An odyssey across America with a van full of hardcore science-fiction-loving geeks that drop STAR WARS quotes at the drop of a vintage collector's-item Darth Vader helmet. Their mission: to infiltrate Skywalker ranch--or die trying--and heist a pre-release print of THE PHANTOM MENACE. With stops along the way for bad internet dates and general misbehavior (as well as some drama concerning one of the fanboys dying of cancer), their mission becomes a whole STAR WARS-style adventure in itself, their van doubling for the Millennium Falcon plunging through the outer space of the Midwest. There's sci-fi-convention-collectible eye candy, surreal car chases, and moments from the STAR WARS films (such as the trash compactor scene) recreated with loving detail.
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A short, short time agoÖin a basement, under my momís houseÖ. I awaited this movie more than any I have in a long while. People go to movies to see characters they can identify and relate with. Me of all people, knew from the title I could immediately relate to these characters. I turned on the projector, the surround sound and carefully placed the DVD into the player. I popped open a coke, made a bag of popcorn and sat through a crapload of trailers and advertisements = all of this ironically enough because the Weinstein company didnít care much for pushing this movie. I just find it funny there were tons of previews before it if they didnít think people would buy/watch it. Maybe to make up for a lack of good special features, who knows? But lets get into the actual movieÖÖ.finally.
The Story: Well, itís pieced together very sparingly. With that I mean that you could skip scenes and most likely not miss anything and know whatís going on. While that works in terms of keeping the story in focus, it also hurts the film as there really is no rising tension. Itís no secret that there were scenes shot and *added* on a whim, and it shows. The entire cancer subplot is under whelming and doesnít pull on your heart strings like it seems itís going for. Oddly enough, itís still completely necessary as I canít see how the hell the film would function without it (and at one point apparently, it was supposed to).
Acting: The strongest part of the movie by far. Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell all steal the show from the two ďmainsĒ of Huntington and Marquette. The best friend chemistry from those two is completely non-existent. They have one scene of good work debating sibling love between Luke and Leia of Star Wars lore, but after that it just abruptly dies.
The characterization from the script is really whatís lacking. The cast does what they can but itís obvious the characters were not the main focus when this film was being written, just the situations and jokes. Thereís an amazing listing of cameos from the Star Wars and Star Trek mythology and a double dose of Seth Rogan as a head Trekkie and a Star Wars ďPimpĒ. And it keeps you paying attention to the film to see who will pop up next, but thatís really the only motivation to keep youíre interest.
Directing: The director of this movie doesnít seem like he really tried to do anything more than make a couple scenes with Star Wars in-jokes. Which, as a Star Wars nerd might do for YouTube, doesnít really justify making an entire movie about it.Cinematography: They get quite creative as they mix it up from a narrative style and a documentary-esque flow to make some of the jokes work, but overall itís just kind of there. Itís not horrible by any means, but comedies arenít normally known for innovative cinematography.
Production Design: Itís solid. If thereís one thing fanboys know, itís production value. Spending thousands of dollars on a Darth Vader costume to be as authentic as possible. The (literal) costumes, puppets, sets and everything are all decent enough to keep your mind the movie.
Editing: The pacing is really off. There really is no seemingly intent on building emotion through the editing, just getting through the story. Which is sad.
Score: As soon as the opening crawl comes up I was waiting for some grand theme. Instead, I got a midi theme. For those of you who donít know what a midi song is, Google it and youíll know what I mean. Now, no diss to midi, but itís nothing like a legit room of people and their strings. The score reflects the ďshove it under the rugĒ mentality the studio seemed to have behind the film. Itís almost as if they didnít want to make this movie and had to through some contract for another movie. It was very disappointing. The rest is just commercial music throughout. The real audio tip of the hat is the use of star wars sound effects throughout the film. Cop cars swerve on the roads and yet, make TIE Fighter sounds. That is awesome little in-jokes.
Special Effects: Good and cheesy at the same time. Meant completely in the vein of being funny, so it all works.
In closing: All in all, this is a movie for me and the rest of the fanboy universe. If youíve watched the Star Wars movies more than 10 times in a 2 month time frame, youíll likely get all of the jokes. If not, youíre going to be bored to tears. The movie is ďforĒ Fanboys and not as much ďaboutĒ them. Good film transcends itís target audience. Fanboys is not aiming that high. The premise is fantastic has such great potential, but sadly falls short of the finish lineÖÖby a mile. Itís funny if you know Star Wars and the lifestyle of itís fans Ė if you do, then this movie is for you. Iíll be able to watch this movie over and over again and have some slight enjoyment out of it, but Iíll always be somewhat bummed out that itís not as good as it could have been. If you do watch this film, I do agree that the last line of dialogue is something I should have asked myself before I sat down and watched this movie. The disappointment might not have been as bad.