Fanboys  (2009)

In case you haven't noticed, I am a Star Wars geek. I'm not at the level of fandom as depicted in "Fanboys", but I think if you looked at high-school-me, there was a chance that, with a few detours in my life, I could have ended up like them.

Hutch, Windows, Linus and Eric all grew up together, and were at the right age to have Star Wars make such an impact on their lives that everything revolves around it. Eric, however, decides he has to "grow up" and abandons his friends. Three years pass before they meet again. After arguments, and a revelation about Linus's health, they reunite. The goal of the reunion is to trek across the country from Ohio to California in order to break into Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough cut of the upcoming Star Wars prequel "The Phantom Menace" to view it before anyone else.

The story parallels Star Wars in a number of ways. There are unsure heroes, beautiful princesses, father-son anxiety, comic relief. Some of the characters are obvious nods to the original cast, some are composites of multiple characters. The entire thing is a clear love story dedicated to the original trilogy. Nothing is mean-spirited, nothing is done in a derogatory way.

The cast is split between perfect and sort of annoying. Jay Baruchel is excellent as part of an ensemble cast, good for a few jokes here and there and used as the butt of many gags. Dan Fogler was great as the loud obnoxious-yet-lovable Han Solo/Chewbacca blend. At first I didn't like Chris Marquette, but his character ends up being the most endearing of them all. On the negative side, I felt like Sam Huntington just fell short. He played Eric, the betrayer, so his character wasn't meant to be liked initially; I still felt like he was never really able to make the turn. Kristen Bell drives me crazy. She's amazing to look at, and looks even better as a brunette. There were tons of awesome cameos, ranging from noted Star Wars fans like Kevin Smith and Jay Mewes to original cast members Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams.

The whole movie is a fantasy that every Star Wars geek would like to live out. The original movies pulled us in because of the adventure, the clear cut depictions of good versus evil, the memorable characters. There aren't many times in real life that we get to experience these things. Even the ability to use Star Wars quotes in situations that actually fit is something most of us would enjoy.

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Fanboys" gets a 7 out of 10.




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