Are you tired of hearing about Youtube, Chris Crocker, “Transformers,” “300,” Bald Britney Spears, “American Idol,” “Spider Man 3,” Donald Trump, Tyra Banks, “Stomp the Yard,” “Happy Feet,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Deal or No Deal” and Paris Hilton? Well, the producers of “Meet the Spartans” really don’t care, so they took all of the idiocy, hype, and hooplah of 2007, and packaged it into the insta-cash machine known as “Meet the Spartans,” a “spoof” movie that proves this sub-genre gets lazier and lazier every year, by taking all the material from YTMND, “Robot Chicken,” and Youtube and rehashing it into a ninety minute gaff fest that really just forces more of the tabloid junk down our throats for mass consumption.
And you all went to see it. Anyway…
I’m not judging, I can see the appeal of rehashed pop culture from thirteen months ago regurgitated into a movie. I’m just not sure why “Meet the Spartans” couldn’t have been a little more clever in its delivery; hell, if given a little more imagination and effort, it could have been just a mediocre entry, rather than probably the most excruciating experience I’ve ever had in the theaters in my life. Seriously, I hurt, my bowels hurt.
We’re in an age where just introducing elements from 2007 is considered satire, and the writers (is it 5 of the 2 writers from “Scary Movie,” or 3 of the 20? Who knows?) simply just dole out every element from the last year and a half and expect us to chuckle something that’s been thrown through the ringer a hundred times over, already. “Meet the Spartans” surrounds the soldiers of Sparta committing to their exact mission from the original movie, and the directors feel they have to satirize the concept by lazily mimicking every shot of the aforementioned film.
Granted Sean MaGuire commits to a decent impression of Gerard Butler, but the writers aren’t even trying here, and it shows two fold. At one point, a character sits muttering one liners from the aforementioned year (“For shizzle… my nizzle… Save the Cheerleader… Save the World… Jack Black says what…?”), and actors in the cast often break the fourth wall to acknowledge that what we’re seeing is just utter trash; there’s even a moment where Carmen Electra reads a review quote to Leonidas from Harry Knowles who proclaims this a cheap rip-off of “300.”
That scene particularly fumes me, as right now there are many great and incredible films and filmmakers just begging for their chance in Hollywood. There’s possibly a new Mel Brooks or Woody Allen on in our midst praying for the chance to wow us, and we’re watching a movie that actually turns to us and declares “Yes, we know it’s awful, we’re just trying to take your money.” So, who is the sucker in this affair? You who launched it to the top of the box office, I who wasted ninety minutes of my life just to review it, or the studios who openly admit they’re unleashing a turd on us? That’s a question to take with you to bed.
Hacks Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg are men who have built their careers around these genre offerings from “Scary Movie” to “Epic Movie,” and these two men haven’t a single creative bone in their bodies. But judging by their self-satirical Youtube video, much of their humor or lack thereof accurately translates onto the big screen quite well. Seriously, these are the guys in High School mimicking every single popular phrase on television and calling themselves brilliant comedians for it. The problem is, they’re the only ones laughing.
It’s rare that a movie makes me ill these days, and it’s rare that I can see a movie and hate the people behind it with such abhorrence, but “Meet the Spartans” rises to the challenge and convinces me that, at this rate, we’re already in the film crapper with or without the writers. And Hollywood will rush to dole out more “satire.”
Hey, Carmen Electra has to eat, too.