Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day Seventy-Five: Fanboys (2009) - Rank 3/5

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I want to begin by saying that this film is a fabulous concept: a road trip film about a group of Star Wars fans who decide to break into the George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, so their friend that's dying of cancer can see Episode One before he departs the Earth. After waiting patiently for the film's legal troubles to settle over the past year, I was quite pleased to see it. However, the sensation I felt was bittersweet - ironically, similar to my initial impression of Episode One: Phantom Menace. While each film had their highlights and were an enjoyable watch, they each left me feeling a little flat - as if they could have been so much more, but never lived up to their potential.

As crazy as it might sound, I felt like there weren't enough Star Wars references. The jokes that cracked me up were the subtle gags (and the numerous guest cameos), where a character would effortlessly work a line from the original trilogy into their conversation. Most of the humor in the film was done with an inferred wink at the audience - a beat after a "good line" to let the viewers know that something funny was just said. I think the writers/creators were afraid of creating something that would be too much of a "fan film" if they peppered it with an abundance of "inside humor," so they made something a little more conventional - and as a result, something a little less unique.

The film would have worked well had the entire script been a parody of a Star Wars episode. Instead, it's merely a fair road trip/buddy comedy with Star Wars as a central, though not overwhelming, theme. I was also a little disappointed that the film didn't have more of a "90's feel." There were a couple of acceptable song entries and touches, but for the better part, it felt like a film set in modern day. Pity. Thankfully, there was talk of "What if Phantom Menace sucks?" within the film, giving the proper cynical nod to all Star Wars fans who walked away from theaters deflated in May1999. And in answer to the aforementioned question, I'll ask you to look up what happened on September 11, 2001, for that is truly the consequence of a weak resurrection of a beloved franchise. i just shudder to think of the aftershocks that will arise from "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull."

Watch the Trailer

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