King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Seth Gordon

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Seth Gordon
If you were believe the opinions of many members of the forum for Twin Galaxies, the organisation that tracks videogame world records, and which plays a major role in King of Kong, King of Krap, as they so wittily call it, is the most gregarious misrepresentation of the truth since, I don’t know, the Hitler Diaries or something. As any good active viewer knows, however, there’s no such thing as the absolute truth - especially when it comes to documentaries. King of Kong tells the story of Washington high school teacher Steve Wiebe. Wiebe’s on a quest to record the world record high score in the classic ’80s arcade game Donkey Kong, and standing in his way is the strangely cliquey Twin Galaxies, who refuse to accept his score, instead retaining the world record held by their golden boy, videogame celebrity Billy Mitchell (known worldwide as the first man to play a perfect game of Pac-Man). What follows is a near-perfect narrative arc as Wiebe desperately tries to prove himself to Twin Galaxies (and take the world record) through marathon sessions of Donkey Kong, while the cocky villain of the piece, Mitchell, sneakily undermines his every move with the help of a cabal of followers. If it sounds like too perfect a plot, that’s because it is. You should be able to tell fairly quickly that the story has been juiced up with skilful editing and some clever omissions, but in doing so, director Seth Gordon has created an incredibly entertaining film that points to many deeper truths than a simple recounting of only the facts would. Behind Mitchell’s bravado we see the pain of forever trying to stay the best; in Wiebe’s quest not only for success but for acceptance we see something common to all men. It might not be the most truthful representation of the competition, but those who complain about the misrepresentation are simply too attached to the source material to see the film for what it is - a great story told well. (Alliance Films)