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Reviews Comments: Not the crew's best work but obviously a labor of phenomenal love. To Boldly Flee film/book review by KM A10k

To Boldly Flee is ultimately not quite as impressive as last year's Suburban Knights. Really, when you get down to it, the movie's biggest flaw is its chronic over-reliance on pop culture and film references. See, while the anniversary specials have always been massive orgies of gratuitous shout-outs and fan-service, those things have always only been jokes; they haven't ever taken over the entire plot before, and here, they really do. The majority of the movie is actually taken up by an unbelievably overlong Star Wars parody, and most of the rest is taken up by random shenanigans with villains who didn't need to be here to begin with. "Turrell" and Zod don't have anything to do with the themes at hand, they're not actually very villainous, and they don't really have any story to them, either. They're only here to be aimlessly wacky, but their shtick goes on far past the point of being funny. As a result, after the initial setup, the actual story and good jokes don't really kick into gear until about part six out of eight, which is...pretty damn late, to be frank. Probably the most painful part is where the Critic dresses up as Judge Dredd for no reason and spends a huge, extended sequence shooting up nameless, faceless mooks we have no cause to care about. The entire segment could have been cut, which probably could have cut the movie down from eight parts to seven right then and there.

And all of this is a real shame because at the movie's core, there's a really touching, genuine story about what it means to be a critic, what it means to be a fan of films, and even what it means to be alive. It's surprisingly deep and truly compelling, and you can tell everyone involved poured so much passion into it. It's a top-notch exploration of where the site's been and where it's going. It's a great celebration of TGWTG's legacy and a pretty good skewering of its foibles.

It does have its issues, though. Namely, its cast is so huge that it becomes unwieldy, with many characters being sidelined for almost the entire movie, and its jarringly unsubtle SOPA satire that peters out without ever making a meaningful point.

Still, on the whole, To Boldly Flee is funny, charming, fairly emotional, and occasionally even very clever. It's not the best anniversary special, but it's certainly a good one.


  • emeriin
  • 13th Sep 12
Obviously jokes are subjective, but I must object against the "Judge Dredd was there for no reason" complaint. He wanted to save his friends, and clearly needed weaponry/armor for it.
  • Hyrin
  • 13th Sep 12
The Judge Dredd scene was part of the Character Development on the Critic's part. He sent the away team in to rescue Spoony, so he felt responsible for them getting captured. Instead of leaving them to their fates like he would have done in Kickassia, he suits up and goes in alone to save them. It's indicative of how far the Critic has come as a character, and acts as foreshadowing for the ending.
  • R1pley
  • 14th Sep 12
Also, the Judge Dread scene was wonderfully farcical.
  • maninahat
  • 15th Sep 12
Yeah, they just wanted a silly gun fight, and said to themselves "what sci fi movie has silly gun fights? Dredd!" I'm surprised they didn't have even more references. I was expecting a Blade Runner parody, at any moment.

As for the movie, it was alright as far as these things go. My favourite for gags was actually Kickassia, but To Boldy Flee beats both that and Suburban Knights in terms of plot and overall movie. In the case of Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee, they are too reliant on movie reference gags and slapstick, and needed more punnery or word play. That said, I got a big laugh from this one line:
Darth Snob: You cannot hide forever. The room isn't big enough for that.
That sort of silliness just tickles my funny bone.

  • Gborr
  • 13th Jan 13
But that's kind of it, isn't it? They added that sequence because they "wanted a sci-fi shooting sequence", not because the movie needed it. You could say that it was to show the Critic's development, but then again, that could have been shown with him saving the others, the rest of the episode after that was just self-indulgent.

Still, the biggest issue here was how much of the plot was apparently designed around completely arbitrary elements that had nothing to do with the actual story. Unnecessary scenes were written around pointless costumes just because they felt the need to put the reviewer personas (characters themselves) into cosplay. They made Scary Movie level unfunny ripoffs of scenes from Star Wars and Star Trek just because they felt the need to do so because this was a "sci-fi movie". The Dredd sequence was just an extension of this.

If you ask me, the biggest problem of this movie was that they lacked vision. Instead of writing their own story, they "parodied" scenes from well-known movies. Instead of keeping things consistent they opted to swing between existential drama and wacky slapstick humor. Instead of persistent characterizations revolving around the reviewers they wrote the scenes to accommodate as many cosplays as possible. In short, it's just a mess, and I think I know the reason why: The Walkers are simply not that good at directing. They have insight, they can come up with great jokes, but they simply cannot hold all the threads together and weave it into a proper movie, which is kind of sad in retrospective, taken that their enterprise after the Nostalgia Critic wanted to focus exactly on this aspect. -.-
  • emeriin
  • 13th Jan 13
But it was their own story. For just three examples, it was Critic's swan song of becoming a hero, and Chick's Heel Realization that she'd been awful in her obsession with Todd, and Ma-Ti being able to move on after his sucky treatment.

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