TV & Video Review: ‘Fanboys’

This film is a tribute to the fanboys and fangirls of the world. You know who you are.

It’s 1998 and the countdown to the release of Star Wars Episode 1 has commenced. Linus (Chris Marquette), Hutch (Dan Fogler) and Windows (Jay Baruchel) are obsessed with all things Star Wars, but after high school their fourth musketeer Eric (Sam Huntington) became an adult and put his passion aside along with his friends. However, when Eric finds out one of his former-best friends has terminal cancer, he decides something must be done. The plan: a cross-country road trip to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and steal a copy of Episode 1 before it’s released. And Zoe (Kristin Bell), their like-minded girlfriend, is not about to be left behind. Not surprisingly, hilarity ensues.

The element that really makes this film work is the wonderful chemistry between the boys and girl. Watching, it's easy to believe they've been friends since they were kids and know all of each others' quirks and buttons. Montreal's Baruchel was even given quite a bit of room to improv throughout the movie, adding to its genuineness.

Director Kyle Newman is most definitely and obviously a fanboy. The detail and parallels to Star Wars, like the opening crawl, are great. Even the Fanboys characters represent characters from Star Wars, though most of them alternate who they are depending on the situation. Of course, what would a movie about Star Wars fans be without a war with Trekkies.

The film's credibility is provided by several key cameos: Carrie Fisher (a.k.a. Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (a.k.a. Lando Calrissian), William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Danny Trejo and Seth Rogen. In a different type of movie, these appearances may be laughed at; but in a genuine movie by and for fans, some of these people are practically worshipped.

The DVD special features include audio commentary with Newman and the entire main cast. Their anecdotes from the shoot are amusing and their chemistry continues to flow even after the production has wrapped. The six deleted scenes only add to the comedy, including an extended scene with Smith and Mewes and another with the “six fingered man.” In addition, there are four mini featurettes, including one about their stripper choreography, and a series of webisodes.

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