(director/writer: Kyle Mooney; screenwriter: Evan Winter; cinematographer: Bill Bope; editor: David Marks; music: Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans; cast: Rachel Zegler (Laura), Jaeden Martell (Eli), Julian Dennison (Danny), Lachlan Watson (Ash), Daniel Zolghadri (CJ), Kyle Mooney (Garrett, video store owner), Eduardo Franco (Farkas), Mason Gooding (Jonas), The Kid Laroi (Soccer Chris), Fred Durst (Himself); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jonah Hill, Matt Dines, Alison Goodwin, Chris Storer, Cooper Wehde, Evan Winter; A24; 2024)

“The first half rocks, the second half sucks.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In his feature film debut, writer-director Kyle Mooney, formerly of SNL, is a comedian/actor-turned-director who co-writes with Evan Winter this so called “disaster comedy.” The raucous pic is a new millennium bug comedy, filled with ’90s nostalgia and cartoonish chaos. It’s set on New Year’s Eve 1999, among partying high school students.

In this uneven film, the first half rocks, the second half sucks–as it goes from a wild party scene to a madcap satirical sci-fi film that imagines what could happen if the y2k bug hits and our electronics go crazy.

The shy High School student Eli (Jaeden Martell) has a crush on the popular co-ed Laura (Rachel Zegler), but only makes contact with her on AOL. She’s a computer hacker, who hangs out with Eli’s outgoing best friend Danny (Julian Dennison). He encourages Eli to make a move on her, but he freezes up.

On New Year’s Eve 1999 the two best friends, with no dates or party invites, on an impulse, decide to crash a New Year’s Eve house party tossed by “Soccer Chris” (The Kid Laroi, Australian rapper). The party-goers will include Laura and the in-crowd from Crawford High School.

When the clock strikes midnight a lethal Y2K bug hits, and the film leaves its dumb but fun party scene and turns into an incoherent bloody computer mash-up–where the party guests fight for survival and to save the world, as the electronics go on a cartoonish rampage.

If you’re looking for a ridiculous film to chill out on with a winning soundtrack, you got it here. But for those wanting a more serious crazed fun film, you better look elsewhere.
It played at SXSW.

REVIEWED ON 3/15/2024  GRADE: C +