It’s been a few years since the cancellation of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ripped my heart into a million tiny pieces. The sharp and witty writing combined with the positive and whimsical nature of the show turned into a huge hit for Netflix in its early days of producing original content. A movie really wasn’t something that alot of people where clamouring for, fortunately though the entire cast has returned with a few fresh additions to deliver an interactive special that attempts to retain the joy of the show but fails to deliver, despite the interactivity elements.
Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) has been living it large with a new career and fiancee Prince Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe) planning their dream wedding when Kimmy finds a book that makes her think there is another bunker with women that the reverend has hidden somewhere. After a conversation with Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (John Hamm) she sets out with Titus in tow to track down the hidden bunker and free the women.
The biggest part of this movie is the humour, usually Schmidt has a distinct pop.culture satirical slant that won’t age well. It is only slightly similar here, the humour seems a little watered down without the onslaught of quips that the show offered up. That being said Titus (Titus Burgess) is still as extra as he has ever been and his constant quips with Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski). The cast have a lot of fun with the choices offering up some great segways when faced with a choice. Unlike previous CYOA’s (Choose Your Own Adventures) making a different choice from the main plot doesn’t take you down too wild of a path and will more often than not result in a do-over forcing you to take a certain way which seems to defeat the purpose.
Story wise, it’s a great idea. It seems totally plausible that the Reverend would have more bunkers and when Kimmy gets more switched on to the world around her would trip him up on this. The concept is sound, however the execution is a bit rushed and would have served better if fleshed out over a sesaon of the show (which is seems like it was probably meant for). The main story focuses on Kimmy and Titus on a road trip adventure, while Jacqueline gets an odd sub-plot seeing her stalling on the set of Titus’s new movie opportunity. It doesn’t always work but the show has always been quirky enough to pull it all together and make it look intentional.
If you are planning to jump into the CYOA part of it, I really encourage you to press “SKIP INTRO” when the theme song starts, it is worth every second! While the show may have finished, this special proves that Schmidt still has plenty left in the tank creatively and checking in with these characters every few years may not be a bad thing.
Kimmy Vs The Reverend may not be as innovative or side splittingly hilarious as the TV show previously was, it does offer a glimpse and some finality into where these characters have fit into the world around them. Radcliffe is a great new addition to the cast and has just enough to showcase his comedic muscles. Fans of the series will enjoy a fresh glimpse into Kimmy’s colourful world, newcomers to the series may just leave a little confused.
Kimmy Vs The Reverend is now streaming on Netflix.