Noobz (2012) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Four friends, Andy (Jason Mewes), Cody (Blake Freeman), Hollywood (Moises Arias) and Oliver (Matt Shively) spend their days playing the video game Gears of War against others across the Internet. This isn’t just for fun, they’re preparing to compete in the Cyberbowl Video Game Championship with the possibility of walking away with $100,000 apiece. Their bonds are tested when the indubitably adorable Rickie (Zelda Williams) enters the mix. Can this quartette learn to not only work together, but count on each other in the heat of battle? Who will be the gaming pros and who will be the Noobz.

Noobz gets off to a rocky start, but once the scene is set and the guys are off to the championship the film finds its groove. Unfortunately this is a cheap little movie that clearly has little to no budget. If not for some bigger names making small appearances this movie would be an even smaller blip on the radar of film. Casper Van Dien’s four minutes are interesting, especially how they work it into the script as Hollywood is lying about his true identity.

The acting is top-notch, and really the best things about the flick. While the script doesn’t always exploit the strengths of the individual actors, they do make what would be a boring movie more enjoyable. Jason Mewes’ presence brought my expectations up, but they were never matched by the dialogue or story. This group did gel very well together and had the writing been stronger this could have been a cult hit. The relationship between Jason Mewes and Zelda Williams had a similar vibe to that of Mewes and Shannon Elizabeth in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Perhaps it’s just me, but Mewes will have to work hard to break out of the Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse. This goes doubly for comedy roles in which directors and producers are looking to leverage that connection into DVD sales.

Jon Gries side story about Greg Lipstein, an old Frogger arcade champion, coming to the championship to reclaim his title was a funny bit. Clearly inspired by King of Kong‘s real life champion Billy Mitchell, Lipstein is first introduced as a possible villain, but his involvement in this story falls back to a simple family connection. This is fine, but felt like Gries great performance lost its purpose and went nowhere in the end.

Boobz would be a better description of these characters, as they’re all old enough to never be considered Noobz in life. This is a forgettable, easy to watch comedy that just doesn’t quite live up to expectations.

Director: Blake Freeman
Stars: Blake Freeman, Jason Mewes, Matt Shively, Moises Arias, Jon Gries, Zelda Williams

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