January 31, 2008

Navigation

Home Page

News & Features

News

Columns & Opinions

Publisher's Note

Boomers

Pinings

Longshots

Techie

Pop Culture

Film

TV

Books
Video Games
CD Reviews

Living

Food

Wine

Beer
Grazing Guide

Music

Articles

Music Roundup

Live Music/DJs

MP3 & Podcasts

Bandmates

Arts

Theater

Art

Find A Hippo

Manchester

Nashua

Classifieds

View Classified Ads

Place a Classified Ad

Advertising

Advertising

Rates

Contact Us

Hippo Staff

How to Reach The Hippo

Past Issues

Browse by Cover


Meet the Spartans (PG-13)
The sepia-toned graphic novel come-to-life 300 along with some other detritus of the last 11 months of pop culture are tiresomely spoofed, Epic Movie-style, in Meet the Spartans.

Juicing up this on-purpose cheapskate-looking, Saturday Night Live-like re-imagining of 300 are former Hercules Kevin Sorbo, a Queen Gorgo-like character played by Carmen Electra (the Dorothy Lamour of the Epic Movie/Scary Movie/Date Movie movies) and a bunch of dudes with painted-on abs. Just like in 300, King Leonidas (Sean Maguire) who learned to be a warrior as a child by battling a fearsome, red-eyed penguin must take his brave band of soldiers to meet the mighty Xerxes (Ken Davitian) in battle. Only this time, Xerxes isnt a shimmering bronzed giant but the fat guy from Borat, which, in case you dont instantly recognize him, the movie actually tells you in a voiceover.

There are a few times when the movies narration actually explains the visual joke (were told that Electra is filled with rage, just like in Spider-Man 3, as a black Spider-Man costume wraps around her legs) or a character actually openly states his motivation (Im evil, says the treacherous Senator Traitoro, played by Diedrich Bader). Stranger than the usual gag in this kind of movie wherein humor is replaced simply with recognition of a scene or character from another movie, this practice of openly explaining the joke is bafflingly weird. Am I watching the movie or some kind of extended version of the pitch for the movie? If the joke (which is usually achingly unfunny to begin with) requires this much explanation, is it really worth it? Its like having someone use bar graphs and charts to diagram the punchline in a knock-knock joke.

Beyond this beyond-meta quality of Meet the Spartans, the movie is just a tedious litany of moderately homophobic sight gags and poop humor but without the giggles that the word poop alone can extract. Although, and I dont know if its Stockholm syndrome or just a weak moment, but the a chest-waxer says what? joke did make me laugh. D+

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and some comic violence. Written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Meet the Spartans is an hour and 24 minutes long and is distributed in wide release by 20th Century Fox.