Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meet the Spartans

This movie is at number one right. Honestly, look it up. It made over $18 million this past weekend, narrowly edging out the new Rambo movie. I really don't know how to respond to this. I truly hoped that this movie would slip by completely undetected. Instead it dove into the market making a decent January box office splash.

The only thing (in my eyes at least) that is worse than a genre parody, is a genre parody that pokes fun at one movie. In this case, Meet the Spartans retells the story of 300 which terrible comedic timing and stale pop cultural references. It wasn't even an original plot, it was the exact same story, without even the names changed.

Meet the Spartans is filled with such refreshing references as Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, and American Idol. I can't believe how original they are. The only thing that would make this movie even more relevant is a Weakest Link joke. Every time there was actually an opportunity to create a genuinely funny moment, it completely fell flat. The famed "This is Sparta!" line that sold 300 is done completely straight forward. The only catch is that Leonidis spends the next 5 minutes pushing various people into the pit of death.

The over-the-top ultra violent excess of 300 could certainly warrant parody. The only moment featuring half intelligent observational humor was the comment "Enough with this video game style violence." Or the one truly funny moment in the movie:

"Behold my massive army."
"But that's just a blue screen."
"Idiot, it's a visual effect. We're going to put the army in later. It'll be really impressive."

That sort humor that lampoons the original really would work well. Instead, most of the movie is filled with dated pop culture, the homo erotic Spartan references, and the obligatory bodily functions. I wish they would stop making movies like this, but if they keep going to number one, that's not going to happen any time soon.


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