Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.  I’m sure they are very, very nice boys who treat their mothers well, as they should since they make an awful lot of money.  Who are Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer?  They are the directors and writers of arguably… no, check that because there really is no argument.   They are the directors of two of the worst movies of this relatively young 21st century in ‘Date Movie’ and ‘Epic Movie’.  ‘Date Movie’ was my selection of the worst movie of 2006 where ‘Epic Movie’ managed to elevate itself as merely the second worst movie of 2007 with ‘Daddy Day Camp’ taking the number one crown.  I thought that maybe they broke this string of awfulness with the sports spoof ‘The Comebacks’ which I, and apparently I alone, thought was hilarious, but those two didn’t have anything to do with that movie.  Instead they were working on their latest masterpiece ‘Meet the Spartans’.  So does ‘Meet the Spartans’ manage to be any funnier the Friedberg’s and Seltzer’s first two movies?  Why yes it does – as it may actually claw its way up to be the third worst movie of 2008.

Today, the object that these gentlemen will skewer, pop reference style, is the film ‘300’.  It starts out rather unfunnily (?) with the opening scene from that movie – and lets hope you’ve seen ‘300’ or what little humor there is in this movie will not exist for you, as the man stands over the cliff throwing flawed babies over the side.  He gets a Shrek baby who barfs in his face a sea of green slime.  Leonidus (Sean McGuire – who does a SPOT ON Gerald Butler) goes out to slay his beast to become a man, which turns out to be a large jive talking ‘Happy Feet’ Emperor Penguin.  The Penguin farts in his face repeatedly.  Fortunately for the filmmakers this is the only scene of flagellence since I’ve taken the liberty of capping the number fart scenes allowed in movies at

two.  Any more than that is hereby and heretofore a punishable crime.  On it goes as Leonidus returns home to his slutty wife Queen Margo (Carmen Electra) and meets the messenger of Persian king Xerxes (Phil Morris) who gets kicked in the pit death along with Simon Crowell.  More pop culture references abound, some I’m sure I’ve missed since I’m somewhat out of the pop-culture loop, such as fat Tyra Banks references, American Idol, and a pantyless head shaved Brittany Spears.  Personally I think Brittany Spears should be off limits because she’s crazy.  Seriously.  I hate to moralize here but girlfriend needs help not paparazzi.

The lack of funny continues on with more body fluids being sprayed onto peoples faces in various forms, more pop culture references piled on featuring ‘Deal or No Deal’, Paris Hilton, ‘Yo Mama’, ‘You got Served’ – you got served?  Come on guys. ‘Stomp the Yard’, Lindsay Lohan… and on it went.  Kevin Sorbo playing King Leonidus’ right hand man in the middle of a battle yells ‘I’m going Hercules on yo ass!’  What more can I say? 

‘Meet the Spartans’ as you can plainly see was simply terrible, just as ‘Epic Movie’ was before this and ‘Date Movie’ was before that.  This raises the question as to why Friedberg and Seltzer keep getting opportunities to create comedies that are not only not funny, but among the most vile ever created?  You don’t seriously need me to answer that do you?  Money people.  ‘Date Movie’ pulled in fifty mil at the box office while ‘Epic’ pulled in forty with Spartan poised to do similar biz.  This doesn’t even factor in DVD and foreign sales.  Money.  Fact is, despite the fact the critics and the public alike seem to hate these movies, SOMEBODY is paying to go see them – and don’t blame me ‘cause I get in for free.  Sure fifty million isn’t ‘Jack Sparrow’ type loot, but considering this garbage probably cost next to nothing to make, the profit margins for these awful films are stunning.

There a couple of decent things about this awful film however.  I kid you not when I tell you that Sean Maguire really does nail down Gerald Butler’s King Leonidus.  Phil Morris is in this flick and he’s pretty much funny in everything he shows up in, no matter how obscure a role the brother has, and there was the occasional scattershot joke that actually landed.  It was rare but it happened.

The problem with these flicks, other than the fact that they’re not funny, is that ALL of the jokes they use are infantile and crude without the slightest bit of cleverness involved.  It’s almost as if they’re writing for an demographic that they believe is retarded as they try to explain even the most basic gags to the audience.  The jokes also skewer things that won’t be relevant in a couple of years.  Even if the movie was funny, and it isn’t, it will be less funny when watched by somebody ten years from now (hopefully not) because ‘Deal or No Deal’ will be off the air, and Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears will be distant memories – along with other time sensitive material.  There also used to be a time when making fun of gay dudes was funny.  They’ve ruined that too.

Of course Friedberg and Seltzer are having the last laugh in all of this because as bad as these movies are, SOMEBODY is paying to see them.  And I hate to repeat myself, but don’t blame me ‘cause I get in for free.

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