Zero Charisma (2013) Review

in #gaminglast year


I like me some comedy that pokes fun at my hobbies and subcultures, so I decided to give this Zero Charisma show a shot. It's a movie about a man obsessed with Table Top RPG's like Dungeons and Dragons, and he and his group is a walking stereotype. He gets jealous as a new member of his group who seems to become everyone's favorite. Seems basic, but it's something that had potential.

The problem immediately starts to reveal itself when you realize everyone involved in all of this are just shitty people, and there is pretty much nobody in this movie that's likable. You have the main character who is controlling, cruel at times, manipulative, and overall just a loser at life. His best friend Is an extremely meek and spineless loser to the point it's really hard to root for him, and the other friends turn on the main character almost purely because the new guy promotes their web videos on his site. Early in the movie, the lead characters mother comes back who was not only a shitty mother, but a shitty daughter (The Grandmother is who the lead character lives with) who is trying to secretly appraise the home so she may sell it to pay off her debt, and worse yet is the new guy. He is so great and perfect at everything it's impossible to sympathize with him even though he's the wronged party in all this.


But then there is the Grandmother, and I love this woman. She may be callous and constantly on everyone's ass about everything, but this is the only character whose attitude feels warranted. The way she blasts both her grandson and daughter directly to their faces without a hint of remorse is a thing of beauty and is the only character in this entire movie I feel for, and I would have loved to see her have a chance to rip everyone else a new asshole in this movie, may have made it worth sitting through.

Worse yet is they try to give the lead character some kind of growth at the end, but it doesn't feel like much of a character arc. He just goes through the whole movie being shitty, and just at the end admits it and time skips forward to where he has improved on a lot of his flaws. It just kind of happens, and the lack of any real redeeming character traits shown throughout the movie yet the movie just kind of expects us to be behind him now.

The actual inclusion of Table Top Gaming in this show is just window dressing. You won't go into this seeing that makes you think this needed to be a series about people playing a Tabletop RPG, and it doesn't make much use of the idea to enhance the story beyond a bunch of stereotypes. I'm not against using stereotypes in practice, but nothing interesting comes of them.


The best way to describe this story is to refer you to a genre of online post known as the RPG Horror Story. They are anonymous tales of people online talking about some of their most horrible gaming experiences, many of them feeling exaggerated or just straight made up with how unbelievable they are. This movie feels lone of the stories that fall into that category. It's not nearly over the top enough to be some kind of wild and crazy ride, but not grounded enough to feel real or be able to take seriously.

It's just not a good movie. I'll give credit to some pretty good acting, but the story and poorly fleshed out characters paired with a lack of good use of the RPG premise just makes this movie a dull watch with very few laughs.