Joysticks neither acts as an exploration of the arcade/video game culture, nor presents any poignant commentary in its defense, and instead of thoroughly diving into the band of misfits that makes up the establishment, the movie wastes time on pointless and mostly hollow gags filled with a truly excessive amount of fart jokes.
The conflict is continuously grounded in shaky pretenses and meaningless stakes. Situations happen for no reason and our antagonist is entirely non-threatening. Despite somewhat of an effort, you never quite feel like the arcade is ever at any risk of actually being shut down. Not only because the villain basically has no grounds to do so, but because the characters never seem legitimately concerned. The teenagers are constantly one step ahead of Rutter and the viewer knows it the whole time. In fact, director Greydon Clark goes the extra mile to make jokes about how his characters aren’t worried as they treat these threats with flippancy.