May the Coarse Be With You: Fanboys relies on some serious dumpster humor.

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Do you never tire of jokes about the Spice Girls? Or Clooney’s Batman nipples? Or—LOL!—Jar Jar Binks? If topics like these still give you the giggles, you might just love Fanboys, a comedy set in 1998 and ripped off from a New Zealand short from 2003. So, you know, it’s timely! First-time feature-scripters Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg have preserved the gist of the original Fanboys: A group of Star Wars geeks decides to infiltrate George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to steal a print of The Phantom Menace six months before its release. What drives them, however, isn’t mere thrill-seeking, but the fact that one of the gang, Linus (Chris Marquette), is dying from cancer. (This much-criticized subplot is partly why the movie’s been shelved for two years.) There’s also a broken bromance to repair—Linus’ best friend, Eric (Sam Huntington), lost touch with him after high school and didn’t even know he was sick—so what better way to say you’re sorry than taking a felonious road trip together? Jay Baruchel, Kristin Bell, and Dan Fogler round out the supernerds, and while most of the crew are innocuously bland, Fogler is as unappealing and unfunny as ever. (During a clichéd mean-biker-bar scene, the lads are forced to strip. “You want some Swayze action, bitches?” he says, revealing a carpeted chest. Um, no thanks.) Likewise, the bulk of the humor is inoffensive—save for Fogler’s constant humping—but largely weak. Fanboys is briefly brightened by cameos from current comedy champs such as Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Will Forte, plus a couple of Star Wars vets and real fanboy Kevin Smith. (Ironically, it’s the incisive trilogy-bickering in Smith’s movies that makes this one feel like such a retread.) No matter how fiercely you believe the prequels suck, it’s still a bit thrilling to watch the gang enter Lucus’ personal museum of artifacts or observe a packed theater cheering at the opening notes of John Williams’ score. Naturally, one of the characters invokes a Star Wars trademark line: “I have a bad feeling about this.” The line certainly applies to Fanboys, yet just as with The Phantom Menace, diehards will find something to like.