Everything Before Us full movie review - An honest opinion
Hi Wong Fu team and fans,
First off I would like to say congrats on making this movie, it's definitely been long over-due that WF would make a feature length film and I couldn't have been more anxious and excited to see how far you've come. Your short videos have been touched millions of fans across the world and for that, Thank You.
Before I start my review I would like to point out that I BOUGHT the movie, watched it with my friends, and really discussed my thoughts with them before writing this. As much as I would like to give you guys praise I would also like to see you grow as a company and as filmmakers. I hope you or the fans reading this won't simply glance over it because I gave it a "sub-par" rating, but see the merit behind it.
PLOT: I really wanted to get the feels WF is so famous on invoking. However what I found myself feeling was confusion and even annoyance at Ben. The plot just seems tries so hard to validate Ben and his actions when clearly he's a not-so-good-guy who gets away with cheating on his girlfriend only to end up with his ex. One major scene that irked me was when Seth accidentally fell asleep and Haley left him sleeping on her bed; really? There was no backlash from Seth about this? I get that you need to get the story moving but scenes like this that does nothing for the plot shouldn't be in the movie at all. After watching the movie I was glad that you cut the 3rd story line out as this movie as the movie right now already struggles to mesh the two story lines it has together; what I mean is that though Ben and Sara have a character arc, Seth and Haley's are not as developed. Overall I thought the plot didn't have the magical WF moment, I couldn't identify with any of the characters, and ultimately the plot didn't make me root for any one (maybe Anna.. Poor her being dumped by Ben).
ACTING: As much as I would say I love Victoria's acting, I can't. I don't know if she was upstaged by Brandon but I could not take her acting seriously. A scene that stood out for me was during Brandon and Kihong's fight scene, all she could say was a passive "no.. stop..". I'm no expert in having guys fight for me but I would assume that anyone in this situation would have a better sense of urgency and say something or even do something instead of passively telling them to stop. I'm all for helping your friends and casting them in your films, but when it comes to something as big of scale as this I would maybe consider really looking out there for casting instead of going directly to cast your friends.
EXECUTION: The one thing I loved about the movie was the production value. You can tell that a lot the budget went into getting the locations, sets, and overall props. However as pretty as the movie was, I was definitely irked by the amount of montages used. Sure montages might be pretty and help speed the pacing of the story, but you can't expect to use this technique multiple times to push a feature film. It works on a much shorter film but to not only have crucial moments told in montage form but to feature multiple montages gives this a feel of a glorified longer youtube video. There was also way to many CU of expressions and deep depth of field that really felt out of place. I don't know if this was because of the camera you use but if you notice in other feature films there's a point where the amount of depth of field screams "5D" vs "RED SCARLET".
To WF, clearly you know your niche is making romantic films, but is that you want to make for the rest of your career? As much as I love them, you need to try to explore what other areas you're good at. Unfortunately the sad truth is WF is not relevant anymore. Your videos used to easily surpass 1 million views but now, a million is an accomplishment. Many other "youtubers" have seen a vast growth in their subscribers and yet you're stagnant at 2 million. You need to keep pushing your boundaries and grow as company; NOT push out the same sappy love story again and again (give or take a few characters). Reinvent yourself. So what if A World Away got a lot of dislikes, you need to push yourself and continue to make yourself relevant. Please don't let the amount of dislikes stop you from your growth. You have so much talent and potential in your team in Christine, Kenson, and Taylor, please don't let all that talent go to waste. If people are really your fans, they will support you through anything if that means seeing you guys become successful. As Phil mentioned in a tweet "we don't need those kind of fans"; thats right you don't. So don't let them stop you from pushing on and furthering your career.
To all the fans, before you down vote this review or give WF an automatic 10 and give this movie the review "best movie ever" think about whether this movie in and of itself deserves that title. Watch this movie for what it is, not for who made it. WF deserves to know what they are doing right and what they can improve on. We owe it to them to continue to make sure that they can keep creating content that isn't only relevant to today's standards, but is successful on a global scale.
I wish you all the best WF in your future endeavors.