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Just an All Over Let Down

  • Feb 7, 2011
As you can imagine, with Family Guy already spoofing the first two Star Wars movies, it was only obvious that they'd take on the final episode of the original trilogy.  It's a Trap focuses on Return of the Jedi.  The difference between It's a Trap and the other two is pretty simple: Seth MacFarlane is actually willing to tell you this one sucks.  It's SUPPOSED to be a joke, but there's some truth in it.  It isn't terrible, at least... but it's definitely the least memorable of MacFarlane's spoofs.  Not that the other two were much better.  There are a couple of funny parts thrown in there, and there are indeed a few improvements over the repetitive jokes of Something Something Something Darkside (although oddly enough Something Something Something Darkside is much more entertaining than It's a Trap... meaning at least MacFarlane mirrored Lucas in SOME way). 

It's a Trap begins like the others.  The Griffins are watching TV and the power goes out so Peter tells the story of the final chapter of Star Wars.  Each character, of course, reprises their role.  Chris is Luke Skywalker, his boss at the store is Yoda.  Peter is Han.  Lois is Leia.  Stewie is Vader and Carter Pewterschmitt is the emperor.  Unfortunately because he used up so many cast members on Family Guy he had to resort to plucking characters from his other two shows.  Klaus and Roger make an appearance from American Dad while Rollo and that stupid bear make an appearance from The Cleveland Show.  Speaking of which... does Cleveland as R2-D2 constitute a guest appearance here?  Probably not. 

Other characters were put to use in the most predictable ways of course.  If you can't figure out who Meg will be you're not really going with the flow here.  It's not Jabba the Hutt, of course (remember there was another really ugly monster in Return of the Jedi that Peter aptly describes as a giant anus).  On the other hand, it's actually annoying to see that Meg is nothing but the punching bag now.  None of the characters in Family Guy are really that interesting as Family Guy hardly seems to drive at anything anymore.  There is some interesting commentary, but for the most part It's a Trap is VERY rushed.  It skips over key moments in Return of the Jedi because it seemed like it was far more interested in just getting the trilogy done and over with rather than providing anything satisfactory.  If you're a Star Wars fan and you've seen Return of the Jedi then this won't be a bother of course.

On the other hand It's a Trap makes some of the same faults as the previous film.  In particular the jokes are more sporadic than usual.  Even for Family Guy.  And in real Family Guy fashion, a few of them overstay their welcome.  For example, in the scene just before Luke gets dropped into the Sarlacc pit we have to endure the characters nodding at one another several times.  A bit that, for one thing, wasn't funny to begin with... but also gets extended for an absurd amount of time.  If MacFarlane was just trying to fill space he could've easily done it making sure to stick in some of Jedi's more key elements and poking fun at them instead.  In another bit not too long after they REPEAT this bit between just two characters.  Even when the jokes work they carry them on a little long.  Take another example, where Lando (played by Mort Goldman here because Cleveland was already R2-D2) gets caught by one of the tentacles of the sarlacc.  He remarks that Han is still blind.  To which Han replies, "I am" and shoots Lando.  It's actually hilarious but even this goes on longer than it should. 

It's not that there aren't that many funny moments, it's that it's clear there wasn't quite as much care and devotion put into this one.  It feels like a rushed job.  As I said, it tones down on a couple of jokes that definitely got repetitive.  To an extent.  One of my biggest annoyances with Something Something Something Darkside is that it was far too overstuffed with gay jokes.  So much so it got extremely annoying.  Some were funny but most made you wonder if Seth MacFarlane actually knows any other kinds of jokes.  Likewise, MacFarlane also can't seem to leave his race related jokes behind either.  Here he manages to tone down on both of them.  He even manages to tone down on his political snobbishness.  It's still there to an extent (the rancor is replaced by Rush Limbaugh) but the point is the most ANNOYING factors of MacFarlane's jokes are happily left on the sidelines.  You'll still get a couple of gay jokes and race jokes but the movie isn't overstuffed with them.  There are actually a variety of gags here. 

Except most of them aren't funny.  So many, as I've noted before, seem to be here for the sake of shock or just to kill time to get things told.  Where Han keeps stepping on all sorts of different things while a storm trooper doesn't notice, or throwing in a dumb reference to Pee-Wee's Big adventure or having a two second flash of the death star sparkling like a disco ball are moments that are much more forgettable than memorable.  The Giant Chicken as Boba Fett is the most wasted character.  But I suppose I can live with that, actually... if I had to suffer through another fight with the giant chicken I might've lost my mind.  At the very least, however, he didn't have to be a forgotten character.  They could've at least showed him meet his demise instead of having it happen because MacFarlane wasted the space on a gag that's too damn long.

I suppose in part this is part of MacFarlane's big joke.  The big point behind "It's a Trap," seems to be that Return of the Jedi wasn't as good as The Empire Strikes Back.  They even say it in the episode itself... which is actually part of what's annoying.  MacFarlane gave himself an excuse not to try so hard.  The end result is an episode of Family Guy that's... very much like the other two.  Fairly forgettable.  There are funny moments.  There's even a part where MacFarlane takes a moment to take a stab at himself here.  Although the bit with him poking fun at Seth Green was nerve racking.  We get it, Seth Green does the voice of Chris and they both happen to work on two different shows that spoofed Star Wars (the other being Robot Chicken).  I understand it's a running gag but here, like a lot of jokes... it just carries on for two long. 

The other two Star Wars parodies weren't exactly the most memorable things either, but they didn't feel rushed, at least and they seemed made by someone who at the very least loved Star Wars.  What you get here is someone who seemed much more hell bent on letting you know, "Jedi isn't as good as Empire!"  And it shows.  Uninspired gags, gags that take way too long to get to any sort of punchline and just overall rushing to get it done with... clearly MacFarlane wasn't lying in his opening crawl when he said he was running out of steam.  And here I thought that was a joke.  But, as it turns out... the opening crawl was pretty much setting the stage for everything which was to come.  So at the very least you can thank MacFarlane for being honest and telling you you were getting something mediocre.

But at the very least he could've tried to reach a little higher.

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February 08, 2011
I haven't been a fan of "Family Guy" really, so I can't claim to have watched any of these "Star Wars" spoofs, but then again my idea of the perfect "Star Wars" spoof was "Space Balls". Nice analysis here.
February 08, 2011
Ah well, I'll still probably end up watching this eventually. ...When I'm bored :P I've never really expected much of Family Guy cuz, well, it's Family Guy and they're known for their really dragged out, oftentimes tasteless jokes, but it can be entertaining in the background!
February 07, 2011
That's too bad. My own twisted sense of humor has allowed me to develop a love/hate relationship with this show. I love how Seth isn't afraid to take on society at large, but on the other hand I feel like he does push things too far sometimes. Like the episode mocking the Palin family. Think what you want about them, but I think he went too far with that one. That said, I wonder if he's running out of material seeing as he has some very high and bizarre standards to adhere to. It must be difficult to be an equal opportunity offender.
February 07, 2011
To be honest, the episodes of Family Guy that "take on society at large," are among their worst.  Seth MacFarlane has a show that is filled with too many random jokes and cutaway gags and lacks far too much character development and substance to be making political statements and the like.  I think that shot at Palin is a great example of how the show really can't sustain itself doing that.  So I rather liked that he toned that sort of stuff down here, but boy oh boy has the show lost it's steam over the past five or six years.
February 07, 2011
Man, that is too bad. I'll probably still give this a try as a rental. I used to really like this show on TV, but the dvd releases have been very uneven. Thanks for the review!
February 07, 2011
Family Guy overstaying jokes? GET OUT! I loved the first one and hated the second one and everyone has told me that this third one is the least of the three and I'm not about to go spend money on it and I'll wait for a TV showing if I have to see it. I can't stand Family Guy anymore but was willing to give the Star Wars specials a shot, but if MacFarlane up and walks out of the commentary, it really says something.
February 08, 2011
Haha, YES about the overstaying jokes thing!
February 09, 2011
This is the worst of the lot, I think. Again, not that the first two were really that special but at least you got the sense some kind of effort was put into them.... even if Something Something Something Darkside did seem kind of half assed.
More Family Guy: It's A Trap! reviews
review by . December 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
No, not the internet kind of trap, but yet another Family Guy spoof of the Star Wars saga, now available on exciting blu ray! Does it hold up? In a word, yes. It's not as good as Blue Harvest or Something, Something, Something Dark Side, but it's quite watchable and entertaining.    The story begins with our heroes sitting around watching TV. The lights go out, Stewie says, "Does this mean we're gonna do Jedi?" and Peter says, "Might as well get this over with." From there we …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie



Genre: Animation, Comedy
DVD Release Date: December 21, 2010
Studio: 20th Century Fox

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"Traptacular fun!"
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