Thursday, September 30, 2010
Meet the Spartans
When it comes to comedy movies, many people might mistakenly assume that I have "bad taste." I can understand this point of view (I did just admit to watching -- and liking -- Meet the Spartans), but I don't think it's entirely accurate. When it comes to comedies, I have an unspoken agreement with filmmakers: If all you want to do is make me laugh, chances are good I'll laugh. I guess what I'm saying is that I have a broad sense of humor and watch comedies because I like to laugh and enjoy jokes. I just don't understand why movies like this piss people off so much. Because they are bad? Because they aren't all that funny? Whatever. Then don't watch them. But, seriously, mention you watch a movie like Meet the Spartans, and 99% of the people who hear you will react like, "Why the hell did you watch that piece of crap?!" And those people, of course, never actually saw the movie.
Well, I saw it, and sure... it's a piece of crap. But it still made me laugh -- sparingly to be sure, but laugh I did -- and it mostly kept a smile on my face. It was just a dumb, silly, raunchy movie filled with poop and fart jokes. Anyway, I'd rather watch this again than something mean-spirited and pretentious like Juno or most Judd Apatow movies. There were enough fun little scenes that kept me laughing that I kept on watching -- like the scene where the Spartans go up against a bunch of street kids in a Yo mama contest, or where the Spartans take a break from fighting by getting some drinks at a Starbucks type shop in the Pass of Thermopylae.
Most of the jokes didn't work, of course. There were way too many references and "parodies" that were little more than copying (or merely mentioning) characters and scenes from popular culture with no real context or point of view other than just repetition. Like the scene where Venom and Sandman fought. How was that a parody of Spider-Man 3? All that happened was Venom and Sandman fought. There was nothing funny about it, although I'm not going to complain about seeing Carmen Electra in a skin-tight Venom suit. Shannon said that Electra looked old and bad, but I told her she was crazy. Then there were dozens upon dozens of characters showing up just to do bad impressions of popular figures, almost all of which were so bad the other characters actually had to say things like, "Shut up, Dane Cook," so you'd know who was being impersonated. There was one scene where king Xerxes (played by that gross fat guy from Borat -- kinda funny) brought out a monster to fight the Spartans, and it was actually a guy dressed up like Rocky. They panned the camera down to his trunks, where the name "Rocky" was printed on them in big letters, as though we didn't know that it was supposed to be Rocky. Thanks, guys who made Meet the Spartans. You really think your jokes are going to go over most people's heads?
And now I'll talk about the cast quickly, who didn't do anything all that spectacular or funny (like I said about, Carmen Electra was one of the main stars), but they still managed to walk away from this movie with most of their pride intact. The star of the film (who later starred on that awful Comedy Central show Krod Mandoon, or whatever it was called. See, even I have standards!), should've received an Oscar or something for all of the terrible dialogue he had to read, horrible jokes he had to recite, and embarrassing situations in which he found himself while still managing to get some laughs out of the audience. I don't know his name and I certainly don't think he was a great leading man or notable comic talent, but he made me laugh. I liked him. Just check out his delivery of this wookie joke and try to tell me you didn't laugh.
And then we had Kevin Sorbo, who is always funny and charming, but I'm mostly mentioning him to say that, at age 52, my boy still looks amazing and has a rockin' body. Nice work, Kev!
So, yeah. Meet the Spartans. Don't seek it out, pay money for it, or even sit down to watch it if you have anything the least bit pressing or engaging that you could do instead. But if you find yourself bored on a Wednesday night and it happens to be on FX, you could do worse than check it out. Just don't blame me for it!