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Fanboys is a movie with one idea and only one. Everything past this is built on a foundation of thoughtless cliché. It may be the single least ambitious film I have ever watched. It aspires to get by on fandom and offers little else. It gets its details right but that’s it; almost no original thought goes into the movie.

As I understand it, either the original script or another cut of the film deals with the strained/lost friendship of the four main characters, as well as dealing with the development of cancer in one of them more deeply. This cut only pays lip service, though, and the tinkering and adding a second director shows all too clearly.

Eric, the only one of his group of friends to move on from their slavish devotion to sci-fi, fantasy and comic books, comes back to the group once Linus develops cancer. I really wish there was more to say than that because afterward the movie falls into wacky hijinks revolving around breaking into the Skywalker ranch to watch Phantom Menace before its theatrical release, (God help the boy who’s last wish was to see that) and starting fights with Star Trek fans in the movie’s lamest bits. Seth Rogen’s “nerd makeup” was just embarrassing to see. I have yet to see the appeal in Dan Fogler’s act and Jay Baruchel can do much, much better than this. He really needs more material the caliber of Undeclared. Kristen Bell doesn’t get enough of a role to really count for much. She’s sort of the designated girl and love interest where one wasn’t really needed.

Back to the details, they either carry or sink this kind of film; they carry this one. Some good sight gags are the R2D2 on top of Fogler’s van and his custom mural on its side. The Star Trek bits fall flat for me, though the inevitable cameo was nice. Other cameos were more hamfisted, though, such as Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher. Once in particular, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, only serves to remind that all of this was actually much funnier when it was done in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. They’re pretty much the same movie. It hits all of the clichéd road trip bits, including a shamanic drug trip. At least that part was kind of fun, but it really didn’t feel like it belonged, just that it was on the checklist. Too much of the movie feels this way, with nothing genuine driving the characters, the scenes or even their resolution. 2 stars, nothing worthy of note good or bad.


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