1UP parents guide

1UP Parent Guide

This disaster of a movie mixes together a made-for-kids-tv vibe with adult levels of profanity.

Overall D

Amazon: Sexism within her college gaming team pushes Vivian (Paris Berelc) to create a brand new all-female team. The pressure is on as winning the championship is the only way Vivian can maintain her scholarship.

Release date July 15, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content C-
Profanity C-
Substance Use D

Why is 1UP rated R? The MPAA rated 1UP R for sexual material, some language, and drug use

Run Time: 100 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Vivian (Paril Berelc) made it to university on an e-sports scholarship, playing high level competitive video games on the school team. Her friend, Sloane (Hari Nef), is the only other girl on the team, and they are getting sick of the sexist treatment they receive from their male teammates. Eventually, enough is enough, and both young women quit the team.

The only problem is that their scholarships are still riding on e-sports participation, so Vivian and Sloane have to put together a team of their own if they want to stay in university. Even worse, the college has decided that they’re only willing to fund one team, so whoever loses this tournament loses the team, their scholarships, and their futures. With the help of former games designer and current professor Parker (Ruby Rose), they put together an oddball new team, called the 8-Bits, composed entirely of other female students. They’re going to have to learn to work together quickly if they want any chance of beating the boys’ team in the national tournament…

1Up has some of the worst tonal dissonance I’ve ever seen. It feels like a Disney Channel made-for-TV nightmare movie which some maniac tried to retrofit for an adult audience by packing it with lewd jokes. The plot and dialogue (apart from the jokes) were written for, and arguably by, nine-year-olds but the rest of the content is geared solidly at the R-rated audience – not that that makes them any funnier. Mostly, it’s just gross.

Despite a relatively short runtime, the movie drags like roadkill stuck to a steamroller on wet tar. There are roughly three different training montages, none of which actually lead anywhere, and character development is limited solely to the protagonist, who eventually learns to play less selfishly. It’s not exactly a revelation. Everyone else just hangs around to give the background a little more vibrancy. Apart from the raunchy dialogue, the film has some other issues. While it isn’t as packed with profanity as I expected, the protagonist’s roommate keeps trying to dose her with psychedelics, including psylocibin and ayahuasca.

While the film does manage to bring some impressive diversity to the team, they never really develop or explore these characters and it feels more tokenistic than sincere. While I would like to see more inclusion of diverse groups in both film and games, 1Up doesn’t make it feel earned. Worse, it buries them in one of the worst scripts I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through. This film marries all the disgusting joys of listening to a competitive game voice chat lobby with the infinite aggravations of made-for-tv kids programming. There’s a matchmaking error if I ever saw one.

Directed by Kyle Newman. Starring Ruby Rose, Paris Berelc, and Hari Nef. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release July 15, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for 1UP

Rating & Content Info

Why is 1UP rated R? 1UP is rated R by the MPAA for sexual material, some language, and drug use

Violence: An individual is tackled by police. Several graphic threats are made.
Sexual Content: There are frequent graphic sexual references throughout the film.
Profanity: There are 12 uses of scatological terms, one use of a sexual expletive, and frequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking socially. One character is seen eating brownies baked with psylocibin, and others are unwittingly dosed with ayahuasca.

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1UP Parents' Guide

How have e-sports developed? What kind of skills are required to be successful in these tournaments? What kind of games are selected for competition? What qualities do those games have that make them well suited for competition? What kind of money is on the line in these tournaments?

Gamers have a nasty reputation for how they treat women and minorities. What was “Gamergate? How did that affect the industry? Have any lessons been learned? What would it take to positively change gaming culture?

How are video games depicted on film? How do films struggle to accurately capture the realities of games? Do any films get it right? What do they get wrong?

Home Video

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Other films about video games include Hero Mode, Free Guy, Fearless, Tron: Legacy, Pixels, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Wreck-it-Ralph. Another film which more successfully incorporated video game elements into live action is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.