Family Guy Blue Harvest

"Weak"

Family Guy Blue Harvest Review


It's no secret that there's been an unholy alliance between Seth McFarlane's Family Guy camp and the usually humorless drones over at LucasFilm. Where other series have been threatened with lawsuits for even hinting at characters contained in the Star Wars universe, the animated Fox sitcom has explored everything about the Skywalker saga, from Sand People choirs to overdone Darth Vadar vamps. For the premiere of its sixth season, Guy decided to take on the cinematic stalwart, offering a two-part spoof of all things Episode IV. Sadly, this lame lampoon makes Spaceballs look like a work of uninhibited brilliance.

When the power goes off in their home, the Griffin clan ask dad Peter to regale them with a story (the talking dog Brian had suggested they all read). What he offers is a note for note ripoff of the original Star Wars film, with various figures from the Family Guy universe filling the roles from the 1977 blockbuster. Horny neighbor Glen Quagmire is C-3PO, deli owner Cleveland Brown in R2D2, megalomaniacal baby Stewie is evil Darth Vadar, Quahog mayor Adam West is Grand Moff Tarkin, mom Lois is Princess Leia, and son Chris is Luke Skywalker. With Peter playing Han Solo, Brian as Chewbacca, and old pervert Herbert as Obi-Wan, we get all the sci-fi operatics -- stolen plans, the daring rescue by our heroes, and the last act stand-off against the Death Star.

As a show that regularly fails to fulfill its promise on a weekly basis, it's no surprise then that Blue Harvest (taken from a production ruse used during the making of The Return of the Jedi) represents the most simplistic satirizing of Wars ever. Mel Brooks may have made the Lucas franchise farcical by lowering his usual satiric standards to the rim of ridiculous toilet humor, but this painfully unfunny take on the material is totally devoid of cleverness. Instead of going for the throat, taking the original to task for the many unoriginal ideas floating around its narrative, it all but avoids biting the hand that's offering exclusive licensing permission.

In its place are the standard Guy riffs -- Peter is a dope, Chris is clumsy and stupid, Quagmire is oversexed, etc. Even when the script attempts to take on classic Wars world moments (the confrontation with Greedo, Han's improvised communiqué during the Death Star prison break), they offer nothing new or inventive. Indeed, McFarlane's idea of a clever quip is to have Luke and his posse pose like Cab Calloway during the mandatory musical homage that's become the stale sitcom's raison d'etre. Even the inclusion of pedophile Herbert brings little of substance to the storyline. We get hints of how Obi-Wan's crimes have been covered up by an embarrassed rebellion, but the lack of follow-through foils the potential laughs.

In fact, if taking the easy way out were a sign of genius, Family Guy would be Stephen Hawking. Obviously, the series hoped the cooperation coup with Lucas would generate fan interest, if little else. Unfortunately, cast member Seth Green (he voices son Chris) beat it to the punchline when his Adult Swim series Robot Chicken delivered its own, far funnier Star Wars parody several weeks before. Said situation is actually a topic of debate near the end of Blue Harvest, Peter arguing that, no matter who was first, Green's stop motion satires can't compare to his wacky domain. For once, the fat man's got it right. Chicken's version of Wars was witty and irreverent. Blue Harvest is nothing more than a big hunk of bantha podo.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Dominic Polcino

Producer: , David Zuckerman

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.