Meet the Spartans (2008)
Welcome to the tenth installment of Razzie Contenders: 2009 Edition! In this special series of recaps, the Agony Booth staff takes a long, unflinching look at the awful movies that got nominated (or should have been nominated) for Razzie Awards in 2009!
I don’t know why I even bothered to recap this.
Oh, that’s right. It’s because I had the bad luck to be out of town when the Agony Booth 2009 Razzie Project started, and when I got back all the good nominees were taken. Otherwise I’d have done the recap of In the Name of the King. On the one hand, I didn’t get to fulfill my usual role as Resident Fantasy Nerd, but on the other hand, at least I’ve kept up my track record of never having watched a Uwe Boll movie.
So I shrugged it off and offered to do Max Payne instead. Then I found out it wouldn’t be available on DVD in my part of the world for months.
This left me with only one choice: Take one of the two movies that nobody else on the recapping team would touch. Thanks a lot, guys.
Before I get started, I’d just like to give a quick thanks to forum member wompom. I recently found out we happened to live in the same neighbourhood, so I suggested a meeting to say hello. On that day, he was kind enough to provide moral support as I went into a shop and paid actual money for this movie. Thanks for being there, wompom, you’re a real friend.
And now, the movie.
I have to say that I’m not actually predisposed to hate movies like this. I really enjoyed the first Scary Movie, and I also like South Park and other “lowbrow” comedies. I may be a girl, but I’ve always had something of a “male” sense of humour.
That said, I watched the entirety of Meet the Spartans in stony silence. It got neither seething hatred nor one solitary laugh, and that’s the biggest condemnation I can possibly lay on a movie.
Now, I’ve seen all the hate that gets slung at the two idiot directors who made this movie and other movies just like it. However, having finally been obliged to watch one of their attempts at comedy, I’ve found myself siding with Albert. They’re not even slightly funny, they’re beyond idiotic, they utterly fail at parodying anything, but… I really don’t give a shit.
Like all of the truly ghastly movies in the world, Meet the Spartans is so completely bland that it didn’t get any reaction from me—not even anger. It was just flat out boring and stupid, and nothing else. I’ve watched it, I’ve recapped it, and now I intend to forget it forever. Because, really, there’s nothing to remember.
This movie is bad, but it’s bad to a formula that’s pretty much the standard for Sellout and Birdbrain, or whatever the hell their names are. It’s supposed to be a parody of 300, and it’s like the connect-the-dots of parody movies. Every single one of the moments you expect to be there, is there. Allow me to demonstrate.
|The obligatory “puking baby joke”.|
|The obligatory reference to another movie that comes out of nowhere and has nothing to do with anything (#1 of a series).|
|The obligatory shit joke. (That’s our protagonist under the penguin, by the way. For some unfathomable reason, I found the guy vaguely likeable. Maybe seeing him get shat on made me sympathise with him.)|
|The obligatory “let’s make fun of poor stupid Britney Spears” joke. Obvious rubber baby optional. (Yes, that’s Nicole Parker, who would later play every female role in Disaster Movie.)|
|I don’t even know who this is supposed to be. And please don’t tell me.|
|The obligatory appearance by a Simon Cowell lookalike (Repeat Offender Jim Piddock, who was also Magneto in Epic Movie). Obligatory subsequent death of lookalike follows.|
|The obligatory buggery joke.|
|The obligatory fat joke. Also, meaningless product placement (#1 of a series).|
|The obligatory Paris Hilton lookalike (Nicole Parker, again). The movie never explains why she’s all deformed, nor why her hump, upon being punctured, splatters everybody with “pus”. Oh yeah, that’s the obligatory pus joke.|
|The obligatory appearance by some rapper who really ought to know better.|
|The obligatory reality TV joke (#2 of a series, if you count the Simon Cowell bit).|
|The obligatory product placement for no reason (#3 in a series—I’m counting the out-of-nowhere Gatorade ad parody which I didn’t screencap. And yes, that is Kevin Sorbo.)|
|The obligatory “let’s replace a character who was a skinny black dude in the original movie with some old fat white guy” joke. Yes, it’s the guy from Borat, and I hate to say this, but he’s also the funniest actor in the movie.|
|The obligatory reality TV joke (#3).|
|Obligatory product placement #4 and 5 (irrelevant aside: Mendo loves Grey Goose).|
|The obligatory lesbian makeout (no need to thank me for the screencap).|
|The obligatory—wait, what’s this meant to be? Ah, let’s just call it “obligatory unfunny visual gag that comes out of nowhere (#300,007)”.|
|The obligatory comic book movie reference, complete with a painfully unconvincing “special effect”. If you’re confused, then I’ll just say that “Spider-Man” is supposed to be putting his fist right through that guy in the foreground, Sandman-style. Yes, really.|
|The obligatory comic book movie reference (#2).|
|Obligatory “guy has to choose from several weapons and goes for the really dumb choice” joke. Even The Curse of Monkey Island did this one, for crying out loud!|
|The obligatory GTA tribute moment. My gods, when is this movie going to end?|
|The obligatory YouTube reference (with the obligatory Transformers reference thrown in for good measure).|
|The hopelessly outdated internet culture reference. Not quite obligatory, but still lame. I’m actually not sure if this was the real Chris Crocker, or another lookalike.
Apparently, the real guy was offered the chance to do a real-life cameo, but turned it down. That’s right: this movie is so lame that Chris Crocker didn’t want to appear in it.
|The obligatory… huh? Oh, right, the movie’s over.|
|Time for a big song-and-dance number! Yet another pointless reality TV reference included absolutely free! Now that’s efficient filmmaking.|
|And “Simon Cowell” isn’t dead after all, so at least we got a happy ending.|
And that’s about it, guys. Honest and truly, that’s frickin’ it. The movie more or less follows the plot of 300, as you probably guessed, and just like that movie, there aren’t many locations, which probably helped keep the budget down even more so than usual.
Needless to say, this movie doesn’t even try to satirise 300, a movie that would be really, really easy to make fun of if the people involved in Meet the Spartans had any talent or put in any effort whatsoever. Instead, we get about ninety minutes of endless pop culture references. The closest it comes to actually parodying 300 is in making all the Spartans flambouyant homosexuals. And when I say “flambouyant”, I mean they actually skip along hand-in-hand and enjoy musicals. At one point, Leonidas (no, they didn’t even bother to give him a funny “spoof” name) explains that, in Sparta, it’s “high-fives for the girls, open-mouthed kissing for the guys”.
Hilarious. Really. This is the sort of gay humour that was outdated when I was in preschool.
The biggest failing of this movie, overall, is that it’s just not a parody—which is unfortunate, because that’s what it was apparently meant to be. But the question is, what was it supposed to be a parody of? It sure as hell isn’t a parody of 300. I mean, come on. The way to parody something is to take it and blow it up, exaggerate it until it becomes silly (or silly-er, in some cases). Jamming a lot of pop culture references in willy-nilly does not equal hilarity.
That aside, just because a movie is a “parody” doesn’t mean it’s excused from having plot and characters and other things movies are supposed to have. But Sellsburgers and Freedbong seem to disagree, and that’s the main reason why they’ll never be considered actual filmmakers, ever.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch Saved!—a comedy that has a plot and characters, and above all is actually funny.
More Razzie Contenders may possibly be coming soon!
Other recaps in the Razzie Contenders: 2009 Edition series:
- The Love Guru by Ed Harris
- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale by Ryan Lohner
- 10,000 B.C. by Jessica Ritchey
- The Hottie & the Nottie by Albert
- The Day the Earth Stood Still by Mark “Scooter” Wilson
- Postal by Mark M. Meysenburg
- The Women by LaShawn Wanak
- Disaster Movie by Albert
- Mamma Mia! by Jordon Davis