A Heist with Markiplier Review
A blast of an adventure from one of my favorite YouTubers
This review comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I review the movies and limited series I watch.
What a weird thing to put on Letterboxd. Not that I'm complaining. It gave me an excuse to finally sit down and go through every single ending of this awesome adventure. I spent a good chunk of last night and this morning trying to get everything, and I have to say, I had a blast. This is probably one of the most ambitious projects any YouTuber has undertaken, if not the most ambitious of all time. This thing has action sequences, animated sequences, special effects, musical numbers, spastic editing, awesome costumes and make-up, cameos from other YouTubers, and 31 different and very strange endings to choose from. This thing is crazy, this thing is fun, and I loved pretty much every single minute of it.
I've been an avid Markiplier viewer since April 2014. I remember watching my first video of his on The Impossible Quiz Book while I was on vacation, and I've been a fan ever since. I was lucky enough to be able to go see him on tour as a birthday present, and I've loved his creative undertakings. I've fallen out of watching Markiplier a ton recently, but this just makes me want to go back and see all of Mark's projects like this that I've missed. Above all else, this adventure is just... fun. I mean, that's what a Choose Your Own Adventure should be, right? Awesome, completely illogical yet somehow grounded in its own logic fun. That's exactly what this was.
I've actually unironically admired Mark as an actor for a while now, and he once again proves himself here. He plays the main character, sure, but he also plays many other surprise characters that I'm sure you're gonna have fun discovering for yourself. All of the other performances are great here, too, particularly from some of the cameos that I'm not gonna get into here. The action sequences are really fun, and this entire adventure is really good at putting you in the center of the action. I found myself wanting to interact with what Mark was saying multiple times because of how well he brings you into the adventure with him. It's a total blast.
Now, I will say that there are occasionally some obvious workarounds with the editing. There's a fight sequence that's replaced with video game graphics, an escape sequence that is completely blacked out, and other sequences that are animated to save budget. At first I had a problem with them, but overtime, I've realized that they kind of add to the crazy charm of this whole thing. For the most part, the character arcs are really good and consistent with each path you choose to take. What I love about the main box is that its content changes every single ending. The reason why I love that so much is because so long as you don't reveal what's inside the box for a certain ending, putting different things inside of it allows for surprising new paths for the story, and I thought that was really creative.
In terms of flaws, there are some REALLY jarring swish cuts in order to show the passage of time or in order to show the person playing you looking backwards, and those edits can sometimes make it REALLY hard to tell how much time has passed, how exactly you got from one location to the next, and occasionally even screws up continuity as to how big places are or how close objects are to the main player. On top of that, the fact that some of the police officers just straight up don't see you during some of the sequences is really baffling to me. They may be dumb and that's the point, but how did they not see you clearly hiding behind something? There's a repetitive ending sequence involving you and Mark breaking out of prison that doesn't change anything except the way that you get to the ending, which really annoyed me. They could have gone for a completely different escape method and they didn't. That just really annoyed me. One last thing -- some of the character arcs can sometimes feel rushed or really inconsistent at times. There's a prisoner Mark character and I have absolutely no idea how his mentalities and accent developed so quickly. It completely baffles me.
Honestly, some of the inconsistent writing and characters might happen when you're making such a huge adventure, but the rest of this is filmed and executed so well that it's kind of hard to believe that kind of editing and inconsistency somehow slipped by. However, in the end, is this supposed to be some narratively complex, incredibly life-changing exploration of the human soul or something like that? No. A Heist with Markiplier is just supposed to be a really funny, really dumb, really awesomely helmed action set piece, and in that regard, I think it absolutely succeeds.
Letter Grade: A-
Oh, and keep an eye on the dots of the question marks at the end of each ending and write down what pops up as you go through. There's a link in the description where that's gonna come in handy.