The film about e-sport that is more proper to target the audience who are parents in Gen-X or upper, esp. those who oppose kids playing games.
I watch this film because the promotional trailer looks interesting, but the real thing is just complete opposite. The subject is about e-sport—a trendy contemporary subject, so I expected for the least of exciting CG, fast-pacing story progress and enthusiastic youthful energy. What I found is ordinary CG like a presentation of a 1st-year film student, slow-pacing progress to the point of almost reaching nowhere, and laggard/sluggish energy due to an under par acting direction of supporting roles.
If anyone like this kind of gaming/e-sport theme with the youthful+comical tone, I want to recommend Cross Fire. It's a 36-ep. Chinese series presenting a lot of topics surrounding gaming and e-sport. One of them is also about prejudice from the older generation toward gaming/e-sport, but the production team can present it like a professional storyteller. Rip off all the decoration like CG or cinematography techniques and left only the organic element like the storytelling skills, it's already highly admirable. 1) Story It's not a story. This 2-hour film has only one-point idea which is a mother who opposes her exemplary-student son to play in e-sport league, so she tries to make him lose the competition by building another team to beat his team but becomes a player in the process. Along 2 hours, it mainly presents the journey of a Gen-X mom becoming a game player. The selling point of the film is just to show the contrast of being an old Gen-X in the new world of e-sport (though the vibe is sorta outdated kind of e-sport). The film is shallow. Actually, this starting idea is interesting and has huge potential to create an elaborative story on another level, but the creator might be too lazy to be creative and just stop dead at the first sentence of the story while repeating the loop of that sentence for another 2 hours (—most of the time is mom trying to build the team). There's no story in it. That's why I call it just a too-long presentation of one-point idea.
2) Directing The continuity between shots and scenes is obviously unskilled. At times, there wouldn't be connecting point between scenes. This messes the storytelling making the audience confused and doubts the necessity in the existence of the scene that comes later. The director is not a storyteller. He has no tactic in smoothening out the story esp. the romance part of it. He always puts a flirting scene next to another irrelevant scene out of the blue. The big fail is that all the lovey-dovey bits in the film are unimportant at all. If they cut off all these love bits, the film would look more roundly even than bumpy as it already happens to be.
Anyway, I can see why they try to add the love bits into the film. It's because they want to target the teenage group of audience, but their leading character is a Gen-X. Moreover, their main point is to change the pessimistic mindset of Gen-X about gaming, which is literally an unnecessary message to the teens. So instead, they think to pull the teenage audience in with love story, but the result is awkward. Yet to say there's no chemistry between the couple at all. The portion around love here is just too extra, out of context, or in another word—a leftover added on, which resulting in the film direction being a mess. Let me mention a bit about the cinematography style of the film. I can see they try to use those minimal camera angles that look more contemporary like still shots, edge cut-off shots, symmetric shots, scenes with few props, but it's also seen that it isn't their real style. This style doesn't persist throughout. In the end, what they do is just kind of copying the trend.
3) Acting The acting in love-bit scenes between the boy and the girl gamers is awful. It's unnatural and out of place. They're not shy but awkward. Their no-chemistry is a failure. Their flirting scenes are all fail and not convincing.
The acting direction of the fat boy is also wrong. I think this is the fault of the director. The direction of this character to be humorous by putting himself to be a bland joke doesn't come from the actor for sure. Having a character being a bland joke himself is a kind of comedy that Thai people like, but this direction doesn't work here. The film is already pretty much quiet despite being a (self-proclaimed) action film. This character being a bland joke just make the whole thing worse—now it's truly blandly quiet, but without being humorous. In the film, he even raps a song explaining the game they play, which oh... so awful. The rap is amateur and totally awful in the aspects of lyrics, rhythm and rapping skills. I'm secondhand embarrassed just by hearing it.
The acting of many main characters is just unbalanced in various layers.
4) Music As I just mention that this film is pretty much quiet. Not that they don't use music. It's that they don't know how to use music. For example, at places like stimulating scenes that need music, they don't use the right music to boost the audience's emotions, and at places, the music just fades down until almost disappear altogether despite that it shouldn't. It's like they don't have a good sense of music and when they don't know what music to use or how to use music, they're not afraid of leaving it silent. Anyway, though the music isn't much helpful to the film, at least it doesn't obtrude their own work.
With the unskillful work of the director, cinematographer, actors/actresses as well as editing team, the film doesn't come out at the top of the level they can reach (—not that the level could be very high, but instead of 2.5 score, they might get up to 3.5 from me).
Let me just finish myself here. I feel like I take more time writing this than watching the film itself.