MEET THE SPARTANS
Length: 84 minutes
Director: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Date Movie; Epic Movie)
Writers: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Scary Movie 1-3; Date Movie)
Starring: Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo, Diedrich Bader, Method Man, Sean Maguire, Ken Davitian, Nicole Parker, Crista Flanagan, Emily Wilson, Jim Piddock, Ike Barinholtz
Blame your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers- blame everybody. Why? Because this is the third movie that the spoof duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have dropped on us and the only reason they keep making them is because people keep watching them. I know what you’re thinking- "but Larry you watched it!" Yes, but I watched it for free and plus sometimes I feel like the king’s royal poison tester. Somebody has to take the awful medicine to help out his fellow man (I watched “I Know Who Killed Me” for you people too). “Meet the Spartans” opened at number one at the box office when it came out at the end of January (it has grossed over $38 million to date). Certainly most of the people that paid to see this movie had seen “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie”. Certainly they knew what to expect. But, no, they still went and saw it. If you are blessed enough to be unfamiliar with any of the aforementioned films- I’ll explain. Friedberg and Seltzer (both of whom got their start as two of the many co-writers of the first three “Scary Movie” films) take a popular genre and poke fun at it. No harm there if done correctly. But, like the recently reviewed “The Comebacks”, these spoofs are not done correctly. The bar set by “Airplane!”, “The Naked Gun”, “Silent Movie”, etc. towers way above these movies. Like “The Comebacks”, “Meet the Spartans” believes it’s audience is so stupid that they have to be reminded constantly of what is being spoofed (at one point the narrator points out that one of the characters is acting just like “Tobey Maguire in 'Spiderman 3'”). “Date Movie” skewered the romantic comedy genre (quite poorly) and “Epic Movie” took on the epics (also quite poorly). “Meet the Spartans” settles mostly on just spoofing the movie “300”. So if you haven’t seen “300” the odds of you laughing (which will all ready be slim) will be even slimmer. I was in the minority on “300” and found it pretty laughable to begin with, so to me “Spartans” had an easy set up (they squeeze out a couple of laughs on “300’”s obvious homoerotic overtones, but it’s quickly driven into the ground). It’s almost like they purposely worked hard to not make it funny. Three films into their series and Friedberg and Seltzer still think making fun of Paris Hilton saying “That’s Hot” is gold. They also think “American Idol” is still ripe for the picking. The newest addition? Chris Crocker- that annoying idiot who whined about Britney Spears and somehow became a celebrity. Don’t worry Spears herself, along with Lindsay Lohan, also get lame impersonations (by members of the cast of “MAD TV” no less). Thanks to the success of “Meet the Spartans” Friedberg and Seltzer are all ready hard at work on their next feature, “Raunchy Movie”. Radiohead said it best “You do it to yourself”.
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