The movie Fanboys has almost become a highly anticipated internet legend. Originally slated to come out in theaters in 2007, the film was pushed back time after time for reshoots and finally hit a small indepedent theater release in February 2009. On May 19, the 10 year anniversary of The Phantom Menace, Fanboys finally arrived on DVD and don’t let the short theater run fool you, this film is everything you hoped it to be.
The story takes place back in 1998 when the world had yet to see any of the three new Star Wars films. The Phantom Menace is about a month away from release and a group of pals (Eric played by Sam Huntington, Hutch played by Dan Fogley, Linus played by Chris Marquette, and Windows played by Jay Baruchel) come up with a convaluted plan to trek cross country and steal the film from the Lucas Ranch for their viewing pleasure. These boys are uber Star War’s nerds who know every piece of trivia about the films and want to be the first ever to see the newest episode. As we all now know how The Phantom Menace turns out.. maybe they should have just waited for home video. It’s quite funny that the film does in fact allude to the film being disappointing and theres a pretty good Jar Jar Binks joke thrown in for good measure.
The star of this cast is Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Heroes) who plays Zoe, the typical guy’s girl that hangs out with the nerds, has beaten every game of Zelda, and brings the sarcasm to every situation. The movie is chock full of cameos. I was surprised to see Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen pop up. There’s also some great scenes with former Star Wars cast members as well, but I won’t ruin who they are. The best cameo is from a Star Trek star who you may know from some Priceline commercials.
The film is quite funny albeit at times formulaic. We all know how Star Wars fans are portrayed in the media and this movie doesn’t do much to break any stereotypes. Although it does add some emotion and drama to its characters as we get the typical “loser lives at home with his mom and wants to move out but just doesn’t have the motivation to do so til the end” plotline. The character of Eric is also a bit cliched, he’s a used carsalesman who unlike his friends grew out of the whole Star War’s fantasy in high school but tags along to this trip as a tribute to Linus who we find out has a terminal illness. The ending if pretty heart warming and it’s a nice way to add some depth to stream of gags and sex jokes.
While this is your average road trip movie with a Star Wars twist, its the relatability of the characters that keeps you engaged. The film moves briskly along its 1 hr 30 min running time and there’s enough genuine laughs to recommend this one to a friend. The Star Trek / Star Wars battle is not resolved in this film, but it shows just how much these franchises mean to people and how the simplest things in life such as watching a movie with friends can be a life changing experience. Fanboys is a quaint little comedy with a whole lot of heart, and I would recommend it to anybody who still feels like a kid inside.