Level Up Reviews
I love Cartoon Network. I really do. Animated films and TV shows will always be a huge part of my life. With that said, I think everybody died a little inside when Cartoon Network started showing live-action programming. But the same argument can be made for MTV never showing music videos anymore. I'm a big supporter of both "Adventure Time" and "Regular Show," but "Level Up" just seemed lame based on its promos.
The concept for the movie is pretty solid; a video game villain finding a way to become reality and attempting world domination by sending a rogue's gallery of monsters doesn't sound so bad. Anything that exists in this virtual world has been given a gateway to exist in ours. It's the execution that's the problem. The movie is bogged down by really lame one-liners, corny dialogue, ripped off slogans from video games, TV shows, and movies that you love, and bad acting.
The special effects jump back and forth from being semi-decent to really terrible. The lighting effects are pretty spot-on like whenever the portal is opened or whenever Lyle casts a spell. The make-up effects aren't always awful either. Sprague is probably the best looking thing in the movie. But the low budget for the movie is felt more often than not. CG characters don't look so hot in the real world and every one of their weapons looks like a toy bought off of the clearance aisle at Big Lots.
The greatest part of the movie is when pop-up ads start jumping into the real world. It's pulled off pretty well and actually feels fairly original. Once you see Mandark in full make-up though and the way he's basically a cheap imitation of Megamind without being blue, it sours anything that may have once been redeemable.
Level Up: The Movie is like if "Xena: Warrior Princess" or "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" fused with The World of Warcraft episode of "South Park" and produced a PG version that was suitable for kids. The effects are mostly very bad, the humor is juvenile, and the acting makes you groan when it's at its best. But I'm also not the demographic Level Up is aimed towards. While it's probably entertaining for kids, Level Up will have adults watching the family pet lick itself as an alternate and more pleasing form of entertainment.