This is an over-the-top film that no one who ever watched an AVGN video and chuckled, should miss.
I’ve never been a die-hard fan of The Angry Video Game Nerd web-series, but I still have fun watching those videos from time to time. After all, the fouled-mouthed nerd played some of the worst video games ever made and criticized its flaws in a creative and entertaining way and he did all that for our amusement. But over the years, there was one review that the nerd avoided: E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. According to the urban legend (actually, it’s not an urban legend anymore,) there was a game that wad so bad that the company that developed the game and published it went bankrupt. This also led to the infamous period known as the video game crash and it’s said that the remaining cartridges of said game were buried somewhere in the New Mexico desert so that no one ever played them again. The game in question’s ET: The Extraterrestrial and the company that created was Atari.
In the movie, the Nerd (played by James Rolfe,) his best friend Cooper and a girl named Mandy located the place where the cartridges are supposed to be buried with the promise that if he finds anything, the Nerd will finally review the dreadful piece of software. Coincidentally, an evil video game developer uses E.T.’s infamy to create an even worst sequel called Eee Tee 2 (clearly, the name of the game was changed to avoid lawsuits.) Why would anyone do that? Well, this would force the Nerd to review both games and since they are so bad, fans of the Nerd would be so interested that they would buy the sequel out of curiosity.
The Nerd is planning to find the precise location of the landfill to prove once and for all that it doesn’t exist. In this way, he hopes that his fans don’t send him any more requests to review the infamous Atari game and that they listen to him and stay as far away as possible from its upcoming sequel. Revealing anything else about the story would spoil it, but it’s worth pointing out that while the premise is more or less rooted in reality, soon enough, AVGN: The Movie becomes ridiculous in the best ways possible.
The film really captures the charm of the AVGN character and those who enjoy the videos will definitely love the movie. Despite not being a fan, I must say I really enjoyed most of what the movie has to offer because it goes beyond the video game fan who reviews terrible games in his dingy basement. I think you have to have some sort of appreciation for video games as a medium to like this though, since there are a lot of references to games and the culture that surrounds them (GameStop, using a dial-up connection, the release of “War Duty 3000” and so on.)
If you like AVGN, you’ll feel right at home here. There’s a lot of swearing, the characteristic sense of the humor of the series, special effects, multiple references to movie cliches and more. On the other hand, if you’re not familiar with the series’ sense of humor, it might be hit or miss. Also, I felt like the movie was too long for the story it was trying to tell.
The purposely bad effects really work. In the movie, you’ll see every trick in the book, including use of green screen, guys in Godzilla-like suits, impressive explosions, models on fire and so on. Personally, I loved the B-movie qualities and I liked the fact that AVGN never takes itself too seriously. At times, this movie is bad and ridiculous and uses that to delightful extremes.
The Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie takes the best qualities of the web-series it’s based on and applies that to a B-Movie. The result is an over-the-top adventure film that no one who ever watched an AVGN video and chuckled, should miss.