Pausing the revival of Fell8 to just pitch another movie. Not Unicorned Squirrels but more a Ready Player One meets Footloose meets Karate Kid meets Fight Club etc etc.
Set in the not too distant future video games have been banned because they were basically too violent.
World Leaders ordered this the same day they declared war on some country, shrugging off the carpet bombing of a school as acceptable collateral damage. But still they got to do something about those pesky violent video games.
Prior to the ban video games was a multi billion dollar industry with e-sports rising in popularity. Yet with video games of any sort being outlawed (including Mario, the psychotic drug induced plumber that he is) e-Sports has been driven underground.
Lurking below the streets are illegal gaming rooms where gamers battle it out for real money. As a result criminal gangs are involved recruiting the best players to play for them.
For reasons that won’t be totally explained, driving something underground turns everyone into extras from Mad Max 3 : Beyond Thunderdome. They are being all unruly and shouty. The MC is androgynous who speaks in rhyme, because why the hell not.
Obviously the first rule of Gamer Club is not to talk about Gamer Club, except in chat rooms which is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
Above ground things aren’t going totally well either. The city has an affluent area and a poor area where crime is spiralling. After all if you can no longer drop in Tilted with your Squad you might as well go out and cause real mayhem. Am I right?
Anyhow, all this shit will be explained before the credits because it’s a lot to get through.
Opening scene we meet Jazz, she’s the hero. A smart girl who is also an excellent gamer. Unbeknownst to her Father she sneaks off to the illegal gaming dens to win money which she donates to the poor area of the city (less expenses).
Her Father is really strict and forbids her to do anything. He says it’s because he cares for her but there is an opposite argument that he’s just being an overprotective dick.
In any event she does not listen to him and just does what she wants. So we have her, the rebel and the Father who is the most straight laced person ever to walk the planet.
Every night she sneaks out to go to the illegal gaming place and here she meets Ryan. He’s super dreamy and nice. Yet her rebellious nature means she’s going to play hard to get.
He relentlessly pursues her and eventually they do share a moment following an epic win on Crash Bandicoot.
Sitting on some scaffolding they totally overshare about their life before having their first kiss. Awww.
However, there is something he’s not telling her. After an unfortunate episode with Mega Man he owes a gang a lot of money.
Ryan is forced to join the gang and is forced to participate in the ‘Illegal Gaming Tournament Of The Year’ where the prize is one million dollars.
Jazz enters as well and for reasons that I am not obliged to explain they seem oblivious that each of them have entered the tournament and may very well meet each other.
What follows is a mix of them winning their respective rounds, their young love blossoming and her dad telling her more stuff she can’t do.
Eventually madly in love they reach the final – it’s Jazz v Ryan. She’s pretty cool about that and figured they love each other so it won’t matter who wins, they will share the money.
But on the eve of the Final things go horribly tits up.
Firstly her Dad finds out that she has been illegally gaming. He tells her how disappointed he is. Indeed he gets an entire Family Tree that dates back to 1682 to list all the members of the family she has pissed off with her disobedience.
She tells him she hates him and her Father locks her in her room. But she escapes and goes to find Ryan.
When she reaches his house she sees him speaking with the leader of the gang. Now he is proper evil so has to have an evil sounding name like El Bastard or Trevor.
She watches him leave and Ryan catches her eye. She runs off crying and he pursues her. She’s confused – first her Father and now Ryan. Why are men such dicks? Sadly there is insufficient runtime to consider that age old question.
Anyway Ryan says some old bullshit and confesses about his involvement with the gang.
They hug and in that moment he has burdened her with his problem whilst seemingly not willing to share the burden of her irretrievable breakdown of a relationship with her Father.
The Final arrives. The crowd are pumped and full on Mad Max extras.
Before Jazz enters the arena El Bastard approaches her. He tries to get her to join his gang but she refuses.
With glee he explains that if Ryan loses today he will be killed.
Still laughing (cos he’s a bastard) he tells her he has made a sizeable bet for her to win and if she loses he will kill her. A tad unreasonable.
Jazz is confused if she wins then Ryan would be killed. If she loses she will be killed. That is what is known as a dilemma.
The game starts and tears are forming in her eyes. Ryan does not know that she knows he will be killed if she wins. Nor does he know she would be killed if she loses. Ryan is pretty clueless.
Ryan spots that she is not playing as well and speaks to her through his headset.
Ryan: Jazz you’re losing on purpose
Jazz: No I’m not
Ryan: You’re better than this. Think what you could do with the money. What about that Emotional Support Armadillo Centre you want to open? Think of the kids that will benefit
Ryan: But what…
Jazz: You’ll die
With the revelation that Jazz knows, Ryan closes his eyes and throws the game. Jazz screams ‘No’ and begins to cry.
The unnecessary feral crowd go wild and when they go quiet the sound of El Bastard/Trevor clapping can be heard.
With tears in her eyes she pleads with Trevor not to kill Ryan, offering him her prize money.
Now that does seem quite reasonable. Trevor would have his winnings and the prize money. He’d be pretty well off for doing literally bugger all.
However, Trevor is a dick evidenced by the fact he walks with a cane but has no actual disability. Because he’s a dick we get a very long monologue. The upshot of it is that if he didn’t kill Ryan people will think he’s not a dick and it’s important that people recognise he is a dick and indeed fear his dickish ness.
Still pleading with him she challenges him to a one on one game. If he loses he lets Ryan live. If he wins he can kill both her and Ryan.
Trevor accepts the challenge. The match is set for one hour.
This allows us to have a tender moment between Jazz and Ryan. It also sets up a shocking twist.
She goes to the bathroom and is unexpectedly attacked. Her assailants crush her hands.
Bruised and broken she returns to the arena to face Trevor. But her hands are so damaged she can hardly pick up the controller.
Trevor laughs ‘If you cannot play you must forfeit’
The MC says ‘Do you forfeit? I need to know in a bit’
Everyone seems to stare at everyone for ages and then the door swings open. From the gloom emerges her Father.
He takes her hands and kisses her gently on the top of the head. Addressing Trevor ‘She cannot play. I will take her place’.
Trevor laughs at the fact some grey haired old guy has challenged him but accepts.
Now it turns out that Jazz’s Father was a pro-gamer before the ban with his own Twitch channel and everything. He only became boring and a bit dickish when they banned video games.
In an epic battle Jazz’s Father defeats Trevor and the crowd go wild.
Trevor says something but Jazz’s Father turns around and punches him in the face saying ‘Leave my daughter alone’.
Jazz tells her Father she loves him and they along with Ryan leave the arena to the sound of the crowd cheering.
Now of course Trevor is such a bastard that he’ll probably arrange for them to all be killed. However, for now, as the end credits roll let’s just enjoy this heartwarming moment.