Saturday, December 2, 2023
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To Boldly Free Review

Doug Walker. We few remember him so you are protected, and, crucially, do not have to. To Boldly Flee has aged as well as Tesco brand wine. I should know, there’s half a bottle of it in my fridge from last year. Dusting that vintage, three quid bottle off and swallowing its contents would lead to a better fate than slogging through this three-and-a-half-hour amateurish nonsense. My drinking days are behind me, or so I’d thought, To Boldly Flee has lit that alcohol-fuelled flame once more. The only way to counteract the process of brain rot that this film has slipped into my brain is a sedative powerful enough to K.O. a large fox, or a small bear. Even then, the memory of this horrid, oddly disgusting film will linger forevermore.  

Usually, my memory is quite solid. Lapses of days and weeks aren’t too normal, but occur from time to time. The occasional blip is to be expected when the days gradually stroll on by, there is little opportunity to define them as different or anything out of the ordinary. Today, though, is a flag of horrors, never to be looked back on. To Boldly Flee has cemented itself in my memory. A continuation of several other Nostalgia Critic spin-off oddities, the film and everyone in it should be in a permanent state of embarrassment. Frightening it may be to look at such a feature and think of its existence, worse still would be to realise that those involved looked upon the final product and were satisfied with not just their efforts, but of everyone else’s also.  

A surprisingly miserable attempt at adapting what little humour there is to be found in the actual Nostalgia Critic series, To Boldy Flee becomes part of this tragic, embarrassing series of content. Cutting away brain cells with a scythe, Walker feebly attempts to bring life to his miserable creation. Relying on the former figurehead critics of the Channel Awesome banner, the supporting cast are as horrendously utilised as the leading man himself. Crafting a film is no small feat, but there are those that shouldn’t bother with any form of attempt. These individuals find themselves deeply rooted in a group that should never be given the opportunity to use cameras.  

What a deplorable bunch of monsters. They fester in the screenplay; Walker is a walking example of why film criticism isn’t taken nearly as seriously as it could be. He is an embodiment of the problematic egotism that is strife within the field. Applying your own craft to filmmaking does not reap rewards, and the irony here is that Walker has created a living through criticising these very problems. Truly nonsensical, to realise this is longer than some of the greatest epics of our lifetime is a harrowing tragedy, and a strong argument for the destruction of independent filmmakers and YouTubers alike. To Boldly Flee is not a standalone issue, head to the most recent Channel Awesome video, and it’s just as poor. Most budding filmmakers develop their craft, but Walker is stuck with his popular, horrid nonsense.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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