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Genre Comedy
Year: 2008

Fanboys is a road trip comedy about friends, fanatics and final wishes, which is based on a New Zealand short film of the same title set in 2003. Star Wars is the common denominator as a geeky bunch of guys set off on a cross-country road trip to steal a draft copy of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace from Skywalker Ranch. The cast doesn’t have any major stars, unless you count Dan Fogler, the lead from Balls of Fury. Dan Fogler is still trying to break the Jack Black roles, but manages to bring his own flavour of comedy to Fanboys. He teams up with fellow Star Wars fans: Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up), Sam Huntington (Not Another Teen Movie), Chris Marquette (Alpha Dog) and Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Fanboys isn’t just about Star Wars, it could have been about any pop culture icon. The choice does make the ragtag group fit in with the American Pie gang in terms of geekiness, although they aren’t covering the same bumpy terrain. Their conquest to paradise is set in 1998, and these 20-somethings want to give their buddy the send-off he deserves. The fanboys hit the road in a vehicle that says “Wayne’s World”, but drives like the A-Team on an adventure of “epic” proportions.

Fanboys is a light-hearted road trip flick that features some funny cameos including: Seth Rogen, William Shatner, Danny Trejo, Ethan Suplee, Will Forte, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. The film is a tribute to obsessive fans and chronicles the journey undertaken by these fierce Jedi knights. It helps if you’ve seen Star Wars and Star Trek, and have a basic understanding of the rivalry between these two groupings. Otherwise, it’s fairly generic comedy material apart from the occasional Star Wars reference. The crew look like they had plenty of fun filming Fanboys, but it doesn’t rank in the same league as road movies like Little Miss Sunshine or The Darjeeling Limited. Fanboys is a fun while it lasts, but settles somewhere between Sex Drive and Bubble Boy.

Star Wars (and Star Trek) fans will get a kick out of the references, spirit of adventure and geeky humour. While other audiences will associate with the camaraderie and fanatical charm. There aren’t any stand out performances and the ensemble function as a team, playing off each other. The direction is okay, but the film seems a little rushed - and not intent on taking that extra take that would have made the difference. The boom operator should have been shot as the microphone breaks the suspense of reality on about ten separate occasions. This is distracting and makes one even more critical of the film, when intermittently knocked into a third person perspective. The story would have also been better if they had made a stronger connection between their quest and one of the Star Wars plots. Instead, they opt for some light inferences to A Walk to Remember. The comedy is more tasteful than American Pie, but isn’t squeaky clean either. What Fanboys lacks in heart, it makes up for in enthusiasm. It isn’t going to blow you away, but it will surpass your expectations - especially if you have been compromised by road movies like Wieners and Road Trip.

The bottom line: Okay.

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