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What the Angry Video Game Nerd Movie lacks in budgetary polish, it makes up for it with low rent, cinematic panache. Or, maybe this is all fan-driven willpower.

Like it or not, AVGN has become a capsulized version of all internet success: Someone in a basement, spewing bile about video games, and then ultimately transforming the surrounding culture into scattered piles of ejected fecal matter. Civilization and societal progress be damned. Messages and metaphors? Forget those too.

James Rolfe – thick rimmed glasses and pocket protector intact for his Nerd persona – sets forth on a magnum opus of deranged web video, where culture collides with acknowledged cliches and joyously childish stupidity. Rolfe’s work thrives on self-awareness as much as it does a raining torrent of vomit and ball references – yes, those balls. Would you expect any less from a production company named Cinemasscare?


With crowdfunding dollars in tow, we may be cheated from seeing Rolfe take a buffalo-born diarrhea dump in his ear, but The AVGN Movie still broadens the meager source concept into a two hour feature. It’s a rush of incomprehensible nonsense following the search for a vaunted burial site containing discarded cartridges of the infamous E.T. Atari 2600 adaptation. The journey is messy, overwrought, and tugged in directions without logic, but therein sits the soul of this indescribable mish-mash of cultural appreciation.

AVGN is eclectic. Miniature buildings, rubber suits, stiff puppets, snarling military generals wearing tank treads; it’s all here. Some may find the purposefully Z-grade feature self-indulgent – after all, it opens with a stream of praise from worldwide fans showering the Nerd in congratulation – yet therein sits an internal recognition. The Nerd wouldn’t exist if said fans didn’t blow up with their glowing support of the absurd.

Under technical scrutiny and the loose rules of film critique, AVGN is a quantifiable mess. Birthed from a 20 or so minute web skit, the feature film crumbles around the runtime, doing so with a slog of needless fan nods, superfluous in-jokes, and friendly cameos. Even in terms of the paired online video sensation, AVGN Movie fails to knock Bugs Bunny in the testicles or accentuate the toilet features of the infamous Jaguar CD console add-on.


That said, if this feature wasn’t drowning in community nods, it would feel barren and cold. Plus, were Rolfe replicate the saucy humor as a whole, the movie adaptation would lose any identity of its own. Such a back-and-forth tonal struggle could not have been easy.

What’s left is wonky and unclean, but AVGN should not be any other way. It’s not quality so much as it is raw passion, and in that regard, The AVGN Movie is infinitely astute in blocking a critical barrage. In this case, maybe a flogging would help. The comedic ideals created by the Nerd have birthed a subset of of garage critics who, en masse, hunt down terrible software in his wake. This Nerd is so weirdly alluring, most of these vintage duds have higher demand now than they did decades on their release. Backward logic or not, it works.

So to you Nerd, you’ve made the worst, most ball sucking piece of anal dumpings ever. Congrats.

Movie ★★★★☆ 

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