This is the latest in a string of bad parodies from Jason Friedberg
and Aaron Seitzer, who co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed Date
Movie, Epic Movie and now this one.
Those are the only three movies the two men have
worked on in any capacity other than writing, and what a track record
Date Movie has somehow managed to escape
IMDb's worst 100 films of all time, but Epic Movie is #70 and Meet the
Spartans is #58.
The critics were no more enthusiastic than the IMDb voters. The
following list summarizes the percentage of positive reviews, as per Rotten Tomatoes:
Date Movie 6%
Epic Movie 2%
Meet the Spartans 2%
All three of them have done moderately well at the box office. Date
Movie grossed $48 million. Epic Movie $39 million, Meet the Spartans
Notice that the team's films seem to be getting worse with time, by
all three criteria. Actually, I don't agree with that. I think they
have improved. I think Meet the Spartans is the best of the three and
Date Movie is utterly unwatchable. But I seem to have been outvoted.
You may have guessed from the title that Meet the Spartans is a
parody of 300, and it stays very close to the plot outline of its
target, taking only the occasional detour to skewer a pop culture icon
or to drop a random reference from another film. Part of the problem with Meet the
Spartans, perhaps the entire problem, is that the writers only had a few
jokes about the movie they were supposed to be ridiculing, so the film is padded out with predictable repetition (yeah, we
get it, their costumes are really gay!) and overlong set pieces that
go on as long and interminably as the original film's equivalents.
While the original film was padded out with fight scenes, the
Spartans and Persians in the parody version do very little fighting. When they finally face
off, they battle in rap contests, street dancing competitions, cheerleading
tournaments, and impromptu jousts of yo' momma
jokes, none of which contain even a modicum of originality or
There are a few funny scenes here and
there, mostly at the beginning. The Persian ambassador scene is
spoiled by a bunch of cheap sex jokes, but I was laughing when King Leonidas kept drop kicking everyone and his brother into the pit of
death, including both Britney Spears and K-Fed. I also laughed a few
times at the vicious ways in which the Spartans toughened up their
young, including piledriving them WWE-style and splattering them with paintballs
at point-blank range. Unfortunately all of those jokes come in the
first few minutes. After that it's mostly gay jokes. Yawn.