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Review: Gamer seeks his own utopia in ‘Unicorn City’

"Unicorn City," which was produced in Utah, opens Friday, Feb. 17, in selected theaters along the Wasatch Front. Courtesy image

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Feb 16 2012 03:09PM
Updated Feb 24, 2012 11:04AM

LARPers have a movie to call their own — "Unicorn City." This locally produced film follows the adventures of Voss (Devin McGinn), an unemployed gamer who attempts to create his own role-playing utopia — Unicorn City — to win a job with a game developer.

It’s a battle between good and evil — Voss vs. bad guy LARPer Shadow Hawk (Jon Gries). It’s a geek love story, although it takes Voss pretty much the entire movie to figure out that the lovely Marsha (Jaclyn Hales) has feelings for him. And it’s aimed at insiders, as those who participate in live-action role-playing games will appreciate the humor more.

To the general public, it will be mildly amusing in spots. Although who can’t appreciate a guy (Clint Vanderlinden) who creates his own centaur costume using a picnic cooler for his back end?

The production values are high in this film directed by Bryan Lefler, who co-wrote it with his brother, Adrian. The movie itself is just OK. There are some laughs, but Voss is such an unappealing character that "Unicorn City" doesn’t come close to its goal of being " ‘Monty Python’s Holy Grail’ meets ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ "

It’s more like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch that runs on too long.

— Scott D. Pierce

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