Let me preface this with the fact that while I can never call myself a true AVGN "fan", I did follow the series from its roots. Like James, I also grew up in the 8-bit era so it was really great to see someone actually create a show which revolves around those ancient games. Also, back then, watching someone act angry at the video game was yet to get old.
So yeah.. good old days when the series was nice and simple. AVGN digs up an old game, demonstrates its flaws, chugs beer and gets more and more p*ssed off. The formula was simple, yet enjoyable. But bit by bit, the show was changing, James started adding more and more to it, characters, special effects, even story lines, and to me personally it never really clicked. While the earliest episodes strongly catered to the 20-30 somethings, folks that actually played the games the Nerd was talking about, and could relate, the later shows started more and more to revolve around swearing and bodily fluids rather than anger-fueled nostalgia for the old games. Finally the show become something that only younger teens can really enjoy ... and anyone older than that perhaps just watch secretly as a guilty pleasure.
And now we have the movie... which, being a continuation of above trend, has practically nothing in common with what the AVGN series was initially like.
First and foremost, the Nerd character in the movie could not be more different than the Nerd in the series. If you expected a movie about a lovable curmudgeon unwillingly getting involved in a crazy plot which made him increasingly p*ssed off - something which would be in line with the show and have actual comedic potential - look elsewhere. The movie version of AVGN is basically James Rolfe himself, a person famous within his niche, tame in spirit and filled with unbridled love for his fans. Yes, the Angry Video Game Nerd is completely missing from his own movie. In fact, the movie would maybe work better if the main character was simply James wearing his regular clothes. Or at least it would feel less jarring.
Then, it's the secondary characters. If you expected Justin, or Mike, or someone even remotely familiar to have a major role.. again, look elsewhere. Not only does the movie pull a horrible cliché of introducing a new character while pretending he has always been around, this fresh new AVGN's sidekick and best buddy Coop is little more than a Jar Jar Binks of the movie. He is naive, dumb, occasionally involved in unfunny slapstick and adds utterly nothing to the movie. As for the rest of the supporting cast.. less said, the better.
Third - the plot. It's needlessly ludicrous, convoluted and difficult to follow (if one is expected to follow it at all). I know James and Kevin wanted to be ambitious and overblown and everything, but you could probably still do that and have a coherent script. As such, the movie is all over the place and Nerd's motivation for everything he does is completely impenetrable. He loves his fans and doesn't want them to play bad games.. I guess. It's hard to tell, because the movie has huge troubles explaining what it is that the Nerd actually wants, or why he does anything he does (except because the script says so). Again - why couldn't the movie be about the Nerd just being.. well, himself? Couldn't he had reviewed E.T., accidentally uncovered something sinister and got involved in a crazy plot? Why couldn't the movie let him be actually angry and dismissive like he has been in the show since.. always? Oh, right. Because this is not AVGN movie.. this is a self-indulgent and misguided love letter from James to his fans. Bah.
Finally - the humor. It's just... not there. I know these things are subjective, but still.. While the old AVGN shows almost always made me laugh, especially the old ones. I didn't laugh once during this movie. Not. Once. Maybe a desperation chuckle or two, that's it. I don't know whether it's the writing, the timing, the direction.. but I just felt that almost every single joke felt flat, and sometimes I wasn't even sure if something was supposed to be funny. For example, there is one early scene when Coop out of the blue starts talking about stuff he believes in, and we suddenly start seeing a cartoon rendition of that. I still cannot understand whether that bit was just a horribly incompetent bit of exposition/foreshadowing, or whether this was supposed to be funny, but it definitely was one in a huge series of baffling moments which made me heavily question my decision to keep watching.
So all in all, I was rather heavily disappointed. I really didn't expect much, but I at least thought I would find the movie tolerable. Then again, maybe this movie is not for me. Maybe if I was 12-15 I would find it absolutely hilarious. So.. I guess take this review as an opinion of an old fart, and freely double or triple the stars if you are under 16 or so, since apparently you, not me, are now James' main target audience.
P.S. I still respect you James, and I admire how far you've gone with your silly little web series. I really really wanted to like this movie, and I wish I could have written a better review, if only as thanks for years of free entertainment.
P.P.S. If you want to see a "movie based on popular internet series" done right, I suggest you check out "Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child". At least it actually stars the main character from the web series. Oh, and it's free, which definitely doesn't hurt.