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31 Aug 2010

Movie Review: Fanboys

Fanboys was the dark horse at this year's FrightFest. I went into it thinking a) why was it rated an 18? and b) why was it at a horror movie festival? When I came out, none of these questions were answered.

The plot follows a group of four Star Wars nerds on their road trip towards the Lucas Ranch to find and watch a copy of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. But in true comedy road-trip style, hilarious oddities ensue. And yes, the oddities come thick and fast throughout, providing some genuine laughs throughout. The catch is that one of the members, Linus, has a short time to live due to cancer, and to add to this, constant tension is felt between him and another of the cast, Eric, is a lingering undertone. However, this plot is largely throw-away material, with the end result being jokes overriding the plot.

Sam Huntington and Chris Marquette, who play Eric and Linus respectively, play their rolls well with good on-screen chemistry. However, by the end, you feel like the characters never really reached their potential, with their individual story arcs being rather insignificant to the main arc. As for the rest of the cast, Dan Fogler and Jay Baruchel, who play Hutch and Windows respectively, steal the show, with Hutch being responsible for most of the memorable moments. both characters have varied and individual personalities that shine throughout, without ending up sinking into the background.

However, the movie somehow manages to alienate most of its audience. It alienates it non-Star Wars viewers by including many Star Wars references which may float right over the top many heads. On the other hand, it alienates the Star Wars fans by making them seem nerdy and unlovable. As a result, the movie doesn't quite hit a mark with its viewers and makes you feel somewhat detached from the plot, rather than fully engaged in its shenanigans.

Yet this isn't to say that you won;t enjoy the movie. Far from it. The jokes come thick and fast, and keep your interest from waning in the slower end section.  Other than the jokes that only fanatics will get, most of the jokes put the characters into near-impossible situations (a-la Superbad), for example, a character finally getting his "groove on", only to be chased by an angry man the next scene. Yet a constant joke that gradually wears thin is the constant Trekkie vs Star Wars battles. They turn up throughout, and by the end, it just gets tiresome.

Overall, Fanboys is a good movie, if you just turn off your brain and laugh at the jokes you get. however, the movie is too thin on plot to recommend to people looking for a thought-provoking film, and too full of references to recommend to all comedy lovers. Yet if you go to watch it, you will no doubt come out satisfied.

Total Score: 7 out of 10

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