Death Note. Nothing, however, goes to such dramatically bad depths as Dragonall: Evolution, the worst-case scenario for Akira Toriyama's internationally famous action series. It makes a story famed for its fight scenes, futuristic sense of style, and vivid characters an utterly tiresome slog through a rote fantasyland of aliens and motorcycles.

But then there are its bloopers. There's more fun to be had in Dragonball: Evolution's gag reel than the entire movie it was ripped from — in no small part because here, at least, the cast seems to be having a good time. Even when a stunt is flubbed or an actor can't nail the tricky moves he's meant to be pulling off with his prop staff, there's an air of good-natured exploration to it, as well as that magical sense of cohesion necessary to any complicated creative project. It's an outright joy to watch Justin Chatwin goof around as Goku, as he inhabits the iconically light-hearted hero more in those moments than any in the movie proper. He's a jokester, a kid at heart, and an optimist who just knows he's going to spin his staff the right way on the ninth try. Ultimately, that doggedness didn't result in a decent movie, but it sure makes for great behind-the-scenes content.

The outtakes for Valentine's Day are actually charming

In theory, Valentine's Day should've been a smashing success. A twisty plot that ends up bringing an all-star cast together in a celebration of love? That's the kind of thing that can end up enshrined in the hall of slumber party favorites. This is a movie with Patrick Dempsey, Julia Roberts, Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, Jamie Foxx, and Taylor Swift. To throw all that star power at a movie and somehow end up with something virtually no one remembers less than a decade later almost takes more effort than coming up with something decent. And yet, Valentine's Day isn't even really enjoyable as googly-eyed girl's-night-in schlock. Its passion is pallid, its script is dull, and its megawatt cast sleepwalks through the story.

Perhaps all their energy went into the gag reel. For every yawn-inducing scene in the movie proper, there's a charming blooper. Guys going over romantic snafus becomes a Three Stooges-style war with seatbelts, Latfiah's sleek agent struggles with one of her oh-so-cool desk accessories, and Julia Roberts bursts into giggles at an on-set joke far funnier than any in the movie. Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner making a dry joke about their shared first name elicits actual laughter, in part because they're themselves funny but also because their chemistry fills the screen with natural charm and warmth. How did Valentine's Day fall so low? We'll never know. But maybe it's because everyone's A-game ended up on the cutting room floor.

The gag reel for That Awkward Moment is quite delightful

Any movie that takes its title from a linguistic meme is starting with handicap. The teens it seeks to entice are probably already onto the next thing, while the adults are simply confused. So it's really no surprise that That Awkward Moment disappoints. It's a romantic comedy that wants desperately to subvert the genre, yet it trips into the hoariest old jokes around. Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller strive gamely throughout to add charm and cheekiness to the drab affair, but in the end, not even their winningest smiles can save what amounts to a sad pile of shamefaced clichés.

The gag reel, in contrast, actually does manage to playfully puncture the genre That Awkward Moment so squarely sits within. Michael B. Jordan's stone-faced flubs are a study in actorly unconcern, Miles Teller takes male braggadocio to absurdist heights, and Zac Efron reveals, by total accident, a real talent for slapstick. Watching the three impossibly handsome young men joke about having the same bottle of scotch as they did at the beginning of the film somehow melts away the Hollywood veneer of it all in way the movie itself never accomplishes. Here, in the bloopers, they're at ease and at play in a way that lights up the screen. Just how That Awkward Moment managed to transform such likable on-set antics into cinematic drudgery is a mystery. But hey, at least there's one reason out there to buy a hard copy of the film.

The outtakes for This is 40 are way more hilarious than the movie

In this spin-off of Knocked Up, middle age arrives not with a whimper but a bang. Did the film impress the public? Not so much, nor did it make nearly as much money as its predecessor. It's no surprise as to why. Though Judd Apatow gamely shepherds his characters through the indignities of their 40th year, he never manages to make any of them truly memorable. There's something navel-gazing about the whole affair, a droning self-importance a better movie would've reflected upon and punctured with a zinger or two. Not so with This Is 40. As one reviewer noted tartly, it could better be titled This is Whiny.

The gag reel reveals a very different production indeed. Melissa McCarthy lets her character's anger grow ever more baroque, and, accordingly, ever more hilarious. Jason Segel chastises himself in a moment more genuinely funny than most of the jokes that actually made it into the film. These flubs and oddities stand in sharp contrast to the film itself. There's really humor here, allowed to be messy and weird instead of what audiences now recognize as Apatow-brand comedy, which traded on strangeness so long that it never quite learned what to do once it became dominant. It's a pleasure to watch these actors chew scenery, while it isn't actually pleasant to watch This is 40, McCarthy's threats of blood-drinking and all.

X-Men: Apocalypse's gag reel is actually marvel-ous

In the age of the omnipresent superhero, it's almost an achievement to turn a Marvel property into anything but a smashing success. And yet that's just what happened with the most recent X-Men series. Apocalypse managed to pack in iconic heroes like Storm, Jubilee, and Psylocke and still disappoint, while its sequel, Dark Phoenix, only continued the series' decline. The X-Men might be Marvel characters, but without the backing of Marvel Studios, they flamed out like any other lackluster franchise.

It's almost surprising, then, to watch the movie's delightful gag reel. How could a movie so dull have contained such genuine joy on its set? Watching Jennifer Lawrence call for comfortable shoes for co-star Rose Byrne is more compelling than anything she did as Mystique. Alexandra Shipp's unrestrained grin as wires zip her across the set contains more personality than the movie ever allowed her to show as Storm. The X-Men aren't beloved by fans the world over for their slick professionalism but for their misfit status, and yet this ragtag charm can only be found in Apocalypse's gag reel. Sure, these misfits might be able to fly, summon tornadoes, and read other's minds, but they're still a group of screw-ups, teenagers, and accidental disaster-causers. If that quality can only be found in the bloopers, it's a sure sign of an X-movie gone awry.

A Million Ways to Die in the West's gag reel is a million times better than MacFarlane's film

Seth MacFarlane might've been flying high off Ted's success, but A Million Ways to Die in the West brought him back down to Earth. The tale of a cowardly sheepherder who finds his courage after meeting beautiful women, ingesting peyote, and getting into trouble with an infamous outlaw, it's the sort of movie one sees when absolutely nothing else intrigues. MacFarlane is at his laziest here, and as such, his most boring. Quite a bit of the film feels like the sort of story a MacFarlane fanboy of 16 might write, replete with laxative jokes and ham-handed attempts at romance. It's not just dull — it's indulgent.

But in compiling a gag reel for the movie, MacFarlane managed to create a far funnier comedy by complete accident. Charlize Theron curses explosively every time she flubs a line. A phone goes off, trilling hilariously against the scrupulously 19th-century backdrop. Plus, a dance in a barn mixes modern dance moves and lyrics about the virtues of growing a mustache to perfectly absurdist effect. Nothing in the gag reel feels as labored as the movie itself. There's an easy comedy to it, borne along the current of talented actors having fun together, that the film dearly needed. If you're going to cast Sarah Silverman, Alex Borstein, and Neil Patrick Harris, yet somehow leave their best bits in the bloopers ... well, you deserve the mediocre reviews you get.