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Meet the Spartans (2 stars)

(12A) 83min

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Meet the Spartans

COMEDY

Date Movie and Epic Movie were unforgivable atrocities against comedy, but writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer manage to deal themselves a slightly stronger hand with their latest effort Meet the Spartans, which sets its sights squarely on poking fun at posing-pouch epic 300.

Sticking closely to the pompous visual style of Zack Snyder’s original, hunky warrior King Leonidas (Sean Maguire) leaves sexpot lover Queen Margo (Carmen Electra) to lead a small squad of brave soldiers against Persian king Xerxes (played by the fearless Ken Davitan, instantly recognisable as Borat’s nude-wrestling manager).

With a rich seam of homo-erotic pratfalls to mine, Friedberg and Seltzer do manage a few memorable visual gags. But by focusing on only one film, Meet the Spartans quickly runs short of material at the hour mark, falling back on mirthless references to reality television, US commercials and predictable hate targets such as Paris Hilton. Given the obscene popularity of these spoof blockbusters, which sadly never even begin to approach the level of the better Carry On films in terms of wit or satire, the real shame is that there aren’t more genuine laughs to be had; the best joke here comes in the form of a juvenile taunt: ‘Your mama’s so dumb, she thinks Tupac Shakur is a Jewish holiday.’

General release from Fri 21 Mar.

Meet the Spartans

  • 2 stars
  • 2008
  • US
  • 83 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
  • Written by: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
  • Cast: Sean Maguire, Kevin Sorbo, Carmen Electra, Ken Davitian, Diedrich Bader, Travis Van Winkle, Jareb Dauplaise, Nicole Parker, Ike Barinholtz

A spoof in the vein of 'Date Movie', 'Meet the Spartans' pokes fun at posing-pouch epic '300'. The film quickly runs short of material at the hour mark, falling back on mirthless references to reality television, US commercials and predictable hate targets. The real shame is that there aren't more genuine laughs to be had.

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