Fanboys Directed by: Kyle Newman Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins Rating: PG-13
Plot: In 1999, a group of Star Wars fans make a cross country journey to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of Episode One: The Phantom Menace before it is released in theaters.
Who’s It For? The fun of Fanboys is not limited to its self-titled audience members. Its humor is pure, but some jokes can be appreciated even more by those familiar with Star Wars and other fan-driven franchises. For those who do know such things as the name of the Wookie planet, this is an undeniable treat.
Expectations: Because of its long-overdue arrival to the big screen (it was supposed to come out in 2007), one would definitely hope it doesn't suck.
Sam Huntington as Eric: Before this film Huntington was only a familiar face, a Michael Cera-ian pipsqueak who played characters like Jimmy Olson in Superman Returns. Now, with his very funny presence in this particular film, Huntington may become recognizable by name. At the least, he'll be welcomed with even more warmth should he step towards bigger roles in larger pictures. Score: 7
Chris Marquette as Linus: His cancer story-line is a bit of a downer to the story, despite its anchoring of the film's plot. Regardless, Linus is a welcome part of the Fanboys journey, though comparatively short of humorous moments next to his van-mates. Score: 6
Dan Fogler as Hutch: Fogler is hilarious as the burly nerd who channels Han Solo when attempting to be aggressive - never mind remotely violent. Hutch is a great portrayal of the big guy working at the comic book store who is only intimidating by his size and worn out Rush shirt. Just don't say anything bad about Harrison Ford in his presence. Score: 7
Jay Baruchel as Windows: As skinny Star Wars obsessor Windows, Baruchel has much of the lovable geekiness that made him so great in Tropic Thunder. Here, Baruchel turns his nerd onto hyper-speed. Overall, Fanboys is filled with a cast of young actors reaching their current top by playing memorable characters that are entertaining but ultimately real. Of this feat, Baruchel and his character Windows are a prime example. Score: 7
Kristen Bell as Zoe: She's the film's only main fangirl. But even when saddled with a short and sweet love subplot, she maintains her individuality and girl power - which I say in the least flowery sense possible. For the record (and Bell fans), though Zoe is able to hold her own in a troupe of guys, she still can't escape from wearing the sexy Princess Leia-as-Jabba's-slave costume. Score: 7
Talking: As with other aesthetic categories, Star Wars is alluded to in pieces of dialogue, along with other cult favorites like "Thundercats" and "Star Trek." At times, Fanboys seems to unleash more "geeky" references faster than Christian Bale can fire off f-bombs (cheap, but I couldn't resist). But part of this film's greatness is that it does so while entertaining fans and non-fans equally. Score: 8
Sights: Fanboys has a lot of Star power, with appearances that are either obvious or blissfully subtle. Less quiet are the equally hilarious tri-character bit parts by Seth Rogen. Though there are many cameos, the most surprising one involves someone with no direct relation to the Star Wars franchise. Score: 8
Sounds: Signature sounds from the Star Wars universe are cleverly implemented as respectful gags. Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh has a nice score, despite sometimes sounding a bit too straight-to-DVD cheap. And though a lot of Rush is mentioned in dialogue, not much is heard. Score: 7
Best Scene: The chaotic clash between Star Wars fans and Trekkies shows the film at its peak of both hilarity and geekiness. Thankfully, there is more than one confrontation of this kind.
Ending: The geek squad does finally see the movie, but not before one asks a question that burns with sad truth - "What if it sucks?"
Questions: Why wasn't Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker from Episode I) in this? What would the fanboys/fangirl in the film really have thought of the long-awaited prequel?
Rewatchability: Some comedies are so funny that re-watches help in taking in all of a film's abundance of humor. Fanboys is one of these movies.
What a glorious return of the nerd! As a road-comedy, it is successful in its laughs and avoidance of cliches. As a tribute to gleeful geek-dom, it's one of the best. The film never skimps on the most obscure of Star Wars references, and never fails to rewards its fan base with a thrilling cameo.
Fanboys isn't a universal comedic revelation like Superbad, but for those who live in some part of the Star Wars world, it just might be.
Final Score: 8/10