Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie (2014)
The Mystery. The Suspense. The Adventure. The Button that started it all!
He's the angriest gamer you'll ever know. Youtube browsers may already know who I refer to, and other internet users may have stumbled across the Cinemassacre site a long time ago already, but for those who aren't aware I'm talking about the Angry Video Game Nerd (or AVGN). A long time coming, this movie is a labor of love for the Nerd himself, and hopes to be everything budget-film awesome a lot of the B-flicks he enjoys would love to be (all while fitting into a similar format for the character of the Nerd). I should warn you now: language is a strong thing in the movie (and the reviews), so if you're easily offended by strong words you should probably skip it. That being said, is the movie really an out-of-this-world experience, or would you rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in your ear (I don't expect all of you to get that)?
The nerd has gotten very popular through his reviews of incredibly bad games from olden-days. The kind of game that was so broken, so hard, or so utterly incomprehensible that they felt more like affronts to humanity then enjoyable fun games for kids. For years, video after video, folks have been requesting the fabled ET - a game so bad it's been rumored to have all the games recalled and dumped into a landfill out in the Arizona desert. The Nerd's buddy also want's him to do it, particularly after game company Cockburn Industries decides to make some easy money by making a EeTee 2 game, marketing it as even worse than the original. They even go as far as to approach the Nerd with an offer to review the game, to which the Nerd reacts very gutturally.
In a multi-tiered nightmare, the Nerd finally decides that he has to protect his fans from the terror of ET - the game that ruined his youth (in a very cute scene with "baby Nerd"). In order to acquire the funding, the Nerd's pal strikes a deal with CBI, telling them that if they provide an excavation team (complete with ground penetrating radar) to help prove/disprove the validity of the Atari landfill that the Nerd will review EeTee 2 for them. And thus the adventure begins, complete with travel montage and tiny little subplots. Of course, it's not so easy a task as they would think - and upon arriving they run into some over-the-top military types who think the gang may be trying to dig up and steal government secrets!
As the gang continues their adventure, the rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper. Beyond the military in pursuit and trying to ward off anyone from the Atari Landfill, their next stop in trying to find the maker of ET only deepens the mystery and intrigue when he lays down the truth of the matter. The original game is actually the floor plan to Area 51, where his alien friend that crashed in Roswell is being held captive while the military tries to build a super weapon spaceship out of the tinfoil he left behind when he swapped it for the secret alien metals! The Nerd's plan of just making the entire ET issue disappear is starting to flounder fast, and in a last ditch effort his only chance is to break into Area 51 and prove once and for all it's all a load of nonsense. Can he do it?
Now, the entire movie is presented as a B-movie, and makes no real claims to be a super big-budget summer movie extravaganza. What this means is you need to put on the appropriate goggles to watch it - your "I want to watch a silly movie and have fun" goggles. Effects work is done very much B/Godzilla style - rockets and jets shooting out sparkler style sparks, toy cars and cardboard buildings, puppet aliens and greenscreen running. It's relatively well done for the type, with some of the moments being absurdly noticeably bad - some of which is done for the distinct reason of making fun of / paying homage to something else (such as TMNT 3 villain's implosion death). Some of these effects are indeed pretty low-brow humor gags (such as projectile vomit), so to enjoy the humor the most you should probably get that mentality of a juvenile where poop and the likes are still hysterical (surprisingly easy for me to do).
Actors do a pretty decent job for the most part - considering how I don't recognize any names as full-on actors in movies. That being said, there are a lot of cameos of various folks - ranging from Troma, various youtube personalities, and even some stand-ins that are close enough in actions to the youtube stars they are supposed to represent that you'll know who they are supposed to be. It never takes itself too seriously, which is why so many tropes pop up (warmongering super-patriotic general whose super over the top, for example), and the only major drawback to this is the fact that some of the trope type characters (such as the retail store owner) come off seeming super poorly acted because of the goal of making them that way on purpose. It should also be noted that the Nerd's scowl has to be one of the most cartoon-grade scowls I have ever seen a person achieve in real life, and the scene with the "baby Nerd" slowly developing the scowl is about as cute as a button (as the saying goes).
Soundtrack here - while not a forefront mechanic - is quite nice. I thoroughly enjoy the tunes, with specific emphasis on the carnival-gone-metal song during the nightmares. Sound effects are what you'd expect, as is most of the audio levels and balancing (pretty decent, over the top when they want them to be). Tidbits for fans of the Nerd's show are hidden all over the place, from the Glitch Gremlin down to a hard-to-catch Mr. Bucket appearance - not enough to detract from the experience for those who didn't watch the show or aren't already versed with the Nerds hundreds of views.
So what's the verdict? Well, if you're already fans of the AVGN reviews, or you like B-movies, then this should be at the very least worth a rental. After that rental you may decide you like it enough to buy it, or at least rewatch it, to start catching all the little details you may have missed before. To be honest, this seems to be one of the kind of movies where an audio track for the Directors commentary would be great - although DvD versions of it are yet to be released (my copy was digitally distributed by ViMeo) - just to catch all the little tidbits that fan's are going to love. That being said, I would highly recommend you try and watch an AVGN review on youtube or his site (cinemassacre) to see if he's humor (and language) is a bit too low-brow for you before you tune in for an entire "fun with stereotypical tropes" B-movie fun flick.