Review: ‘Status Update', A High School Story Not Even Worth A Retweet

Status Update shows us how hard high school can be in this day and age. Kyle Moore (Ross Lynch) was enjoying life in sunny California, surfing and skateboarding with his father Darryl (Rob Riggle). That is until his parents separated and he moved across the country to Connecticut with his mother Ann (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and sister Maxi (Brec Bassinger). Needless to say, Connecticut is nothing like the California that Kyle knows and loves. Kyle reluctantly heads to Hayden High School for his first day of senior year and from the get-go, he finds himself in the crosshairs of the bully jocks that seem to be everywhere in the school. Of course, since the film takes place in Connecticut, these Jocks are the varsity hockey players led by their captain and stud hockey player Derek (Gregg Sulkin).

Derek and his fellow punk jocks welcome Kyle to the school in a way that would hurt millennials the most – by breaking his cell phone. Kyle goes to the local mall to get it fixed and that’s where he meets the eccentric mall cell phone kiosk worker– played by Josh Ostrovsky (The Fat Jew). He gives Kyle a new cell phone, free of charge and without any activation needed. That night Kyle notices an odd social media app on the phone called ‘Universe.’ Kyle will soon discover that any update he puts in the Universe app will come true, in some form or another. Kyle quickly sets out to get the girl he has his eye on – Dani (Olivia Holt) – all while becoming the most popular kid at Hayden High.

Status Update is a film that reminded me of the Disney Channel Original Movies from the mid to late 90s. All of the characters are over the top, the acting leaves a lot to be desired, there are tons of goofy scenes and moments, and there are even a few musical numbers throughout. Yet, at the heart of the film is a story about a teenager realizing what is truly important in life. Yes, this magical app gives Kyle everything he thought he wanted, but at what cost? Status Update, is full of ridiculous stereotypes and over-the-top millennial silliness. There are some enjoyable characters who consistently provide comic relief like Kyle’s best friend Lonnie (Harvey Guillen) and the band teacher (John Michael Higgins) – whose dry humor is hilarious. There are also the ridiculous antagonists like the hockey jocks and Dani’s obsessive singing partner Brian Massey (Markian Tarasiuk). Director Scott Speer does a good job employing little methods – having Kyle break the fourth wall and talk to the audience and showing different snapshots of social media posts and updates by the characters – to give Status Update a slightly unique spin. The film attempts to convey an overall positive and uplifting message – but there is just not enough solid acting, humor, and originality to make it unique or really worth watching. When it comes down to it – Status Update will be a decent Netflix or Redbox option for some teens to watch on a rainy day, but not much more than that.  

Rating 2 out of 5