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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette and Kristen Bell
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 October 2010

Nineteen ninety-eight and four friends have drifted apart, only tenuously held together by their obsession with Star Wars. With adulthood looming and the loss of their childhood dreams the group decide to travel across country to steal the first print of The Phantom Menace, to prove that they are uber fans, but along the way they have to contend with ‘Trekkers’, gay motorcycle gangs and Indian shamans on their way to Skywalker Ranch...

Fanboys (2009) is a comedic road trip directed by Kyle Newman. The main protagonist of the film is Eric Bottler (Sam Huntington) who resurrects his friends - Linus (Chris Marquette), Hutch (Dan Fogler), Windows (Jay Baruchel) - out of their lethargy, following the discovery that Linus has only months to live, having been diagnosed with cancer.

This film could have been so much more than it was, the original cut impressed enough people that Kevin Smith (Clerks) asked for a cameo. They were also able to get Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and William Shatner, and so I’m not sure why the end result was an average road movie.

Road movies by their nature are metaphors for a life trip undertaken by the characters and indeed at the end of the film the characters have moved to a different stage in their lives, well all except Linus. It’s not even as though you cannot make a parody which also celebrates your own innate fanboy as Galaxy Quest proved, made with heart and a strong cast it is possible to make a film which appeals to both fans and non-fans.

The film is resplendent with references to Star Wars. Lucas, to prove he has a sense of humour, also allowed the makers access to the original sound effects, so the film should have all the ingredients. I think where the film goes wrong is the over identification with its characters, whose predicament should be more absurd than it is. Instead the director ignores the lunacy of the boys situation, missing many opportunities for comedy, ultimately taking the characters way too seriously to the detriment of the narrative.

That’s not to say that the film does not have its light side, but even the clever touches cannot remove the fact that the film isn’t quite the laugh-out-loud experience as advertised. The cast are amiable, likable lads and the actors do what they can with the thin plot, but many of the characters remain underdeveloped.

It’s difficult to assess the finished product as the disc supplied just barely played once before self destructing and becoming unplayable, the surface was so scratched it looked like someone had spent too much time chucking it across a room. The finished disc should have a bundle of extras, but none were supplied with the disc.

So, what I got was an average film, with a poor presentation, nothing which really made the film shine.


Charles Packer

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