Family Guy Presents: It’s A Trap! (2010)
Release Date: December 21st, 2010 MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Peter Shin, James Purdum Actors: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, H. Jon Benjamin, Michael Dorn, Carrie Fisher
uring a Griffin family viewing of VH1’s “Salute to Singers from the ‘90s,” the power goes out. “We’re about to do ‘Jedi’ aren’t we?” fumes baby Stewie. “Let’s just get through this,” sighs Peter. Humorously and ironically, their exasperation sums up the level of enthusiasm for this final, feature-length parody, which began with “Blue Harvest” in 2008. Still, since 20th Century Fox distributed “Star Wars,” the saving grace is the use of the classic John Williams music, along with so many elements from the original picture. The famous opening scroll text rambles on about creator Seth MacFarlane’s disinterest in tackling this third part, while also pleading with the audience to lower their expectations – especially since the writers felt forced into adapting this last piece just for the sake of completion.
Peter is Han Solo, trapped in carbonite (with his rear exposed in a pants-dropping mooning), Boushh/Princess Leia is Lois, journeying to rescue him, and Chris is Luke Skywalker, arriving lastly to negotiate with Han’s captor, Jabba the Hutt, played by Joe Swanson. Quagmire is C-3PO, Cleveland is R2-D2, Brian is Chewbacca, Mort Goldman is Lando Calrissian, Carrie Fisher herself peculiarly voices Mon Mothma, and Meg is the repulsive Sarlacc creature, reprising the running joke of making her inclusion either insignificant or monstrous. After successfully fleeing Tatooine, Luke returns to Dagobah to finish his training with Yoda, while the rest of the cast prepares for an assault on the new Death Star, which sports the same weakness seen in the first film – becoming an obvious running joke.
Even background characters are recreated (Jabba’s mechanized gatekeeper is the stereotypical Mexican maid Consuela, while Ephant Mon and Sy Snootles are drawn as cartoon versions of themselves), while computer models are used to replicate the massive spaceships and vehicles, giving the visual look an obvious upgrade compared to poorer spoofing of the classic science-fiction films. “Are we already out of our own characters?” asks Darth Vader when he spies the Moff, played by “American Dad” alien Roger. Plenty of laughs are derived simply from recognizable “Family Guy” supporting parts getting integrated into the popular “Star Wars” universe.
Numerous nonsensical repetitions plague the rapid-fire jokes, though many are actually quite funny (others are surprisingly dry). As in the previous two episodes, cleverness is trumped by the quantity of gags – which includes obscure references and blatant lampooning, standard “Family Guy” antics (such as Stewie’s homosexuality and breaking the fourth wall to cut away to Conway Twitty or Judge Smails from “Caddyshack”), and one-liners about “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Star Trek,” “Lost in Space,” the money-grubbing schemes of the Special Edition cuts of the trilogy, plot holes, and of course, the Ewoks and their unbearable cuteness. There’s also an unforgettable slave-Leia rape joke that instills the same level of increasing crassness that “Family Guy” has been forced to utilize in the later seasons of the show to replace the creativity and wit that started the series.
– Mike Massie