Scooter Image

Scooter

By Bobby LePire | October 24, 2019

Scooter proves hard to buy into from its first few minutes. The first problem with the movie is its claim that this YouTube channel of theirs is one of the most popular on the site. The film goes out of its way to let the audience know that the Three Amigos have over 10 million subscribers. But the episode cobbled together, as the movie puts it “as a testimony to their adventure” is only episode 23. There is simply no way that their channel would be as huge as the movie claims if they can’t even do one video every other week.

The challenges take time to participate in and edit, so not releasing a video every week is understandable. Given that the movie was set in 2017, it does mean that the trio would have been blowing up just before the infamous apocalypse. Now, let’s be generous and say what the bulk of the movie is their first outing of the year, that still leaves 2015 and 2016 for their channel is active. For fairness sake, let us presume that the channel started six months into 2015. At a video every two weeks, that would 13 for that first year. Then there would be 26 episodes for all of 2016. Add them together and bam, 39. That is the bare minimum of episodes required to buy that their channel would be so big. Mind you. It is possible to have a fun and healthy YouTube channel that only releases one video a month. But that channel wouldn’t be as big as claimed here.

It might seem nitpicky to dedicate two paragraphs to this one, seemingly small plot hole, but it is endemic of a much bigger issue of Wohl’s screenplay. And that is the sheer lack of thought put into any aspect of it at all. If Wohl, who is making his feature-length debut here, as well as ending a 16-year break from filmmaking (along with a short also released this year), cannot be bothered to make the world believable, how can he expect the viewer to invest in it?

“Is this what you want? Do you want to see this?”

Jumping off that is the fact that the film’s plot doesn’t get underway until the halfway point. Granted, Scooter is only 70 minutes long, but that means the first 35 minutes drift aimlessly until the characters stumble into the story. The film is not helped by the decision to pit Will and Paul against one another for most of its runtime. Considering that the movie tells the viewer how good of friends the Three Amigos are, their actions never reinforce this idea. As such, the first half offers no plot structure nor engaging characterizations, so it is a tiresome chore to get through.

The final nail in the coffin is Mitch Lemos as the evil sheriff. He is terribly unconvincing in the role, so the friends never feel like they are in mortal danger. It is one of the worst performances of the year.

But not everything in Scooter is bad news. As YouTube stars Zimmerman, Tuck, and Pineda are outstanding. They all share excellent chemistry and indeed come across like friends. And they are the reason any sections of the movie work whatsoever. When Will gets Paul to admit that they are “mermaid brothers reluctantly,” it is hilarious. Each of these three young actors, credibly sells the humor, drama, and horror moments believably. Plus, since they are so good, it is easy to sympathize with them. This gives the movie a small semblance of tension (very small).

Scooter really only has a single good element of any note- its three leads are quite good. The rest of the film is remarkably awful. The screenplay feels rushed with no thought applied to it at any point. Matters are not helped by how late in the game the plot proper is introduced, nor the dreadful performance of the lead antagonist. Don’t go on this journey. It is not worth it.

Scooter (2019)

Directed and Written: Matthew Wohl

Starring: Stephan Pineda, Joshua Zimmerman, Dondre Tuck, Mitch Lemos, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

Scooter Image

"…the Three Amigos see a man snap a lady’s neck in the middle of the woods."

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