Family Guy: It’s A Trap – Blu-ray Review

I’ve loved Star Wars since I was a kid. I liked Family Guy when it first came out but got over it real quickly. Against better judgment I watched the first Family Guy Star Wars parody, Blue Harvest and it actually made me laugh a few times. Keeping that in mind let me say that It’s A Trap was a complete waste of 57 minutes. But to be fair, the opening scroll does warn how bad it is.

Following the previous two parodies, this is Return of the Jedi done with Family Guy characters: Peter is Han, Lois is Leia, Chris is Luke, Stewie is Darth Vader, Brian is Chewie and Meg is the sarlaac with other characters filling in many of the other rolls. There are a few American Dad and The Cleveland Show characters tossed in as well including Klaus as Admiral Ackbar, Rallo Tubs as Nien Numb, Tim the Bear as Wicket. (I realize that if you don’t know Star Wars or Family Guy then the last paragraph probably makes little sense, but then why would you be reading this review anyway?)

Trap follows the basic story of Jedi tossing in typical Family Guy types jokes throughout like Han letting out a big fart as he is thawed from the carbonite. Even jokes that start out funny fell flat when the writers and animators took it too far. During the Endor battle a group of Ewoks and Stormtroopers begin fighting. This turns into a pillow fight between the Stormtroopers with the Ewoks as pillows. Funny. Then the Stormtroopers start to giggle like girls and strip their armor off to reveal a bunch of girls in bikinis. Joke no longer funny.

Most of the jokes in Trap made me roll my eyes and shake my head more than laugh or even chuckle or crack a smile. The film is filled with tons of typical non sequitur jokes including references to Caddyshack, Conway Twitty (both of which involve live action cutaways), Pee-Wee Herman, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Star Trek, most of which provided little humor. However I will admit that the “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Calrissians” movie poster did make me crack a smile. And the best random cultural reference came at the end when Lando (Mort Goldman) flies the Millennium Falcon in to blow up the Death Star. In the center the band Power Station is rocking out. Then they blow them up. Though I wonder how many people today actually remember who Power Station even is?

The better jokes in the film were those that poked fun at flaws in the original film: Trying to make the Imperial Shuttle “fly casually” past the Star Destroyer, Yoda (Carl) repeating Luke’s name over and over as he dies and the exaggeration of the Ian McDiarmid’s (who played the real Emperor) acting at the end of the film. However exchanging the speeder bikers for ten speeds was not funny.

The other noteworthy moment of the film comes at the end when the Emperor (Lois’s Dad) is trying to lure Luke to the dark side of the force and starts incessantly insulting Seth Green’s (the voice of Chris) acting career. Luke tries to defend it by mention Austin Powers, but the Emperor points out that people don’t go see those films cause Seth Green is in them.

The most jarring thing about the film, besides the lack of laughs, is the contrast between the hand drawn animation of the characters and the computer animated ships and vehicles. The ships and vehicles look fantastic and like they don’t belong in this Family Guy world. The final space battle and the Endor battle don’t even look like they should be in the same film together at all.

The bottom line is: If you like Family Guy and the previous two Star Wars parodies, you’ll probably like It’s A Trap as well. If you’ve never liked Family Guy or any of it’s off shoots, then this is certainly not going to change your mind. Whatever you’re feelings about the show, I think it’s safe to say we all hope they don’t try to tackle the prequels. While they are certainly more ripe for parody, nobody wants to have to sit through that.

Family Guy: It’s A Trap is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Despite my dislike for the film, this is a great looking and sounding film. The colors really pop on this Blu-Ray transfer. The ships and vehicles look especially nice.

Commentary with Seth MacFarlane, David Goodman, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Shannon Smith and Peter Shin: I have to say, this group is pretty entertaining to listen to and they make sitting through the film a little more bearable. They get a little lost in watching the film a couple times, but always get back on track.

A Very Special Message From Darth Stewie: (1 min.) A voice mail that Darth “Stewie” Vader left for Luke Skywalker telling him why he should join the Dark Side. Didn’t see the point to this. Not funny.

Star Wars Trivial Pursuit: The Ultimate Championship: (31 min.) You get to watch four Family Guy crew folk play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. This starts out boring, but gets kind of funny towards the end once they start to relax and make fun of one another “It’s Forest Moon, not Jungle Moon!” If you’re a Star Wars dork like I am, it’s fun to try and answer the questions before they do. Though, if you want to have more fun, just get some friends together and play the game yourselves. This probably would have been more enjoyable and it been Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green and some of the other actors.

Drawing With Peter Shin: (19 min.) Learn how to draw characters from the show. Kind of boring, but does a good job of showing how the characters come together. Maybe interesting for a beginning artist.

Sock Puppet Outtakes: (1 min.) During the Jabba’s Palace scene this stupid sock puppet shows up. These are outtakes from that. Not funny or interesting at all.

Animatics (39 min.)

Making The Scene: (6 min.) Peter Shin walks us through two scenes from Animatic to finished product. This is much more interesting, and shorter, than the pervious special feature.

I haven’t been a fan of Family Guy for a long time and this film didn’t change my mind. Really it just made me want to watch Return Of The Jedi or perhaps Spaceballs or even that two part South Park episode making fun of Family Guy. If you own the first two and the show, by all means go out and pick this up, you’ll most likely like this too. If not then stay way, it is indeed a trap!

20th Century Fox presents Family Guy: It’s A Trap. Directed by Peter Shin. Written by David A. Goodman and Seth MacFarlane. Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Patrick Warburton and Adam West. Running time: 57 minutes. Not Rated, however contains language not suitable for all ages. Released on Blu-ray and DVD: December 21, 2010.

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