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Family Guy Presents: Something, Something, Something, Dark Side (2009)

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Score: 7/10

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy Running Time: 54 min.

Release Date: December 22nd, 2009 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Dominic Polcino, Peter Shin Actors: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, H. Jon Benjamin, James Caan

T

he “Star Wars” films will probably be parodied for centuries to come, having such an immeasurably grand cultural impact. So it’s no surprise that the outrageous, decency-pushing television show “Family Guy” would continue it’s nearly scene-by-scene paraphrasing spoof of the original trilogy, started by “Blue Harvest” in 2007. Some of the freshness and zest of the first feature is lost, but the hilarity hasn’t diminished. It’s definitely crafted for those who are huge fans of both series.

“A long time ago when the gays weren’t so in your face about it…” Thus starts a comprehensive rip on “The Empire Strikes Back,” fearlessly trampling on pop culture, civility, and political correctness. The illogicality of several key starship sequences, the causes of war (an Imperial dog was kidnapped), and the silliness of particular “Star Wars” characters are the target of instant mockery. Like the TV show itself, the film makes jokes of countless other franchises, commercials, movies, programs, and more, most of which are well known, while others are so obscure they might only be found in some specialized version of Trivial Pursuit.

“Sesame Street,” “The Jetsons,” Don Knotts, Rodney Dangerfield, Juicy Fruit, “Cops,” The Beatles, Allstate Insurance, Jon Favreau, “Rocky IV,” “Looney Tunes,” Tom Selleck, and many, many more entities are ruthlessly harassed. The range of spoofs is enlighteningly wide. The actual plot of the film is nearly irrelevant, since it serves simply to tie together gags; this is even more apparent here, as it’s the middle piece of the series. Nonetheless, the gist involves the Rebel Alliance having fled to the ice planet of Hoth, where Darth Vader (Stewie) has tracked them and prepared for a ground assault. Luke Skywalker (Chris) leads the group of heroes, consisting of Princess Leia (Lois), Han Solo (Peter Griffin, code name Carlos Spicyweiner), Chewbacca (Brian), C-3PO (Quagmire), and R2-D2 (Cleveland). After narrowly escaping the frozen planet, Luke departs for the Dagobah system to find Jedi Master Yoda (Carl), while the remaining main characters travel to Cloud City to meet Han’s old buddy Lando (Mort Goldman).

Joe Swanson, Meg, the Giant Chicken, Carter Pewterschmidt, and many other “Family Guy” regulars round out the cast and enhance the familiar storyline. This feature-length cartoon also never lets up on paying homage to itself, reinventing many of the long-running buffooneries that made the show famous, including totally random asides, intercut footage, cell-shaded computer animation, and ridiculously repetitious shticks. And while so much of “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side” is incredibly humorous, perhaps the very best part of the project is that all of the original “Star Wars” music by John Williams is used.

– Mike Massie

 

 



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