Director: Kyle Newman (The Hollow)
Screenplay: Adam F. Goldberg, Ernest Cline
Producers: Evan Astrowsky, Dana Brunetti, Matthew Perniciaro, Kevin Spacey
Starring: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, Carrie Fisher, Ray Park, Danny Trejo, Billy Dee Williams
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 90 min.
Now that everyone’s seen the stripping lightsaber fight, which Dale suggested would have made a great dream sequence in Kyle Newman’s Fanboys, it feels a little anti-climactic to be talking about the film itself but after months of waiting, god knows how many trailers and false starts later, we did (finally) have a chance to see the movie and rather surprisingly, it didn’t suck. That’s not to say that I had walked into the theatre expecting something completely horrendous but when a film is jostled and edited by the studio as much as this one was, low expectations was an understatement.
I’d expected much fan fare and a killer publicity campaign leading up to the film’s release. A roadmovie about a group of Star Wars fans making their way to the Skywalker Ranch to see Episode 1 should bring in quite the crowd yet to my great surprise, the film was essentially dumped into theatres last week. Thankfully, the quick release doesn’t say too much about the film’s quality as it’s a fun adventure into Star Wars fandom.
For a movie to pick-up word of mouth steam, more than six people need to see it and unfortunately for Newman, it doesn’t look like his film will fare all that well in theatres; though not for lack of trying. It features everything fanboys might want to see in a movie: lightsaber jokes, bad costumes, the 501st Legion, Star Trek hate, Seth Rogen in multiple roles, cameo appearances from a number of Star Wars alumni and William Shatner (though it was the appearance of Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and Sexy Stud that made me laugh out loud) not to mention the appearance of the ultimate fanboy (sadly it’s not actually him but Ethan Suplee in costume).
Along with the onslaught of cameos are performances from a talented young cast including Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette and the very talented yet underused Jay Baruchel though it’s Dan Fogler’s Rush loving Hutch that made me take notice of the actor who has been popping up everywhere as of late. The boys, I’m sure, are eagerly awaiting Kristen Bell in the Leia slave costume and I’m sorry to be the one to burst your bubble kids but she’s hardly in the film and it really feels as though the only reason she’s there is to sport said costume (though that doesn’t happen until the end of the film and then for all of 15 sure-to-be-disappointing seconds).
Newman’s film sports its geekdom proudly while still keeping it cool and while Fanboys doesn’t re-write the roadtrip movie, frankly it’s not even a notable entry into the canon, it is funny and will bring some laughter to even the laymen Star Wars fan though it will likely play much better to the fanboys that it depicts. That said it’s not a particularly smart movie, opting to go for the jokes that everyone will laugh at rather than stick to the insider stuff and that’s both a hit in that it opens up the film to a wider audience, and a miss in that the target audience will likely find it a rehash of the jokes they’ve already heard.
Fanboys doesn’t require a theatrical viewing, unless it’s a full house, but it is an entertaining romp; one that is destined to find love on DVD.
Click “play” to see the trailer:
Flixster Profile for Fanboys