By: Addison Wylie
Camp Takota and Bad Night are movies that unassumingly and depthlessly grant access to today’s YouTube-addled youth through celebrity appeal. To my recollection, Smosh: The Movie is the first film to actually submerge itself in YouTube culture and say interesting things about how we perceive online content. There are also jokes involving a microphone being shoved up a bum and a love interest nicknamed “Butt Massage Girl”. Ass jokes and modern philosophy – the film is colonophical.
As expected, Smosh: The Movie will attract movie goers who are familiar with Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, and the comedy team’s popular YouTube channel. As someone who barely knew of the duo’s online presence and have only seen a handful of their work, I was more interested in Alex Winter’s involvement as the director of the film.
Smosh: The Movie comes as a bit of a left-field choice for Winter, an actor-turned-filmmaker whom is currently one of the best documentarians working today (Downloaded, Deep Web). I’m guessing there’s a bit of a behind-the-scenes in-joke with Winter at the wheel. Let’s see: one half of Bill and Ted directing a film about two bozos who have to travel through YouTube’s circuits to retrieve an embarrassing video, change its past, and save their future. Do you catch my drift?
Winter ends up being the perfect choice to helm Padilla/Hecox’s vehicle, however, because this production needed an experienced individual to keep track of the crazy continuity. Winter, a filmmaker (with a good memory) who can bend stories as if they were made out of putty, works his expertise without a hitch. He rolls with many, many punches.
Despite the lowbrow humour, Smosh: The Movie puts in effort to gain giggles. It would’ve been easy for screenwriters Eric Falconer and Steve Marmel to base every single set-up on Smosh inside jokes, but it seems they don’t. Although, a few run-ins with wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had me wondering if this chemistry had been established years before. The comedy, however, rises out of pet peeves and enjoyable qualities about YouTube. In the age we live in, the only people saying that the movie is made out of in-jokes will be those living under a rock. If you’ve ever spent more than 30-minutes on YouTube, you’ll understand it and get a kick out of the jabs towards smothering advertisers, popular viral search results, and flagged comments. Michael Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) is also hilarious as Steve YouTube, the president of the video streaming service.
Smosh: The Movie won’t be winning everyone over though. The film’s repetitive use of the word “bitch” is troublesome (a word vlogger Jenna Marbles [appearing as herself] calls everyone – including herself). But, the other main concerns are the constant referrals to “Butt Massage Girl”, which may have sensitive movie goers questioning whether the film is sexist and as leery as Ian’s exaggerated creeper qualities. However, Brittany Ross knows how to play up the character accordingly to the film’s silliness. Smosh: The Movie may be a lot of things (topical, zany, and weirdly intelligent to name a few), but it’s not malicious.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie