Distributed by: The Weinstein Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When my brother presented me with the film Fanboys, I didn’t know what to expect. I had vaguely heard of the film and knew it had something to do with Star Wars. Of course, my brother knows how much of a Star Wars fan I am and so, I knew he wouldn’t let me down. Knowing this, I just couldn’t wait to watch this film.
Halloween…1998...Only six months until the release of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. When Eric Bottler (Sam Huntington) arrives at the Halloween party of old friend Zoe (Kristen Bell), he can see that nothing has changed since he last saw his high school buddies. Hutch (Dan Fogler) lives in his mother’s garage, Windows (Jay Baruchel) is dating a girl he has never met via cyberspace and Linus (Christopher Marquette) is as laid back as ever. All three still eat, drink and sleep Star Wars.
When Linus brings up their childhood dream of breaking into the Skywalker Ranch to steal a rough cut of the new film, Eric scoffs at the idea. After all, Eric has grown up. Working at his father’s automall franchise, Eric has no time for childish fantasies. But when Windows and Hutch approach Eric the next day and inform him that Linus is dying of cancer and this could be his last hoorah, Eric agrees to the insane plan.
Armed with nothing but a map from their youth, some floor plans downloaded from Windows’ cyber girlfriend, Hutch’s Star Wars inspired decked out van and a grappling hook (you just never know when that may come in handy), the four set off on a journey they won’t soon forget. Along the way, they manage to get themselves in trouble with the police, the denizens of a gay biker bar, an insane pimp and some rather obsessed Trekkies. Can these fanboys achieve the impossible or will their childhood dreams go up in smoke?
Now, I’m just a Star Wars fan, not a fanatic, but I can appreciate the childhood dream of these fanboys. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit the Skywalker Ranch just once…just to take a look around of course, not to steal anything, although it would be nice to end up with a cool bit of memorabilia from one of the films, if you know what I mean.
Being a huge fan of the films himself, the creator of the Fanboys screenplay, Adam F. Goldberg, made certain to add several references to the original Star Wars trilogy throughout the film. I loved the fact that Hutch’s van was decked out on the inside to look like the Millennium Falcon, complete with hyperspeed supplied via Nitrous Oxide. I also loved the Star Wars inspired clothing that would show up in the most interesting of places. What comedic film about Star Wars fans would miss out on an opportunity to touch upon the Star Wars/Star Trek fan rivalry? Scenes in which our favorite fanboys meet up with Trekkies are truly hysterical. And the reasoning behind Bottler making this journey - the parallel made between his adventure and that of Luke’s when he destroys the Death Star…this is your Death Star, man! Very funny stuff!
In addition to its already fun cast, Fanboys includes appearances by Seth Rogan (in three different roles), Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ray Park, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo and William Shatner. It was great to see some of the former Star Wars stars and some celebrity Star Wars fans making cameo appearances in the film. Ray Park may be difficult to spot out of his Darth Maul makeup, but if you look very closely at the collapsible baton wielding security guard, you’ll notice his fighting style is very familiar.
The DVD version of Fanboys comes with some fun special features, including some Deleted Scenes, commentary with cast and crew, four featurettes (The Truth About Fanboys, The Star Wars Parallel, 4 Fanboys and 1 Fangirl and The Choreography) and a series of webisodes called Disturbances in the Force. All of these features are entertaining and offer a bit more insight into the making of the film.
All-in-all, I have to thank my brother for a thoroughly entertaining gift. I had no idea what to expect when I popped this DVD into the player, but now that I’ve seen it I have to say that Fanboys is a movie that every Star Wars fan must see.