Like many of the other Family Movie Night features, Game of Your Life has something for the whole family. The characters are compelling, the story will draw you in and the gaming-related technology featured in this film is sure to please the “wired” members of your household. Here’s the blueprint:
When industrious high school gamer Zach Taylor lands a prized scholarship to the prestigious Digital Institute of Game Design (DIGD), his future breaks wide open. The opportunity to study under gaming legend Marcus Bentton and alongside the country’s most creative minds will certainly propel him into a successful career as a video game designer. That is, if he can pass the infamous freshman project that eliminates more than half of the class within the first three months. Paired with brilliant yet socially awkward teammates Phillip and Donald, the trio persuades Sara Ramirez – a determined and striking team leader with whom Zach has a history (and possibly a future) – to join their team. Working off-campus in the teched-out Lincoln Alley loft, the four set out to involve the entire campus in a quirky new social interactive game. But as the group becomes entrenched in the project, Zach learns that his father Billy, a widower, is facing growing financial woes at home. To help out, Zach accepts an opportunity to work directly with Marcus Bentton on a secretive side project that seems too good to be true. The effort requires nearly all of Zach’s time and energy, which he should be devoting to the project. Struggling to keep it together, Zach is torn between his responsibility to his team, his admiration for Bentton and a chance to help his father. Everything comes to a breaking point when Zach’s team threatens to remove him from the group and the deceptive truth behind Bentton’s project comes to light. With the guidance of Professor Abbie Lambert, Zach must make a decision that not only affects his future, but the lives and livelihoods of the people around him as well. It’s a revealing story that recognizes the magnitude behind the choices we make and the importance loyalty plays in making good decisions.
As a geek, I loved the concept of the film and the fantastic performances turned in by a great team of actors. Lea Thompson, looking better than ever as Dr. Abby Lambert, and the duo of Nathan Kress and Adam Cagley are bright spots in a cast filled with super performers. The pace of the story will keep you tuned in, the product placements were less apparent to me than previous FMN installments, and once again the story leaves you not only with a great morale, but a desire to further interact with these characters. Like several of the other Family Movie Night features, I would love to see this plot expanded into a series.