Fanboys

Fanboys movie poster
MPAA rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
To honor their friend's dying wish, "Star Wars'' fans set out on a cross-country road trip to steal a copy of the movie series' latest installment at George Lucas's famous Skywalker Ranch.
Starring: Sam Huntington, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, Chris Marquette
Director: Kyle Newman
Running time: 1:30
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Editorial Review

"Fanboys" does its subject few favors.Set in 1998, it's a sputtering road comedy about four "Star Wars" geeks obsessed with seeing "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" before it's released in theaters.Yes, their dubious grail is Jar Jar Binks.Three years after graduating from high school, Eric (Sam Huntington), Hutch (Dan Fogler), Windows (Jay Baruchel) and Linus (Chris Marquette) are still living with their folks and working at dead-end jobs. When a terminal illness strikes one of the four and they fear he won't make it until the official release of "The Phantom Menace," they decide to drive from Ohio to George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch in California. There, they'll break in and watch a rough cut of the movie that they've been yearning for and dreaming about for years.

Off they go in a van decorated with appropriate art. Stops along the way include the birthplace of Capt. James T. Kirk, a gay biker bar, a snack of peyote-laced guacamole and the obligatory stopover in Las Vegas. Cameos by actors associated with the "Star Wars" franchise and other science-fiction films are really the most interesting part of "Fanboys."

Writers Ernest Cline, Adam F. Goldberg and Dan Pulick never dig beneath the stereotypical aspects of the characters. The fan-based jokes are a bit too insular for most mainstream moviegoers. (Is there really that much enmity between the "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" clans?) The raunchy bits are generally more disgusting than funny. Director Kyle Newman doesn't capture the sense of landscape and movement that a good road movie needs, and two slapstick chase scenes are lethargic.

Rumors of behind-the-scenes conflict between the filmmakers and the Weinstein Co.'s over-editing have been circulating for months. Whatever the truth, the result has a cobbled-together feeling. The Force is not strong with this one.

-- Mike Mayo (Feb. 20, 2009)

Contains strong language, sexual humor and drug use.