Saturday, October 20, 2012

Movie Review: Smiley

I did it for the lulz. I did it for the lulz. I did it for the lulz... Damn, it doesn't work when you do it to yourself! Maybe I should have tried Beetlejuice, or Bloody Mary, or maybe Lovett. Oh well, in either case, that's my reaction after watching the new film, Smiley.

Hey Rocky, how's Cher doing?
You see, Smiley is supposed to be this urban legend killing machine who shows up and kills people when in an online chat you type "I did it for the lulz" three times. Looking like a homicidal version of the kid from Mask, Smiley suddenly pops up behind the unsuspecting victim and drives his knife into the poor sap. Cool premise, right?

Unfortunately, despite the decent effort by lead actress Caitlin Gerard, and a relatively cool idea, Smiley fails to work. Why? For one, half the film is cast using people who have found their "fame" on YouTube. Second, in trying to be hip, the film relies on a lot of "Internet lingo" for most of its jokes, which greatly reduces their effect for those who aren't in with that scene. Third, after about a half an hour, you start finding that you really don't give a crap about these characters and after about 45 minutes, you find yourself just wishing Smiley would kill them all off already.

You sure did.
I get what writers Glasgow Phillips and Michael J. Gallagher (who also directed) were trying to do with the film. Sort of trying to make a statement about the nihilistic view of today's Internet-hardened teens and how all of the hate that's shared and spread on the web can somehow mutate into a cyber-serial killer, but at the end of the day, poor execution, a one-note story and unlikable characters ultimately ruined an otherwise original idea. I give Smiley ** out of *****.
Check out the trailer for Smiley below:

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