Film Nerd’s Choice: Fanboys
Director: Kyle Newman
Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, Seth Rogen, Danny Trejo
Synopsis: In the year before the release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace in cinemas, a group of Star Wars fanatics go on a cross-country trip to invade the Lucas Skywalker ranch and steal a print such that they can see the film early. Their journey takes them through Star Trek conventions, blind internet romances, and many near brushes with the law on a journey that will define them all.
This was thankfully another easy choice for me to make. I will admit, the film does not parallel my life 100%, being a guy who perhaps leans more to the Star Trek realm of fandom rather than Star Wars, though in the end being able to enjoy both franchises. Many of the antics displayed in this film though are not far from my own life, however. I do wait for ages in line for major cinema releases. I dress up in costume for these occasions, as well as for various conventions. The love these characters have for their franchise of choice is somewhat life defining, which is certainly something to which I can relate.
Fanboys is a film that would have passed many by. It almost did not get a cinematic release in the states, and it wa only through film festival buzz that it got an audience. Even then, the production companies wanted to hack it to pieces and make it any other cookie cutter comedy, which this is not. Simply put, this is more than just a frivolous mission of a group of geeks. One of this group of friend has a terminal illness, and is not likely to survive to see the film when it is actually due to be released. So this mission takes on very personal dimensions, exploring friendship and how it is always possible to reconnect with people. The studios wanted to cut this storyline from the plot, and this would have been a mistake. It gives the film a purpose and relevance, and unlike what the studio feared it at no times detracts from the comedy element of the film, it achieves a real balance.
The comedy is rollicking and frequent. Clashes with Trekkies are absolutely brilliant. The Trekkies do come off second best, but these scenes are infused with enough Trek referencing to see there is some Trek love in there too. Fish out of water moments abound too, such as two of the guys thinking they are picking up in Vegas… that is until they are asked to pay after an hour!! When they finally do reach the Skywalker Ranch, there is so much geek love on display that it is like a warm, fuzzy hug. Also of note are the numerous quality cameos throughout the film, but to say more would be ruining the surprise. Some are given away in the trailer below, clearly hacked together by someone who doesn’t understand how important these secrets are, so watch at your own risk.
This film is the little film that could. Enter my world, if you dare!
5 stars out of 5