Wednesday, July 27, 2022

1UP (2022)

Streaming Service: Prime Video
Movie Name/Year: 1UP (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Sport
Length: 1h 22min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Buzzfeed Studios, CR8IV DNA, Just Entertainment, Leonine Distribution, Amazon Prime Video, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Lionsgate
Director: Kyle Newman
Writer: Julia Yorks
Actors: Aviva Mongillo, Hari Nef, Jordan Madley, Kyle Newman, Lolita Milena, Naomi Kyle, Nicholas Coombe, Paris Berelc, Ruby Rose, Taylor Zakhar Perez
IMDb Blurb: Follows a gamer who quits her college esports team due to sexism from her male counterparts.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was pretty excited about 1UP when I watched its trailer for the first time last month. It just barely missed landing in my top 10 in July’s Top 20 article, spawning in at #11. I hadn’t heard the buzz that had been circulating in the gaming community while 1UP was still in pre-production. I watched while blissfully unaware that there had been controversy bubbling.
What was the big deal that got people bashing the project before it had even started filming? Some were concerned that a comedic take on the likes of GamerGate was inappropriate. I can understand how the people directly impacted by the horrible events that happened during that time period would feel that way. Though, at the same time, the story of 1UP takes place in the present day – as having moved on beyond that point in time. We’re more than 5 years after-the-fact. If the story was trying to be a biopic about anyone involved in that actual original controversy, I’d agree that a comedy wouldn’t be the way to go. This story is only tangentially related by the themes of inclusion and anti-sexism in the gaming community, however. We need to remember that this is a thing that happened, and be respectful to those that experienced it – but it’s time to move on, too.

Sadly, the ratings I’ve seen so far seem to be reflecting the fallout from the brouhaha. I don’t think that 1UP deserves a lot of the complaints and lopsided reviews that have been lobbed its way.
Was 1UP a perfect gamer movie? No, I wouldn’t say that – but it was a lot of fun.
When I watched the trailer, I noted that 1UP felt like it was following a similar recipe to Pitch Perfect (2012), and I wasn’t that far off. There were definitely some vibes that reminded me of the a capella singing movie – and then it diverged.

I believe that 1UP accomplished what I feel it’s core objective was – to introduce more people to the fact that eSports are a legit thing in this day and age, that we still have a long way to go, and provide solid entertainment along the way. Some of the humor was a bit cringe-worthy, but overall I appreciated the levity woven into the story. I also have a deep appreciation for all of the retro and classic games and systems that were both mentioned and seen in 1UP.
The cast seemed to be having a lot of fun with their roles, as well, and that’s something I love to see in a movie – if the cast is having a good time, it really shows on the screen. In this case, the chemistry between the characters all felt real and I really bought-in.
All told, I found 1UP entertaining and video game fans with an Amazon Prime subscription might get a kick out of it, too. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 62%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 2.2/10
IMDB Score – 2.7/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

P.S. - There are a couple additional scenes that play during the credits.
Movie Trailer:

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