If there’s one thing Netflix is good at, it’s releasing binge-able content right when the world needs it most. And by the world, I mean me when I need a distraction from schoolwork. An interactive film centered around the Netflix Original Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the site’s newest eye-catcher.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend is Netflix’s latest interactive movie. For those familiar with the series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ended with its fourth season in 2019. The film is the newest installment of main characters Kimmy, Titus, Lillian and Jacqueline’s stories. The plot of the film begins an unspecified time after the conclusion of the series’ final season, where Kimmy is planning her marriage to new character Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe).
The driving force behind the plot, however, is Kimmy’s discovery of a choose-your-own-adventure book, which is believed to have belonged to the Reverend. For those unfamiliar, Kimmy was kidnapped and held hostage by the Reverend for years in an underground bunker, along with three other women. The film, therefore, follows Kimmy as she tracks down the origin of the book on the eve of her wedding. Her wacky friends each experience their own plotlines as well. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend is certainly a full film, but one that works in its own quirky way.
From a critical point of view, this film has a very crowded plotline. Because there is a need to focus on at least three different settings throughout the duration of the game, it can feel as if some settings are neglected. The way the game is played, of course, impacts how much screen time each of the stories gets, but ultimately, Kimmy’s story is the one prioritized.
The premise of the film is interesting if a little flimsy at first. The inciting incident relies wholly on the discovery of the choose-your-own-adventure book in Kimmy’s backpack. To viewers, her motives were questionable because really, is finding a strange book in an old backpack reason enough to visit your former kidnapper in prison? Mere days before your wedding? Probably not.
But alas, it is good enough for Kimmy, so it’s good enough for viewers. After the story begins, the plot makes much more sense and does not rely on weak plot points as much. The character-driven narrative is entertaining to watch, especially because the show is composed of powerhouse comedians like Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski, among others. At times the stories felt preachy or hyper-progressive, as in the writers were trying too hard to be “woke” or appeal to a younger audience. If you can look past that aspect of the movie, it’s an overall entertaining view.
Without spoiling it, there’s potential for a legendary “Free Bird” performance, seeing Daniel Radcliffe as his character’s own father, and endless footage of fourth-wall breaks, if you play your cards right!
The Play Through
My sister and I played through the film for a few hours initially. We both love the original series, so it was exciting to see our favorite characters on-screen again. The game itself is user-friendly, akin to the function of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch which came out in 2018. Unlike Bandersnatch, however, Kimmy’s special coerces viewers into an “ideal” storyline, making the interactive aspect feel unnecessary.
There are several choices that are clearly “bad” endings, as dictated by their outcomes. If chosen, certain endings will reroute the viewer back to a turning point in the story and choose the alternative option. I, as a viewer, felt there was no point in playing after failing a few times. The options that I wanted to pick that were “incorrect” always funneled back to the main storyline, which ultimately got boring.
With that said, I did enjoy clicking through every option I could. Wrong or not, every option was comical or heartfelt. There was never a choice that wasn’t entertaining to watch the first time around. I can admit to spending a couple of hours of my time on the completion of this game. For that, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend has a time and a place, and I would recommend it to any fan of the show.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend, is now streaming! pic.twitter.com/uquwNw8gwp— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) May 12, 2020
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend is a fun way to spend some time, especially if you intend to discover all the Easter eggs and endings. The goofiness, fun interactions, and interactivity of the film make it worth watching, even if it has its flaws. If you decide to play, without spoilers, here are some choices you have to try.
Wait for the Uber, twice
He Pretends to Know It
Go To Your Happy Place
… and you’ll just have to try the rest!
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Schmidt vs. the Reverend is streaming on Netflix now.
Featured Image via Netflix