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Film Review: Way of the Puck

Photo courtesy Way of the Puck.
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All of the ingredients are there: the doughy white guys, the semi-obscure passion, the earnest effort at legitimization, and the occasional shrug to the camera by every bit player that just says ‘oh, those boys’. Yet Way of the Puck somehow fails to hold the same charm, humor, and audience as contemporaries like King of Kong.

Those fans of the nerd-obsessive smirky documentary genre may already be familiar with Way of the Puck, which features a core group of slightly aging men who compete at the highest levels of air hockey, which ultimately culminates in the World Championships in Las Vegas. Beyond that narrow scope, we learn a lot about the lives of many key players in the field, as well as the “sports’” history and troubled future. Loosely chronicling one year (between World Championships), the film actually pulls archival air hockey footage (where such a thing exists is beyond this reviewer) and peppers in anecdotes and moments that show a larger breadth of time spent focusing on the subject.