Meet the Spartans
Running Time: 1 hr. 23 min.
Release Date: January 25th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and some comic violence.
Distributors: 20th Century Fox Distribution
Cast and Credits
Starring: Diedrich Bader, Kevin Sorbo, Jim Piddock, Method Man, Sean Maguire
Directed by: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Produced by: Arnon Milchan, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
King Leonidas, ruler of the Spartan city-state has received a notice from Persian envoys that King Xerxes of the Persia wants to conquer Sparta and that if the Spartans refuse, they will be destroyed. Leonidas, decides to confront Xerxes with a team of 13 Spartans, brothers in arms and lovers and stop the menacing and fat Persian king from adding the manly city-state of Sparta to his territories.
The perfect sequel to 2007’s popular 300 movie, which was an adaptation of comic book by Frank Miller, Meet the Spartans uses the same formula found in movies such as Epic Movie. It spoofs blockbusters of its time and other popular culture events while trying to point out the most obvious idiotic points of today’s culture.
In that regard, Meet the Spartans succeeds. It pokes great fun at the homoerotic elements of 300 and rehashes the story in about the same way. However, most of the jokes seem forced. For example, to introduce a vicious animal which would fight young King Leonida, the directors referred back to 2006’s phenomenon, March of the Penguins. While briefly funny, there is no second level to the humour.
After pointing out several times that the entire imagery of 300 and Frank Miller’s comic book were homoerotic, it did not go further. It would have been fun if the film would have confronted the straight males who made this film such a blockbuster success last year. Most will be mildly annoyed at acknowledging that they had a hard on for a gay movie.
As such Meet the Spartans is safe fun that doesn’t hurt or make one think about the idiocy of current popular culture. It’s the type of film that will age very badly as only someone who watches TV, in particular MTV will know about all the cultural references included in the film. Yet, this film will make a good summary of 2007 by cultural anthropologists in a few decades.
Visually, the film lacks the richness of the movie it is spoofing. The set looked cheap. But somehow, it seems that this was the intent.