Every October, James Rolfe reviews horror movies, whether it be the old-school silent-era monster classics, the golden-age Universal horror films from the '30s, '40s and '50s, the grotesque... See full summary »
Michael Reid MacKay
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Bradley Kristian Wrenn,
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The real-life location for the video game store which The Nerd works at is Next-Gen Video Games, based in Los Angeles. The store's owner can be seen in the movie playing Asteroids at the bar arcade, fist-bumping The Nerd as he enters, and sporting a Next-Gen t-shirt. See more »
When General Dark Onward gets his arm blown up by a grenade, his uniform and shirt is sprayed with blood from the wound in his shoulder. However, in the scenes following immediately after his clothes are spotless. See more »
I didn't really go into this movie with any expectations one way or the other. On the one hand, I don't really care for James Rolfe's more recent AVGN episodes, but on the other hand, the script for this movie was supposedly written several years ago, during a time when his episodes were in my opinion better. So I decided to watch it, with a completely open mind, out of curiosity's sake more than from being a die-hard fan.
It was a noble effort and a great practical and technical achievement, and I respect James as a filmmaker and artist for all the work he put into it, but objectively speaking it just isn't that great of a movie. Not because of cheap practical effects, which I didn't mind; not because of the acting, which was mostly passable, but for two more important things: the script and the humor.
Plain and simply, this movie is not funny. I hardly cracked a smile through the entire thing. I think the one or two laughs I got were of the "Wow, they seriously included something that dumb??" variety. I also spotted multiple instances of jokes recycled from old AVGN episodes (e.g. "It's better to be p*ssed off than p*ssed on"), but even many of the original jokes were stale and lame. I actually cringed when they did the old "It sounds like people are having sex, but oh wait, they're doing something else entirely! Hilarious!!" bit. I suppose it could also be that my sense of humor is different now compared to seven years ago when I became an AVGN fan, but it all boiled down to an unfunny comedy.
The script in this thing has issues. The whole thing is a bit confusing an convoluted. There are several annoying and uncompelling "new" characters. The plot is too dense and should have been kept simpler. There's a scene early on where Cooper (AVGN's out-of-nowhere sidekick) talks about all kinds of insane thing he believes in, and we get a sequence illustrating it; this scene is jarring an awful and took me out of the film completely. There's no tension in any scene with the villains, not only because they're played up as goofballs, but because the heroes are inexplicably not afraid of having guns pointed at their heads. The romantic payoff at the end is unearned. Etc etc. All in all, it's not a tightly written story and could have used a lot more editing.
The only other thing I'll say is that I did not see this movie in theaters, I rented it and watched it alone. People have been saying that it's the kind of thing that's best seen in a group, and maybe that's the case, but by the same token, being a hardcore fan in a packed theater full of other like-minded people likely creates a blinding euphoria that hinders objectivity. I'd advise everyone to watch it again at home, and I won't be surprised if the novelty of the experience wears off and you come away with a different impression.
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