The world of Internet fame is a strange thing. The bigger names of Youtube have millions of fans, people throng to their videos, books and other paraphernalia and some of them make millions of dollars from it – however outside a very specific demographic, names like Tyler Oakley and Joey Graceffa mean absolutely nothing. It’s almost like there’s a parallel world which most older people aren’t even aware exists.
Comedy duo Smosh (aka Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla) were one of the first, having the most viewed video on Youtube and the most followed channel back in the days when the video sharing site was still growing into the behemoth that it is today. And now they’ve got their own movie.
Hecox and Padilla play versions of themselves, as guys living slightly dead-end lives in middle America. It’s time for their five-year high school reunion, but Anthony’s dreams of getting together with the love of his life, Anna, seem scuppered when he discovers a video of himself online showing how he made a very embarrassing backflip face-plant at his graduation.
Getting the video removed seems impossible, but then they go to the head of Youtube – Steve Youtube (Michael Ian Black), who tells them there is a way to change things. They can literally go into the site and find the right video. This leads the duo into a world where one minute they’re being chased by video game gorillas with chainsaws and the next they are being attacked by a bear. It also gives Ian the chance to meet a video star he’s long lusted after – Butt Massage Girl.
However, will they be able to find the right video, make things right and set it up so Anthony can get his girl?
Smosh: The Movie is an odd film, which is amiable and somewhat entertaining, while simultaneously being extremely messy and confused. Hecox and Padilla are their usual selves (which should ensure Smosh fans will enjoy it), and although at times they’re a little annoying, most of the time they’re quite fun. There are some really funny scenes, and Michael Ian Black’s Steven Youtube is hilarious.
Unfortunately though, everything is a little random and feels as if it’s been written by someone who knows the beats a movie is supposed to have, but isn’t quite sure why. It also has a rather odd morality, which seems to suggest working hard is pointless and the best way to fame and riches is to be a bit of a slacker who uploads videos to the internet. That may work for a select few, but here it’s suggested you’d be an idiot to do anything else. It does occasionally give off the impression it’s trying to be satirical on this score, but it doesn’t really work.
It’s also a big problem that for every genuinely funny scene there are two that are either lame or where the humour simply doesn’t work.
It’s not a complete disaster, but the film is more tedious than it ought to be.
Overall Verdict: Hecox and Padilla have the talent to make a decent movie, but they need a stronger script and perhaps need to ensure that it doesn’t feel quite as much like you’re being sold something that’s not quite true.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac