E3 2012: Noobz World Premiere Review – By Gamers, For Gamers, For Better Or Worse

Posted by on June 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

If you’re going to play (pun intended) to an audience, you may as well do it right. Blake Freeman’s Noobz debuted tonight in downtown Los Angeles a block away from the convention center that’s currently housing the world’s largest gaming expo. Many on the media side of the red carpet premiere still had E3 badges slung around their necks as they stepped up to question the actors and VIPs involved with the film. Noobz is strictly a movie for gamers. There are overt references to games and its culture. Jason Mewes wears a shirt at some point that says “gamer.” in stark white-on-black and works in a GameStop-esque retail closet. Adam Sessler plays himself. Unfortunately, in its attempt to pay tribute to the audience it represents, it doesn’t quite come together.

Cody (writer/director/editor Blake Freeman) plays in a four-man Gears of War 3 clan to escape his hot wife he won’t have sex with, a simple job pushing real estate, and any lingering sense of responsibility. His teammates include Jason Mewes, Matt Schively’s underutilized and sexually confused Oscar, and a mysterious fourth out of towner known only for a glamour shot of Starship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien in his Skype profile. Now fired from his job and divoring from his wife, Cody decides the only up in his life is to get him and his Gears crew out to Los Angeles to play in a massive tournament that will net them $400,000. Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Zelda Williams’ Rickie, who serves as Mewes’ love interest and happens to be in another Gears clan. And then there’s Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico), who plays the crazy classic gaming has-been who made a fortune snowballing (that is, making snow globes) and breaking tons of videogaming records in a thinly-veiled send-up of King of Kong’s Billy Mitchell. And then there’s a strip club. And then…

We’ve seen the ‘nerds on a road trip’ plot before, more recently with the cult classic Fanboys (itself a tribute to Star Wars), but in trying to beef up an otherwise rote film about gamers crossing the country to play Gears of War, Noobz can’t find a direction to stay in after it gets going, as if trying to chase every gaming-related idea or funny joke they could think of. The movie has its moments, but a lot of the humor is far too obvious and lacking any kind of punch. Freeman as Cody has more than a few snarky jabs, but none of these characters get much room to breathe. Conversations are clunky and carry on far too long far too often. The quartet slide to the background as they try to cram in secondary characters. Ultimately, Noobz is a veritable puzzle search of gaming references, and if gaming’s your thing then more power to you, but you’ll find that this title needs a balance fix quick.

5/10 FleshEatingZipper

Don't Keep This a
Secret, Share It