Meet the Spartans

2008

Meet the Spartans

Critics Consensus

A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.

2%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 48

25%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 245,512

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

25%
Average Rating: 2.3/5

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Movie Info

From the creators of Scary Movie and Date Movie comes this tongue-in-cheek parody of the sword-and-sandal epics, dubbed Meet the Spartans. The 20th Century Fox production was written and directed by the filmmaking team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Sure, Leonidas may have nothing more than a cape and some leather underwear to protect him from the razor-sharp swords of his Persian enemies, but that won't stop the brave leader and his team of 13 warriors from defending their beloved homeland against a powerful invading force that includes the likes of a mutant Paris Hilton, the Transformers, the Ghost Rider, and Rocky Balboa.

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Cast

Carmen Electra
as Queen Margo
Kevin Sorbo
as Captain
Sean MaGuire
as Leonidas
Phil Morris
as Messenger
Jim Piddock
as Loyalist/Simon Cowell
Method Man
as Persian Emissary
Nicole Ari Parker
as Britiney Spears/Paris Hilton/Paula Abdul/Ellen
Ike Barinholtz
as Dane Cook/Bond Villain/Prophet
Crista Flanagan
as Spartan Woman/Ugly Betty
Hunter Clary
as Leo Jr.
Emily Wilson
as Lindsay Lohan
Stuart Rigby
as Tom Cruise
Tiffany Haddish
as Urban Girl
Willie Macc
as Urban Kid No.1
Kenny Yates
as Urban Kid No.2
John Di Domenico
as Donald Trump
Jenny Costa
as Tyra Banks
Zachary Dylan Smith
as 10-Year-Old Leonidas
Ryan Fraley
as Brad Pitt
Tiffany Claus
as Angelina Jolie
Jim Nieb
as President Bush
Dean Cochran
as Rocky Balboa/Rambo
Nate Haden
as Ryan Seacrest
Tony Yalda
as Sanjaya
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News & Interviews for Meet the Spartans

Critic Reviews for Meet the Spartans

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (11)

  • The result in Meet the Spartans is less classic Mel Brooks than middling Best Week Ever.

    Jan 30, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • This was the worst movie I've ever seen, so bad that I hesitate to label it a 'movie' and thus reflect shame upon the entire medium of film.

    Jan 30, 2008 | Full Review…

    Josh Levin

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • I'm moving to Europe.

    Jan 29, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It's so bad even Carmen Electra should be embarrassed.

    Jan 28, 2008 | Rating: F | Full Review…
  • It's a MADtv or Saturday Night Live sketch dressed up in feature-length clothing. It's way too much of an OK thing. And the way-too-much-ness goes on and on.

    Jan 28, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • While there's enough comedic material there for as many as three somewhat tolerable minutes of MADtv, Meet The Spartans gamely alternates between unfunny gay jokes and violent pratfalls for a good 80 minutes.

    Jan 26, 2008 | Rating: F | Full Review…

    Steven Hyden

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Meet the Spartans

Writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are, and I do not say this lightly, the worst filmmakers of all time. They are worse than Ed Wood, they are worse than Uwe Boll, they are worse than Harold P. Warren, who wrote and directed the worst movie of all time, [I]Manos: The Hands of Fate[/I], because of a bet that he couldn't make a movie (I'm fairly certain he still lost). Friedberg and Seltzer are the antithesis to funny. They mock funny, they spit at funny. [I]Meet the Spartans[/I] is their third spoof in three years, or, as I see it, their third miscarriage of comedy. The plot to [I]300[/I] is the latest framework for Friedberg and Seltzer to purge their juvenile taste in comedy. King Leonidas (Sean Maguire, who actually used to be a pop singer) leads a band of 13 Spartan warriors, including Hercules' Kevin Sorbo, against the mighty army of Xerxes (Ken Davitian). Back at home, Queen Margo (Carmen Electra) must seduce Traitoro (Deidrich Bader). Meet the Spartans would be hard-pressed to fit the definition of a movie, no matter how generous you are with the term. True, it is a collection of moving pictures, but surely we must have greater stipulations for our movie going entertainment. The actual flick is only 65 minutes long, barely a little over an hour, and then it's crammed with 15 minutes of outtakes and needless extra scenes to be strewn over the credits. I should be more upset by the total transparent laziness to even construct a film of suitable length, but every minute I was spared more of this junk was an act of divine mercy. Friedberg and Seltzer are not filmmakers but regurgiatators, wildly lampooning anything that they feel approaches their young teen male demographic. [I]Meet the Spartans[/I], like [I]Epic Movie[/I] and [I]Date Movie[/I], cannot be classified as a "spoof" because all the film is doing is setting up references and the references are supposed to be the joke. The film is like a meaningless and random scrapbook for the year in pop culture; the film's only function to pacify total idiots with attention-deprivation issues. That's why the movie just continues reciting 2007 movies and 2007 cultural figures endlessly, with no context and no setup or payoff; the payoff is intended to be the reference. So 12-year-old boys can recline in their chairs and think to themselves, "Hey, I remember [I]Spider-Man 3[/I]. Hi-larious." When the fat guy from Borat turned into a Transformer and then hit his TV screen mid section, which played the "Leave Britney alone!" kid ... I swear, part of my soul died. Friedberg and Seltzer have little grasp on he tenets of comedy. Their over reliance on lame pop culture references means that they have set a self-imposed expiration date on their movie. Once time passes this film will serve no purpose than as a crushingly unfunny time capsule. Friedberg and Seltzer think they must be the first ones who poked fun at the homoeroticism in [I]300[/I]. The armada of gay jokes they come up with would be on par with a sixth grade locker room. You want another cutting edge joke? They make a joke about how Angelina Jolie likes to adopt kids. Never heard that one before. Ever. In my life. There is no such thing as wit when it comes to the comedy black holes that Freidberg and Seltzer unleash. They are simply repeating the plot structure of 300 and throwing in aimless appearances by figures like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan, and blurred shots of all three's vaginas. At one point the judging casts from American Idol and America's Next Top Model appear inexplicably, and then they too get knocked down into the pit of death. I ask this question: had Sylvester Stallone not made another Rocky movie and released it in December 2006, would the figure of Rocky Balboa even appear in this flick? I doubt it. The core audience for these cannibalistic films has such short attention spans that they need their fragile brains stroked, and [I]Meet the Spartans[/I] will not challenge them in the slightest. And yet, astoundingly, the movie still feels like it needs to set up its dumb, obvious gags. The film has one Spartan point off screen and say, "Look, it's Ghost Rider," and then we cut to a skeleton biker swinging a chain. Gee, the Ghost Rider movie came out not even a year ago, and the character is rather hard to confuse with, say, Marry Poppins, so why did Friedberg and Seltzer feel the need to name check? It's even more confusing considering that the audience that would go see [I]Meet the Spartans[/I] is likely the same audience that saw the craptacular [I]Ghost Rider[/I] movie. It happens again when Queen Margo changes into a black Spiderman suit and the narrator assist by saying she's becoming Venom. I got it with the suit, yeah, because everyone saw [I]Spider-Man 3[/I]. I can also recognize Ugly Betty when I see her, thank you useless narrator. I don't need a handicap for non-obscure pop culture bon mots. The product placement is also insulting and annoying. At one point the Spartan narrator tells us that the fighters needed to take a break to replenish their electrolytes. We are then treated to quick cuts of the Spartans holding Gatorade bottles until one looks directly into the camera and says, "Gatorade: Is it in you?" I must have missed what the joke was when the film just repeats the advertising slogan word-for-word without any alterations in tone and context. There is also a scene where Xerxes imitates a Dentyne Ice commercial and holds the product up to the camera. What is the purpose of either of these moments? If I wanted to watch commercials verbatim I'd stay at home and tune on QVC. From a production standpoint, this movie sucks. It looks really cheap. Just because it reuses the same camera setups as [I]300[/I] doesn't mean it gets any closer to parody. For God's sake, they couldn't even come up with puns on character names, the only exception being Traitoro and Sonio, neither of which will induce a chuckle. Most of the non-reference "humor" is either insipid slapstick or a handful of moderately gross scatological jokes, oh, yes, and lots of gay jokes, because those just get better the more you hear. Tasteless doesn't always equal funny, and people drinking urine is rarely funny without some extra setup. The actors all seem mildly embarrassed and they do nothing with their roles. It's not their fault the material sucks so deeply, however, it is Electra's fault for appearing in her third straight Friedberg-Seltzer spoof fest. The key to a good spoof is to play the damn thing straight. It's annoying and redundant if the film keeps winking back at the audience. [I]Meet the Spartans[/I] is pop culture vomit. No, this is worse, this is cinematic diarrhea. It's watery pop culture discharge masquerading as entertainment. This movie is offensive to anyone that appreciates laughter. There's no wit here, no comedic payoffs, no running gags (besides gay jokes), no thought or upheaval of convention; instead, this movie is a lazy, cheap catalog of pop culture events from late 2006 to summer 2007. Even at 80 minutes (really it's 65) this thing drags and feels exhausted long before it bows out. Just as I said in my review of [I]Epic Movie[/I], Friedberg and Seltzer must be stopped at all costs if comedy is to survive. Nate's Grade: F

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

½

OOOOOK this is crap, pure crap, yet there are some scenes which are funny and do work quite well. The amazing thing is some scenes do look pretty good and are worthy of the actual film they are taking the piss out of, to a degree. But the main problem with some spoofs today is they are too spoofy/extreme, too utterly stupid, classic spoofs like 'Naked Gun' and 'Airplane' are daft but they still have a core story and you can follow it. Also the jokes are not just abstract and meaningless they do blend with the main idea and follow the story or match the sequences, these modern spoofs are just too ridiculous. As for Carmen Electra...getting old now and Maguire wasn't too bad actually, beats his 'Eastenders' shit and he does look the part amazingly!.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The piece of cinematic diarrhoea that is "Meet the Spartans" was not worth the effort it took to make this review. This is quite possibly the only movie i've seen where i've turned it off before I even got half way into the film. Looking back on the experience I wish I had never even started. I remember probably one laugh in what i'd call the worst parody film ever. And thats coming from someone who hasn't even seen the movie it's taking the mick out of (300).

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Only five percent of the movie is an actual 300 parody, the other ninety five percent are stale pop culture references and unfunny comedy.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

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