Road trips have been a staple of movie comedies, but they've never been quite as geeky as in Fanboys. This movie is a homage to all things Star Wars -- and to its most zealous fans.

It's Ohio 199, and people are counting down to the release of The Phanton Menace. Three young adult friends are really psyched about the movie: the loud and heavy Hutch (Dan Fogler), the ultra-nerdy Windows (Jay Baruchel), and the balanced Linus (Chris Marquette). At a Halloween party they meet their old friend Eric (Sam Huntington), who is the only one that moved on to a more adult life.

Eric is an outsider to the others, but when he learns that Linus has cancer and won't live to see The Phanton Menace, Eric talks them into their old plan: travel 2000 to Skywalker Ranch, sneak in, and steal a copy of The Phanton Menace. Soon the friends -- accompanied by cool geek chick Zoe (Kristen Bell) -- are travelling in Hutch's Millenium Falcon-styled van and battling Trekkies, stripping in a gay bar, and failing to pick up women. (There are also numerous cameos, from cast members of Star Wars to Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, Seth Rogen, William Shatner, and Ethan Suplee as a menacing Harry Knowles.)

Fanboys pokes a lot of fun at its leads, but there's a great deal of affection there as well. (The Trekkies come off much, much worse.) Unfortunately, the movie seldom goes beyong the superficial. Star Wars quotes are to be expected, but it feels like they make up about half of the film's dialogue. None of the characters are more than one-dimensional, and there are more funny situations than funny scenes. The result is a movie that has lots of chuckles but could have used more laughs. (And the DVD extras are pretty standard: commentaries and making-of features.)

Fanboys is ultimately a cute, disposable movie for the ultra-nerds and folks who love them. If all you need in a movie is hearing lines from Star Wars almost nonstop, seeing Kristen Bell dressed in Princess Leia's slave costume (okay, I gotta give a big thumbs up for that one), and seeing tons of Star Wars memorabilia, this is the movie for you. Otherwise, Fanboys will be pleasant enough viewing that's forgotten about five minutes after it ends.

Overall grade: C+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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