The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (PG)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Jun 3 2008This transfixing and often laugh-out-loud doc is a straightforward tale of good versus evil set in the pitiless and po-faced world of retro arcade gaming. Steve Wiebe is an affable out-of-town family man whose life so far has been strewn with disappointment and loss. He decides to try to beat the highest-ever score for the classic game ‘Donkey Kong’, a record set by Machiavellian hot sauce salesman, Billy Mitchell in 1982.
Mitchell, with his stubbly beard, mullet haircut and dazzling array of patriotic neckties is a documentary supervillain up there with George W. Bush in ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’. He flaunts a colossal ego as he delivers a torrent of highly quotable faux pas (‘No matter what I say, it draws controversy. It’s sort of like the abortion issue.’). You could hardly call it a paragon of impartial filmmaking, but this is still a compelling and immersive glance into the nature of competitiveness and the corrupting aspects of fame.
Author: David Jenkins