Monday, September 2, 2013

Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild (Riyad Barmania, 2013) Review

Okay, now we've reached an interesting area of film reviews. We're not looking at a theatrical film, a straight to DVD film or a film that is three episodes in one. Nope, we're looking at a new film domain, the internet. I can't argue though, a film is a film. For those who don't know, Stuart Ashen is a youtuber who specialises in reviewing useless tat. He has reached enough popularity to make his own film so let's check it out (yes, it makes all qualifications to be a film).

Ashens (Stuart Ashen) spends his life collecting rare yet worthless tat. He is given a reminder from an unknown informant about a rare Gameboy knock-off known as a Gamechild. Ashens has had the Gamechild missing from his collection for years so he sets off on a mission to find the Gamechild and complete his collection. He is joined by Geoff 'Chef' Excellence (Dan Tomlinson) on his 'quest' where he must face adversity, gain allies and enemies and discover the truth behind the elusive Gamechild.

Normally a film based on an internet star is the scum of the cinema (Fred: The Movie comes to mind) but, you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It had a style that was very reminiscent of Edger Wright films in terms of humour and over the topness. There are some genuine laugh out loud moments which I would've expected from Ashens. For an independent project, the acting is pretty good. While there are some big names like Warwick Davis (in a hilarious cameo), the main actors do a good job (there're alot of first time actors but they're still great). Ashens and Geoff are a fun duo that reminds me of typical Simon Pegg and Nick Frost characters. What I'm saying is is that if you like the likes of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End, then you'll probably get a kick out of this film.

Although, saying that, it's really only for fans of Ashens (I'm the only one I know personally). There are characters from his show and references to his show however it does do a good job of establishing some things for new viewers. The humour doesn't come from the established things for the most part so it's quite easy to get the humour. It's mostly character driven and that's what I like to see. It doesn't let it's independent nature set it back.

Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild was a surprisingly good film considering it's context. I didn't expect anything special but it enjoyed it a lot. It's no masterpiece, sure, but the acting is good, the writing is fresh and looks good too. If you're a fan of Ashens, it's essential but, seeing as there are a lot of you who don't watch Ashens, I recommend starting with his channel in order to get used to his comedic style or get context of what the hell Ashens is!

A surprisingly good independent film based on a hilarious youtube icon. The writing, acting and story are all great.

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