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Meet the Spartans


Stars: Sean Maguire, Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo, Ken Davitian, Diedrich Bader, Method Man

Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

Amateur night at the movies. From the team that gave you Date Movie and Epic Movie - you saw those, right? - comes this childish spoof of 300 that tries to be as disgusting as it can within a 12A certificate, forgetting that this isn't the same as being funny.

Leonidas (Maguire from EastEnders, imitating Gerard Butler very, very badly) undergoes his manhood trial with a giant penguin that defecates in his face. That's the cue for volumes of spit, vomit and other excreta, as the Spartans (all 13 of them) take on the Persians (whose ranks include Ghost Rider, Rocky and Paris Hilton - with a hunchback - imitators) at step-dancing and telling crude jokes.

There are far, far too many celebrity lookalike gags, most involving Leonidas pushing the perpetrators (deservedly) into a pit. The Tom Cruise lookalike's 'funny' line is: 'Let me tell you about scientology.' You can imagine the scriptwriters killing themselves at all this, but they'll be the only ones laughing.

At any rate, with the help of a welter of horrendously unfunny scenes during endless credits, the film somehow staggers to a paltry 84 minutes. Its makers claim that it's 'sexy, silly, goofy, side-splitting and out-and-out-vulgar'. Well, at least they got the last one right.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
84 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Mar 2008