Let me start with this movie review with a fun fact from my personal life: I once was broken up with because I ditched my significant other for a night of video games (and old movies) with my friends. True story. So when I saw that Well Go USA was coming out with Max Cloud, a film about a gamer who gets sucked into the video game, I jumped on the chance to review it for this website. I do not regret my choice — in the past or in requesting this film.
The movie starts with a spaceship hurtling through space, a distress call going out, and a crash landing. We then meet the heroes of our film: Max Cloud and the cook, Jake. They have landed on a planet that is actually a prison. Oh no! But wait, there’s more: maybe they aren’t our heroes, because we are then taken to 1990 where we meet Sarah Noble, a gamer, whose dad just does not understand her wanting to play video games all the time. He grounds her from gaming and wouldn’t you know it? She continues to play anyway. Not only does she keep playing, but she makes a wish that she could just play all day long and a Space Witch inside the video game grants her wish! Yup. Sarah is now stuck inside the video game. Her gamer friend, Cowboy, finds her and then has to play in order to help her win the game. Oh, and did I mention that he cannot pause the game, and there is only one life left?
I had so much fun watching this movie. There was a big difference in the acting when the scenes took place in the video game (Scott Adkins gave off an almost like an overacting, stereotypical cocky hero vibe in the role of Max Cloud), and when the scenes were in the real world. The video game scenes were funny and aesthetically well done. I loved the feeling of being back in 1990 when the scenes took place in the real world. There were several familiar faces in the film, too, including John Hannah and Franz Drameh. I especially got excited when I thought the main characters were going to be the gamers: Sarah (a gamer girl!) and Cowboy, a black guy who was important to the story and not just a sidekick. In my experience, people do not always think that a girl can be a gamer and sometimes males can be harsher on females. I’ve also heard friends complain about the trope of using a minority person as just a sidekick and nothing more.
So what didn’t I like about the film? Believe it or not, only one thing. Let me preface this by saying a few things first: I am not the kind of person who watches an older movie with today’s lens, nor do I like to complain about minor things. However, this one tiny glitch bugged me enough that I have to comment on it here: Sarah is the main character, and while she is able to use her wits, once she is in the video game, we really don’t see her anymore. She plays as a male character in the video game. Darn. However, there is another strong female character who remains female so that helps alleviate my unease. It bugged me, but I honestly don’t think this was done maliciously. Just watch the film and have fun with it.
Max Cloud is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming.