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Fanboys - A Geeky Pilgrimage for a Group of Star Wars Fans

Apr 27, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fun, entertaining movie.

Cons:Won't appeal to some viewers.

The Bottom Line: Fanboys is a fun, entertaining movie that I think is worth watching though it isn't for everyone.

Some movies and television shows have developed very loyal fans.  Some people do go a bit overboard in their devotion to shows and movies.  The movie Fanboys deals with a group of friends devoted to Star Wars.

In 1998 on Halloween, Eric Bottler sees his high school friends for the first time in years at a costume party.  Linus, Hutch, Windows, and Zoe have remained mostly the same and are still obsessed with all things Star Wars while Eric has moved on and has an actual grown up job as a car salesman.  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which is due to be released in six months, comes up along with Eric's childhood dream of stealing a copy of the movie from Skywalker Ranch.  

Eric decides to actually go through with the plan after learning that Linus is sick.  The friends set out in Hutch's van and he decides to detour through Riverside Iowa to pick on some Star Trek fans. They end up in jail and need Zoe to bail them out while on the way to Las Vegas to meet a contact with information on how to get into Skywalker Ranch.

Most of what happens in Fanboys is tied in someway to the characters being fans of the original Star Wars movies.  Being a fan of the movies myself, I get why these characters were excited for the new movie and why they would decide to try to steal a copy of the movie.  Going to Skywalker Ranch for any reason would be cool, though I do agree that attempting to break in is a bit extreme.  Having Linus be sick provides motivation for the friends deciding to go forward with the plan.  Without that motivation, they would have just been a group of crazy, overly obsessed fans and things wouldn't have worked as well.  The plot isn't that complicated, but enough happens to keep things interesting and entertaining.

Since all the characters in Fanboys are fans of the original Star Wars movies, it makes sense that several things tied to those movies pops up throughout the movie.  Hutch is a die hard fan of Han Solo who will fight anyone who dares to insult Solo.  Hutch's van even has sound effects from the movies.  There are also references to Star Trek as well since the friends encounter some fans of the other franchise during their trip.  I like all the references and think they help to make the movie more entertaining.  There are a few other geeky type of references in the movie as well.  Hutch works at a comic book store and Zoe and Windows either work there too or just spend a lot of time there.  Eric and Linus had dreams of becoming comic book artists when they were younger.  All the various references work to help make the movie more entertaining.

Friendship plays a huge part in what is going on in Fanboys.  Eric has grown apart from his friends, growing up a bit and getting a real job while the others were still more immature.  The friendships between him and the others is strained when things begin.  Even once Eric decides to go forward with the plan, things are still strained between him and Linus.  They had been best friends before things changed.  Eric does seem a little more willing to try to work things out at first.  Things are complicated with them.  The friendship is a big part of what drives the movie since Eric is trying to do something for Linus.  Without the friendships, things wouldn't have worked as well.

I don't think there is a lot of development to any of the characters in Fanboys, but that doesn't bother me.  I think Eric receives the most.  He talks about having grown up, but he really doesn't seem that happy with his life.  He does still care for his friends even though he tries to act like he's moved on.  Sam Huntington does fine with the part.  Linus is not happy about Eric being around for a while.  Linus seems to feel like Eric abandoned all of them and he isn't quick to forgive.  Linus is a likable character and Chris Marquette does well with the part.    

Hutch works at a comic book store, lives in his mother's garage, or carriage house as he insists on calling it, and is obsessed with Star Wars, especially Han Solo.  Hutch is quick to rush into situations without thinking things through.  He is entertaining and I like Dan Fogler in the part.  Windows seems to be more of a geek than his friends.  Jay Baruchel does well with the part.  Zoe is the only female in the group of friends.  She doesn't look like she would fit in with a group of geeks, but she does.  She is a bit more reasonable than the guys.  Kristen Bell is really good in the part and she does briefly appear in the Princess Leia gold bikini.  Seth Rogen turns up briefly in a few small roles that are entertaining.  Some people connected to Star Wars, like Carrie Fisher and Ray Park also make small appearances.

Main Cast
Jay Baruchel - Windows
Kristen Bell - Zoe
Dan Fogler - Hutch
Sam Huntington - Eric
Chris Marquette - Linus

DVD Information

I picked up Fanboys on DVD earlier this year when I found it fairly cheap.  My copy has the widescreen version of the movie.  I have no idea if there is also a full screen version of the movie.  The extras include a commentary with the cast and crew that I haven't listened to, deleted scenes, and a few short but entertaining featurettes about the making of the movie.

Fanboys is a fun, entertaining movie that I think is worth watching, especially for people who are fans of Star Wars.  The movie isn't going to appeal to everyone though.
This review is part of CaptainD's Good Movies EpiGuide 3 Write Off.  It is also part of Elvisdo's 2010 Funny Pages Write Off because of Hatch working in a comic book store and the dream of Linus and Eric to become comic book artists.

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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