Thoughts on Fanboys

It was some weeks ago now, but the movie Fanboys—which I had seen trailers for over two years ago, and had been waiting for ever since—was finally released in Toronto.  (It apparently comes to DVD on May 19th, so this review may be somewhat timely after all.)

The movie is set in 1998, and focuses on a group of friends who are die-hard Star Wars fans.  When they discover one of them is terminally ill and won’t live long enough to see the release of The Phantom Menace, they decide to road trip to Skywalker Ranch and break in to see an early cut of the movie.  As you might expect, wackiness ensues.

The story has the trappings of a zany road-trip comedy, but has some slightly more mature character arcs than typical, dealing as it does with death, mortality, and growing up.  It also has plenty of slapstick humour, typical jokes about Trekkies and Star Wars fans, and cameo appearances by actors running the range from Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, and Jason Mewes to Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, and William Shatner.

The movie has gotten fairly low ratings, but I really liked it.  I may, perhaps, identify a little too closely with the source material, being a die-hard Star Wars fan myself.  And like Hutch, one of the characters in the movie, I used to have a set of all-Rush mixtapes that were the only things to be played in my car.  If you like the classic Star Wars trilogy and know it well enough to get all the references to it, and if you like the slapstick Harold & Kumar/Superbad/American Pie-esque humour, you’ll probably like this movie.

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