Review: Fanboys

Fanboys (2008)
90 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Kyle Newman
Starring:  Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell


Grade:  C

We’re all familiar with the fanboys’ lifestyle, or at least what the stereotypes are.  They’re a bunch of virgin nerds who devote their lives to a fantasy world, in this case the world of George Lucas’ Star Wars.  They can range from comic-book fanatics, video game gurus, or those who get more offended when someone says “Han Solo is a bitch” than calling their mom one.  Yes, there is certainly a very funny movie that can be made with these sort of characters.  Unfortunately, Fanboys is too flawed to be that movie.

Plot-wise, Fanboys is your usual road trip movie.  Character-wise, we have three young adults who still play video games and dream of owning their own comic-book store, one of who is terminally ill (I know, wtf?).  Then there’s another guy, Eric, who broke free from the Star Wars obsessed group three years ago and is now in line to take over his father’s car dealership company.

It’s 1999 and the film opens up at a Halloween party were Eric meets up with his old buddies who are all wearing Star Wars costumes.  He finds out soon after that Linus, Eric’s former best friend, is dying of cancer. This forces him to push the other friends on taking the road trip they’ve been planning: drive to the Skywalker Ranch to steal the rough edit cut of Star Wars Episode I.

You would think a film with such a silly premise would be a lot funnier.  Well, it wasn’t.  The humor was too sporadic and the road trip ride was simply too long (is that possible in a 90 minute film?  Apparently, yes).  Oh, did I mention there’s a fangirl in the film too?  Her name is Zoe (played by the always cheerful Kristen Bell), and she’s every fanboys’ dream girl.  A chick who’s hot AND knows Star Wars trivia?!  Too bad they’re too socially inept to make a move.

There will probably be plenty of people who enjoy this movie… most likely people who have a little (or a lot) fanboys in themselves.  If that was the intention for making this film, then it succeeded.  Fanboys is like geek-porn, glamorizing their lifestyle and attempting to prove to the world they’re pretty cool.  The fault in this is that the movie is too busy trying to make fanboys seem capable rather than poking fun at them.  And in particular, Fanboys fails by trying to pack too many minor subplots in to brighten up the dull road trip premise.

It’s no surprise that this film was shelved for two years before being released.  But it seemed that instead of trying to work out the problems, the film just grew inches of dust from being untouched.  I guess that’s just the fanboys’ way of living.  Too stubborn to grow out of adolescence and completely void of human interaction.


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