Monday, August 13, 2012

Meet the Spartans (2008)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6.5
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Sean Macguire, Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Historical, War, Parody/Spoof
Runtime: 86 minutes
Original Version: 300 (2006)

In this shameless spoof of the 2006 movie 300, King Leonidas (Macguire) leads his "army" of thirteen Spartan soldiers again the corrupt "god-king" Xerxes.  Laughs abound as the story of the Battle of Thermopylae is bastardized with a collection of pop culture references including Briteny Spears, the Spider-Man 3 movie, the TV show Deal or No Deal, and "Yo Mama" jokes.

Now, in no way am I saying that this is great cinema.  And I'm not even saying this is high comedy.  The only reason I rated it a 6.5, (IMDb gave it a disappointing 2.5), is because I really enjoyed it.  It made me laugh, and that was more than enough for me.  That's where Cinema Sweetheart's reviews differ from other film reviewers; my reviews are not strictly based on quality of the film, but also on the fun it provides.  If I don't enjoy a film, it won't score as high.  Luckily, my tastes are fairly broad, so even if a film is not in my favorite genre, I usually can appreciate it.

Meet the Spartans, like Epic Movie and Scary Movie before it takes it jokes from pop culture references from the time it came out, so there will come a point where many people won't get the jokes, since they'll be too outdated.  And of course, those who do not watch a ton of TV or movies might not understand who certain celebrity parodies are supposed to be.  Most of the jokes are raunchy, gross, or stupid.  Still, this film is a lot of fun for a few immature giggles.  So, while this is not going to be a film you'll want to pass on to your kids or your grandkids for generations to come, it might be fun for a night spent with friends, drinking beer and eating pizza.  And what could be more fun than drinking beer, eating pizza, and watching thirteen men in leather underpants and capes  holding hands and skipping off to war (yes, you read that right) while singing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"?  [Fun Fact: The historical Spartans were actually known for singing while on their way to war; it pumped them up and acted as a method of intimidation for their enemies, who saw a huge, powerful army coming to battle with such confidence in their victory that they were singing].

So, with all that being said, this is certainly not a great movie.  It's funny though, and if you enjoyed the campy fun of films like Scary Movie or Epic Movie, then I'm sure you'd enjoy Meet the Spartans.  That being the case, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys sophomoric humor and campy, cheesy laughs. (Don't feel bad about it; I enjoy that, too, every now and then).  If you watched and enjoyed 300, you might also be interested in checking out this film.  Really, this is great for all those of you who spend countless hours on YouTube looking for funny parody videos of your favorite movies.  This is just like those, except about an hour and a half, instead of three to five minutes.

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