It seems as though the only effort directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer put into “Meet the Spartans” was finally coming up with a more creative title for their latest witless and painfully dull parody. Not so big a challenge, considering their last films were “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie.”
The film is so exceptionally terrible, I almost left insulted. Bottom line: It’s not funny, unless Lindsay Lohan “fire-crotch” jokes amuse you.
There isn’t much to say about plot, except that it merely serves as a vehicle for tired pop culture references — only those celebrities at the bottom of the D-list are spared. Instead of an army of 300, King Leonidas (Sean Maguire) leads his army of 13 sexually charged boy toys as they battle the Persians. These warriors even hurtle “Yo Mamma” jokes back and forth. There is also the skanky Queen Margo (Carmen Electra) who attempts to distract the soldiers. This is one role that couldn’t have been much of a stretch, though for once I actually felt sorry for her. If you’re really craving to spend an hour staring at her, please, just download a picture off the Internet.
The plethora of pop culture references is a convoluted mess. The film opens with a baby Shrek burping up gross green goo, followed by Britney Spears shaving her head and feeding baby Sean with “breast-fried milk.” Even K-Fed makes a quick cameo along with Sanjaya, Ryan Seacrest and the rest of the American Idol hosts, who soon fall (thank god) into the “Pit of Death.” All this in the first 15 minutes! It’s pop culture on crack and shoved down our throats.
FYI, it was Paris Hilton who betrayed the Spartans to the Persians, and the warriors sang “I Will Survive” as they strutted into battle. Yes, “300” is an easy target for homoerotic jokes, but who said they would actually be funny? This is stuff one might expect on “Mad TV,” but not on the big screen.
For a little over an hour (thankfully it’s that short, despite the excruciatingly long opening sequence and outtakes), you will be barraged with celebrity impersonations, gross-out humor and way too many product placements. Though I’m very aware that this movie is attempting to make fun of the products it advertises, it’s product placement nonetheless. By the time it was over, I not only wanted my 10 bucks back, but I also craved that latte from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf that King Leonidas was drinking.
The film isn’t all fun and games with pop culture. There is a fair share of needless gore and repulsive bawdy humor. Who doesn’t want to see an evil penguin defecating on Leonidas’ face?
It’s difficult to call the figures parading around the screen actors. I guess one could call them second-rate sketch comedy artists. To be fair, Sean Maguire did nail King Leonidas to a tee, and a few in the ensemble give uncanny impersonations of the “Idol” judges. Too bad the impersonations didn’t stop there.
But don’t take my advice. Listen to Queen Margo who pulls out the film’s script and calls it a second-rate parody of “300.” Even the people who made the film know what trash is. But, I guess the joke is on us — this was the number one movie in America.