Over the last few years, YouTube has increasingly become the medium for rising talents to display their wares. From musicians to movie makers, YouTube is the new home for budding celebrities in the making. Indeed, many young people nowadays are more familiar with stars of the internet than they are of the screen or radio. As such, it is no wonder that many of these modern day celebs are now trying their hand at breaking into traditional mainstream entertainment.
The latest stars to jump on the movie band wagon (a caravan of up until now failures ridden by the likes of the galling Lucas Cruikshank`s abysmal Fred) are California`s own Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, better known as SMOSH.
For the uninitiated, SMOSH is an ever-growing comedy team formed by the duo, who are known for their off-beat, nostalgia-based humour. Their consistently hilarious videos, including Pokemon in Real Life and the annual Food Battle have led them to become one of the most subscribed channels on YouTube. Their massive fanbase and referential humour meant that a film was always going to be on the cards eventually. But is it any good? Or is it simply another Fred in the making?
Directed by Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston!), SMOSH: The Movie follows Ian and Anthony as they attempt to have an embarrassing video removed from YouTube before their upcoming high school reunion. Going directly to the YouTube office, they are introduced to the villainous Steve YouTube (a wiener joke obsessed Michael Ian Black – Burning Love, Take Me Home Tonight) who sends them on a journey through the internet in order to change history. Along the way, they meet an array of cyber-famous faces, from Jenna Marbles and Markiplier, to Steve Austin (in a hilarious cameo) as he attempts to promote his new venture StoneCold Creamery.
With its over-the-top silliness and purposefully hammy acting, SMOSH: The Movie essentially plays out as a feature length episode of their webseries, albeit with higher production values and more costly ensemble actors. Fans of the series will revel in the pair`s antics, though may be somewhat disappointed to discover that iconic characters from the series have been omitted from the movie. Missing are Charlie the drunk guinea pig and that damn neighbour. Indeed even Ian`s mother, a key source of humour in the web show over the past years, has been replaced by a younger prettier model.
The story, though not entirely inspirational, is a smart meta-comedy about our modern-day obsession with YouTube, and the film seems to relish in its own self awareness. Overall, for pre-existing fans of the duo, this is going to be a highly enjoyable ninety minutes. For newcomers, however, this could be a very polarizing experience; you`ll either love them for their childish chutzpah, or despise them for their puerile and inane stupidity.
Personally, I`m all for chutzpah.
Dir: Alex Winter
DOP: Joe DeSalvo
Music: The Outfit
Run Time: 84mins
SMOSH: The Movie is available now on Digital HD.