Friday 5 April 2013
This film almost defies reviewing, it's that bad. Seriously, I've been working on this post for months I am finding it nearly impossible to compose a cohesive review. Really, that should give you some indication of what I'm dealing with here.
In a word, Smiley is terrible. Other words I might use to describe it are disappointing, moronic, and downright stupid.
The film is about a group of Internet jerks who create an online urban legend named Smiley and then manipulate a girl into thinking Smiley is real, believing this will cause the Smiley legend to spread. Truth be told, it's not a bad idea but the movie removes all plausibility, replacing it with sheer idiocy.
Smiley operates like an online version of Bloody Mary: type "I did it for the lulz" three times into video chat, and Smiley kills the person you're talking to. At Proxy's insistence, Ashley picks a victim on Chatroulette and watches in horror as he dies at his computer.
It's insulting to the viewer that Ashley would be so gullible to believe that she actually killed someone with Internet magic. Worse still, it's just Proxy's good luck that Ashley is mentally and emotionally unstable making her the perfect mark for their ridiculous scam. One contrivance is permissible--I can let the crazy slide--but Smiley just heaps impossibility on top of implausibility like a fat man at a buffet.
Here's the thing: the group that created Smiley wiped the Internet clean of all evidence of his existence, and the girl who dies as a result of their shenanigans appears, to all the world, to have committed suicide. There is simply no way for her death to be connected to the Smiley legend. For all their scheming, Proxy and her friends are defeated by their own overwrought plan.
Also, the movie cheats. It cheats its audience and it cheats itself. I knew this would be bad going in, I just had no idea it'd be so goddamn stupid to boot.