“They’re siblings, you sick bastard!” screams one Star Wars dork to another in a Fanboys debate over whether Luke had a boner for Leia before Darth Vader’s family tree was revealed. Set in 1998, this gross-out road comedy (introduced with an “Episode VII” opening text crawl) relies on the studious lameness of post-high school space-opera geeks for its gags, as four Ohio losers determine to break into George Lucas’s California ranch to steal an early print of The Phantom Menace. The few funny set pieces stick to the heroes’ pop obsessions, including a slapstick brawl with costumed Star Trek fans (led by Seth Rogen, in a Starfleet tunic and prosthetic overbite) and a climactic Mexican standoff with Skywalker Ranch security guards wearing THX 1138 masks. Fanboy icon cameos abound—Leia, Lando, a duplicitous Captain Kirk—but bring diminishing returns. Otherwise, the crude-dude genre staples are mechanically rendered: gay panic in a biker bar, mescaline-fueled dreams, highway chases, and cancer. Cancer? Even in the face of its .250 joke average, Fanboys‘s most egregious move is hanging its plot on one of the Jedi mavens’ terminal condition, initially in such tossed-off fashion that you’d be forgiven for suspecting a hamhanded screenwriting ruse. Nope. The healthy appearance of actor Chris Marquette to the contrary, his character won’t be around for the official opening of Episode I, leaving the audience with perhaps the most ill-fitting coda in the annals of dumb youth comedies. Or as one fanboy finally asks in anticipation of Jar Jar Binks’s debut, “What if the movie sucks?”
- The Weinstein Company
- 90 min
- Kyle Newman
- Ernest Cline, Adam F. Goldberg
- Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen
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