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Frat Pack Tribute Movie Review: Fanboys

Review by Kevin Crossman

It is hard to talk about Fanboys without acknowledging the long and difficult journey it has had making it to theatres. The studio wanted a major storyline cut, test audiences didn't love it, and Judd Apatow was brought in to produce reshoots. Originally scheduled for release in 2007, Fanboys finally makes it to theatres in limited theatrical release. And the question you have to ask yourself is "is it worth my time to see this movie?" And while the film is flawed with a capital F, it's definitely a must see.

Directed by Kyle Newman, the story centers on four childhood friends now in their early 20s. Jay Baruchel plays Windows, the owner of a comic book store. Dan Fogler is his outrageous friend Hutch and Kristen Bell plays Zoe, who works at the store but also has an unrequited crush on Windows. Two of the friends Linus (Chris Marquette) and Eric (Sam Huntington) have a strained relationship due to Eric's decision to "grow up" and work for his father's car dealership. That is, until Eric learns that Linus is dying of cancer and decides the group must live out their childhood dream to travel from Ohio to the Lucas Ranch in California and try to steal the forthcoming Star Wars Episode One.

The problem for Fanboys is that it has elements of Sci-Fi geekdom like Free Enterprise where the friends argue about the minute details of the Star Wars universe. But it's also a road movie with all the cliches you've come to expect (gay biker bar, visit to local jail, getting girls in convertables to flash them). There are also "time to grow up" storylines interwined as well. Add in a host of cameo apperances by Sci Fi alumni and comedic elite, and this is an awfully uneven movie. In fact, there are long stretches in the second half of the movie that just aren't very funny. Worse, with few exceptions, we don't really care for the characters. Which, it seems, was the problem the studio tried to solve.

Still, if you're a fan of any of the following Fanboys is a must see:

So, will you enjoy Fanboys? If you fit into at least a couple of the above groups I would say yes. But if you only fit into one or none at all? You hate Fanboys with a passion. The problem is that Fanboys tries to be jack-of-all-trades but in fact would have been better as master of one. Each storyline kind of runs out of steam, especially the road picture plot devices and especially the cameos (sorry Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes: we loved Zack and Miri but your cameo here really felt forced).

Since the film is in limited release, it may not be playing in a theatre near you. So get there soon to check it out, or wait for the requisite home video release. If you're a Sci Fi geek you'll definitely laugh at some of the lines and references and there's certainly enough talent on screen to make viewing the film worthwhile. If for no other reason, the battle between "Trekkers" and the Star Wars fans is certainly reason enough to see Fanboys.