Review of Meet The Spartans


Movie Review: "Meet the Spartans"

-- Rating: PG-13 (crude and sexual content throughout, language and some comic violence)
Length: 86 minutes
Release Date: January 25, 2008
Directed by: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
Genre: Comedy

"Meet the Spartans" is a hilarious comedy set in the ancient times of fictional King Leonidas, who is portrayed by Sean Maguire. The film is a mesh of current newsworthy characters and spoofs of popular characters from television shows and movies. It is a film that will keep the laughs coming until the credits roll.

Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer got their start in spoof films as writers for the 1996 film "Spy Hard." Their writing credits also include the blockbuster "Scary Movie," a spoof of the hit movie "Scream." The team has directing and writing credits for the movie "Meet the Spartans." Although most movie critics do not enjoy the extreme level of comedy and innuendo that appears in the duo's films, they cannot dispute the laughs that their films generate.

The opening sequence of "Meet the Spartans" involves a Spartan elder selecting Leonidas to be a Spartan soldier. There are several other choices, including a baby ogre in a spoof of the movie "Shrek II" that throws up on the elder, sealing his rejection. After a couple of the other babies are examined for qualities befitting a Spartan, a manly infant named Leonidas is chosen for his six-pack, biceps, and beard. Following this selection process, his extensive training regimen begins. He is sent into the wilderness to test his survival skills. Upon his return, he is smitten with Margo (Carmen Electra). He asks for her hand in marriage, and she gives him the combination to her chastity belt.

Within the first few scenes, there is a look at the historical process for selecting soldiers worthy of battle. Even today, if a soldier is not in the proper physical condition, he can be rejected as a candidate for the military. The story then dabbles in pop culture with the references to Shrek's regurgitating baby. Things take a turn to the light side when the movie exposes the pending love story. These few scenes manage to capture the attention of older viewers with the historical reference, young viewers with the cartoon reference, and teens with the pop culture reference.

Training resumes, and Leonidas is given a message that a Persian messenger has arrived to accept the surrender of the Spartans on behalf of Xerxes. After the messenger arrives, he and his men are met with tongue kisses. Leonidas then hears Xerxes' message, which he interprets as a blatant disrespect of his countrymen, not to mention the fact that someone actually makes a pass at Queen Margo among all the male-to-male tongue-kissing. Leonidas dismisses all the men from the land, along with a few famous celebrities whom he truly dislikes, such as Britney Spears (Nicole Parker), Kevin Federline (Nick Steele), and the judges from American Idol, who are all cast down into the pit of death. Leonidas turns on the unit and sends them all to a quick death.

A word of warning comes from the Oracle, Ugly Betty (Christa Flanagan). The Oracle tells Leonidas that if he should enter war, he will certainly die. It seem to be inevitable that Leonidas will die when he arrives to find 13, not 300 as in the movie of the same name, others waiting to go into battle with him. The volunteers showed up to join the army, but the qualifications were set a little too high for those volunteers, and many were rejected. The qualifications included having a deep Mediterranean tan and being well-endowed. A few were kept, like an out-of-shape Spartan named Dilio, who was chosen for his nice man boobs. They start out on the journey into battle when they cross paths with Paris Hilton (also played by Nicole Parker), who shows them a goat path that they can use to surprise the messenger's army. She then requests to be made a Spartan, but is rejected for being unqualified.

As the Spartan army of 13 meets again with Xerxes' messenger and his men, they first engage in a dance battle and then a game of "Deal or No Deal". Leonidas declines the deal and determines that he will make Xerxes fall. The 13 challenge the Persian army and win by telling the best "Yo Momma" jokes despite the fact that Dilio is lost in battle. A rejected Paris Hilton reveals the directions to the same goat path to Xerxes (Kevin Devitian). The 12 meet Xerxes on the path and the war begins.

While Leonidas is embroiled in battle with Xerxes, Queen Margo is fighting off a suitor named Traitoro, who wants sexual favors in exchange for sending more troops to help Leonidas in battle. As his name suggests, he is revealed to be a traitor (it is discovered that Xerxes is in his cell phone's Top Five). Spoofing a sequence in Spider-Man 3, Traitoro morphs into the Sandman and is destroyed by being sucked into a vacuum. Leonidas gets the help he needs as more troops are sent into battle.

Other guest characters that appear in the battle include Ghost Rider and Rocky Balboa. This spoof film is very funny and the storyline brings historical events to the modern day. With references to modern figures such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan, teens may even be able to have some laughs in the spirit of MadTV and Saturday Night Live, both known for spoofing real-life situations.

The days of jumping up out of your seat as soon as the credits roll are over. This film ends with a funny dance sequence featuring all of the surviving Spartan soldiers singing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive."

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars