Home Video Review: Fanboys

FanboysI’ve seen the trailer for Fanboys on a lot of DVD releases lately.

Being a Star Wars nerd (and sometimes George Lucas apologist) I was intrigued, and I vowed to catch the movie at my earliest opportunity.

Not very long ago (yesterday) in a retail store a couple of miles from my house…

Full review inside.

We’ve all seen ‘Road Movies’ like The Muppet Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, The Blues Brothers, and Beavis and Butthead Do America. It’s a time tested genre.

Let’s see if we get the formula right.

  • We need a mission, a reason to move from one part of the country to another.
  • We need to have the car break down.
  • There needs to be a scene where the heroes get stoned and/or drunk with the locals along the way, with requisite hallucinations (G and PG rated films are exempted).
  • One character needs to find the woman of his dreams.
  • Our heroes need to be arrested. The Judge/Police Officer has to possess a clever name that is a reference to something else… and it has to be a cameo appearance from someone famous.
  • There needs to be a chase scene with multiple groups of people, all of them wanting our heroes dead for different reasons.
  • There needs to be a misunderstanding with some big, scary guy.
  • A scene in a bar, preferably a biker bar, or a gay bar… or a gay biker bar.
  • Someone needs to lose everything, in order to realize what’s REALLY important.
  • The heroes get what they were after, if not always in the way they thought they would.
  • Did I mention cameos? There has to be LOTS of them.

Sounding familiar? It should, the basic elements of Road Movies have been run into the ground.

Fanboys includes all of these cliche plot points/prerequisites, and a dozen more that I didn’t bother mentioning.

Direction is standard paint-by-numbers teen comedy, the soundtrack (because they couldn’t get rights to John Williams Star Wars score) is a bad imitation by the usually phenomenal Mark Mothersbaugh, and the casting is ridiculously bad.

How bad? Kristen Bell plays a nerd-girl working in a comic book store. Yeah… I believe that. If that girl has ever had an acne problem or missed a high school dance because she couldn’t get a date, I’ll spontaneously combust.

Not to say that Fanboys doesn’t have some good moments; Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl) has an outrageously funny cameo as Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles. William Shatner is good, and Ray Park (Darth Maul) as a Skywalker Ranch security guard… all good stuff.

With all that being said, there IS an audience for this movie. Star Wars Fanboys will love it. As I watched, I caught just about every ‘in’ joke surrounding the Star Wars universe, and I kept thinking to myself ‘Josh will freak out, someone made a movie just for HIM.’

Josh is a Star Wars Ubergeek.

If you know the difference between an Ithorian and a Devonian, if you know where a Dianoga lives, and if you truly believe that Han shot first… you’ll really like this movie for the references alone… and the Trekkie bashing.

For everyone else, I’d suggest picking up Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, or if you like your Road Movies with even less Star Wars or adult language, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

Links:
Fanboys [Blu-ray]
Fanboys [DVD]
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back [Blu-ray]
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back [DVD]
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure [DVD]

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