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Saturday Movie Review: 1UP

1UP is a newly released movie on Amazon Prime. The premise caught my eye because it was supposed to be about female gamers. I enjoy videogames but I’m not where near a professional. If I’m a professional at anything, it is mashing buttons without really knowing what I am doing. Sometimes it works in my favor – other times it turns into a disaster. So, I was excited to watch this move about something that I was at least familiar with. Unfortunately, the premise didn’t pan out like I thought it would.

The move follows Vivian aka V, who is a stilled female gamer on a scholarship for gaming, at Barrett University. She is on the Beta’s which is male dominated team. As one of two females on the team, she is hit with alot of sexism. When she finds out that she will never have a starting spot on the team during competitions, she quits. Together she and her friend Sloane hold auditions for a female gaming team. This is how they form the 8-Bits.

The 8-Bits consists of V, Sloan, Jenna, Lily, and Diane. The first thing you notice is that each of these characters is based around a stereotype. V is the aggressive leader who forgers that she is part of a team. Sloane is transgender identifying with she/her pronouns and is just trying to fit in. Jenna is a wheelchair bound influencer. Lily is a little bit quirky, and Diane is really into live action roleplaying. All of these characters are the “odd” ones, and now they have been brought together to become this collective unit. I found the stereotypes to be really embellished possible to the point of being too much. V especially got on my nerves and honestly that kind of sucked because she could have been such a strong female character. It was just in your face and not in a satirical way. If it had been done with more satire, it may have had more of an impact.

1UP had so much potential based on the premises but, was not executed well at all. The writers focused too much on the classic comedy troupes and not addressing the actual issues going on with female gamers. When these moments were touched upon, it was usually just a fleeting moment that was usually followed by a comedic moment that would ruin any type of progress. Even the opposing male team are all completely over done with alpha male stereotypes and stupid comedy. I did like the references to older video games and equipment (yay Gameboy) and the way that the coach for the 8-Bits worked with each of their personalities and favorite video games in order to build a bond and work as a team. Unfortunately, those moments were not enough to sustain me though the movie, and that left me feeling disappointed.

Rating: 2 .5 Stars

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