90 Min. | Adventure – Comedy – Drama | December 2008
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Kyle Newman
Staring: Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell
Fanboys Review: An easy way to measure how much you will or won’t enjoy “Fanboys” is how closely you fit to the titular category. The more of a Star Wars fan you are and the more your gender and maturity is on par with ‘boy,’ the more you’ll like this ode to Star Wars fans. The premise of Fanboys is excellent: In 1998, six months before the scheduled release of “Star Wars Episode I” a group of fanboy friends in their 20-somethings road trip to Skywalker Ranch to try and steal a rough cut of the movie because one of them has a terminal illness and won’t live to see the release. The execution, however, is spotty. The movie is a Star Wars-themed version of “Road Trip,” with the guys heading across America in a van and stopping along the way solely to buy some time before they get to the ranch.
My guess would be that Ernest Cline and Dan Pulick are fanboys themselves who came up with the premise of stealing Episode I and then had to find a way to actually make it work. Therefore, the guys stop off in Iowa where the character of Captain Kirk from the Star Trek franchise was born to antagonize some Trekkies, they get caught at a gay biker bar and they have to go to Las Vegas to get security clearance to the ranch from an insider. The main character and the story are not all that strong, but the small tributes, spoofs and cameos all related to the Star Wars universe is what makes “Fanboys” entertaining. Therefore, the more you know Star Wars things like thermal detonators and that Chewbacca is from Kashik the more you love “Fanboys.” In addition to appearances from a few notable actors from the Star Wars franchise, director Kyle Newman does some nice homages to Lucas and obviously Star Wars.
The infamous side wipes that Lucas uses to transition in those movies appear a couple times and the security at the ranch resemble the ones from THX 1138, one of Lucas’ first movies. The writing also does this too including famous quotes when appropriate and even the movie’s funniest scene when the gang ends up in George Lucas’ trash compactor. Other cameos include Seth Rogen, Billy Dee Williams, and Kevin Smith, to name a few without spoiling one of the film’s few excellent aspects. Stars Sam Huntington, the rotund Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel and Chris Marquette (“The Girl Next Door”) are all average, though mostly because their characters are written sloppy. Bottom line is “Fanboys” states in title alone exactly who it’s intended for. Don’t know why Harvey Weinstein would fight to try and make this something that would appeal to the masses only to let it come out without making a peep. If Star Wars is going to be the focus of a movie, there’s one segment of the population that will like it, no matter what you do. Fortunately, for those fans, “Fanboys” is good.