“A serviceable venture into feature film from being mere YouTube channel.”
After a decade’s worth of amusing YouTube videos and more than 20 million subscribers, Internet sensation Smosh finally star in their own full-length debut. Featuring a number of other YouTube stars, Smosh: The Movie explores the value of friendship and how embracing one’s true self brings lasting joy.
In this film, long-time best friends Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox are staying together in Ian’s parent’s house. While Anthony spends his days delivery pizza in the neighborhood, Ian mostly waste his time watching YouTube videos, particularly that of Butt Massage Girl who constantly flags his comments.
High school reunion soon approaches and Anthony anticipates reconnecting with his crush Anna. However, the two besties discover a YouTube video on their graduation eve embarrassing to Anthony. The clip still has a few viewers and believing that Anna has not seen it yet, they rush to the company’s headquarter. They meet the cocky and witty Mr. Steve YouTube (Michael Ian Black) and find out about the magic door inside his office where they can pass through and edit, if not remove, any video in the website. Immediately, the buddies jump into the portal and embark on an adventure inside YouTube.
Produced by Hecox and Padilla, Smosh: The Movie is written by Eric Falconer and Steve Marmel and directed by Alex Winter. The film’s plot is relatively original and heart-warming. It fairly succeeds in bringing out the attitude and comic style common in Smosh video channel videos. As expected, the film is copious with parodies, particularly giving homage to “Back to the Future” and “Tron.” The montage of parodies during their YouTube quest is absolutely engaging as they are intelligently dealt with, giving genuine laughs and fun. Guest appearances of YouTube stars like Grace Helbig, Jenna Marbles and Steve Austin give more life to these gags. The best part is perhaps the duo’s lip synching of the Pokemon theme song, reminiscent of the original video which started their career. It is nostalgic and bittersweet.
The early parts of the film might be dull but it later shows some good humor. Its physical jokes, though violent at some points, is plenty and hilarious such as the hot or cold liquids pouring on people, punches on the faces, and the bear attacking Steve YouTube. There are also some sex jokes, specifically about butt massage and Mr. YouTube’s “winner.” Furthermore, it has some touch of social satire when it portrays how people hate the advertisements being played before the YouTube video.
The biggest point of the film is its sincere concept. Without being dramatic, it manages to convey the message of being true to oneself. We are not measured by the kind of job we do or the price of our haircut. We are loved because of who we really are.
Having said that, the film is not without flaws. In fact, it fails in many departments. The script is too dull and the movie becomes alive only halfway through it. Dialogues are cheesy and actors are amateurish. Editing is pretty bad and the use of prop manikins and poor CGI makes the film look cheaper. No wonder, the film is released through video-on-demand only in provider like iTunes, Amazon, Playstation and Vudu. Price is cheaper and it is less scrutinized by viewers and critics.
Smosh: The Movie is a wholesome film. With not much explicit images and profanities, it is an ideal comedy entertainment for young teenagers. However, its seemingly dry humor and eye-pleasing yet awkward actors may not appeal to everyone. For the fans and some slapstick lovers, the film may strike just fine.