Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie can be described with a single word: disappointment. What were they thinking?
He’s the angriest gamer you’ve ever heard. He’s the Angry Video Game Nerd. And in 2014 he starred in his own movie with such an original title, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie. What a great news for the fans of the Nerd! A whole movie about him made by the original creator James Rolfe will be awesome, right? Spoiler alert: The movie sucks. It’s not all bad, but for the most parts it’s horrible.
The plot is all over the place so it’s better to describe what the basic idea of the movie is. The story revolves around the legend of the E.T. video game cartridges for Atari 2600 buried in the desert. The Nerd travels to the desert to prove that the legend isn’t true, but he ends up in the middle of a government’s top-secret alien project. This leads to many unexpected turns which are more random than intriguing.
The film is a total mess. It’s a weird two-hour mixture of comedy, sci-fi, horror and Japanese monster movies. It’s like the movie doesn’t know what it is. Everything seems like a big inside joke that might have worked in the paper after a few Rolling Rocks but fails miserably in the final film.
The movie is also very sexist and full of stereotypes. I found the way the Nerd’s friend’s mom is portrayed to be racist. She acts like a stereotypical big black mother character. Moreover, in one scene a woman comes with a very open cleavage to ask the Nerd to sign her boobs. The weird thing is that the film knows it’s sexist. In another scene the film notes that there’s a sexy cat-fight coming and it still actually goes to the fight.
Furthermore, the whole movie feels like it’s a work of bad fan fiction. Especially in the beginning the movie feels more like a tribute to the Nerd rather than an actual movie. That’s bizarre because the movie is still a product of the father of the Nerd. What was he thinking?
Every real game featured is remade to avoid copyright issues which adds to the fan fiction vibe. The actual game footage is an essential part of the web series, so it just doesn’t feel right that E.T. is suddenly Eee Tee and that the game footage of the Top Gun NES game isn’t the real thing.
Additionally, the movie features the review for E.T. but it’s a huge letdown. The fans of the web series know that E.T. is one of the longest-awaited reviews from the Nerd. When the review finally comes in the end of the movie it feels very soulless and bland. One of the main reasons is that the game footage isn’t from the real E.T. game. Furthermore, there’s a crowd cheering and laughing for the Nerd. The crowd is very out of place, and while they were having fun in a very fake way I was just facepalming.
However, there are some good elements in the film. Some of the jokes and lines are hilarious. “Nerds before birds” is a good example of a line that made me laugh out loud. It’s the film’s take on equally bad lines like “bros before hoes” or “chicks before dicks”. Every now and then the content is so bad it gives some good giggles, like a chick magnet is an actual chick magnet or there’s a game named War Duty 3000 in the style of Call of Duty.
The film is made with a very low budget which is great as it brings B movie vibes. There are a lot of practical effects, the acting is cheesy, and the CGI is bad in a good way. It’s funny to see a toy van fall down a cliff and burn like it’s obviously ignited by someone. Moreover, an alien is actually a puppet and a giant monster just a guy in a suit. The CGI looks cheap, but so it does in the original web series. The film looks just the way it should as the web series has a strong amateur feel into it.
The movie features a lot of cameo appearances. The fans of the series will recognize Mike Matei and Kyle Justin. Many YouTube personalities such as Doug “The Nostalgia Critic” Walker, Patrick “Pat the NES Punk” Contri and Nathan “Keith Apicary” Barnatt make small appearences. Even the front man of Troma Entertainment, Lloyd Kaufman has a minor role. These people bring glimpses of hope for the movie but don’t save it.
If you’re not familiar with the Angry Video Game Nerd this movie isn’t for you. It’s a horrible way to get to know the character so you should rather start with the web series. On the contrary, if you’re a fan of the Nerd this movie will offer some good moments but still it’s not a huge loss if you miss it. If you’re planning to watch this movie just as a movie you shouldn’t because it’s not so bad it’s good, it’s just bad.
Directed by: Kevin Finn, James Rolfe
Written by: Kevin Finn, James Rolfe
Starring: James Rolfe, Jeremy Suarez, Sarah Glendening
Release date: 21.7.2014
Running time: 115 minutes
All images appearing in this review are the property of Cinemassacre Productions.