Max Reload and the Nether Blasters (2020)

Max, a teen with dreams of becoming a video game creator, unleashes a world of evil upon his small town after getting a box of games out of the blue. This thrusts him into the hero role that he is not quite ready to play, but desperately needs to learn from.

Directed by Scott Conditt and Jeremy Tremp from a screenplay by the former and a story by the later, Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is a decently fun film. It’s seemingly designed for the cameos and roles given to familiar faces while having a good moral to the story, showing that sometimes, all you need to do is reach for your goals and be the best you can offer. The film takes this and makes a story where the leads are three teens and an overgrown teen who once upon a time was the top game designer in the world. The story here is not particularly original, but with the fun bits here and there often enough to make it an entertaining film to watch. While this definitely won’t work for everyone, people with some knowledge of gaming and an interest in adventure films should enjoy it.

The cast here is fun. While not all will be familiar with the lead teens played by Hassie Harrison as Liz, Joey Morgan as Reggie, and Tom Plumley as the titular Max Jenkins, they should be more familiar with some of the adults surrounding them including Greg Grunberg as the game designer of yore who’s always fun to watch in just about anything, Lin Shaye as his mother and a joy to watch as usual, Kevin Smith as Chuck a character that seemingly was created to add Smith to the cast, and Martin Kove as Gramps Jenkins who is interesting in this part that feels a bit unusual for him and that he makes work. Overall, it’s a good to great cast to watch evolve through the story with some really fun bits for some of the more cameo appearances. The story is lighter in general, even as it deals with evil and having given up, and the cast take things seriously enough to make it work and have the right amount of humor to make it fun to watch.

The cinematography by Jeremy Tremp and the editing by him and co-director/co-writer Scott Conditt give the film a good energy and make it easy to watch. The special effects here deserve a nod as they are very well done by a clearly talented crew. The film gets more and more of these effects as the story advances and they are definitely more than good enough to add to the story and help maintain the attention at times. The film definitely has a great look and should please kids and parents alike in that department.

Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is a fairly fun film that is just the right length for its story while it has enough time to really develop into a story that viewers can get into. It’s not particularly deep, but it’s definitely popcorn entertainment perfect for a Saturday night with a few generations looking to watch a film together.