Movie Review: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
After weeks of trying to see it at screenings around town, I finally got the chance to see The King of Kong. My expectations were high as I walked into the theater, and I'm thrilled to say they were not only met, but exceeded. Seth Gordon has made one of the most ridiculously entertaining documentaries in years. Sure, it's about Donkey Kong and the genuinely weird subculture of Golden Age Arcade Game competition, but at its core it's a traditional story about honesty, decency and perseverance. And, oh, what a villain it has!
As Kong opens, we are introduced to the man honored by NAMCO in 1999 as the "Video Game Player of the Century"--the quintessential gamer Billy Mitchell. The owner of a full and lustrous mullet, Mitchell helps guide us through the glory days of the early 80s when arcade games dominated popular culture in a way not seen since. He is assisted by Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies, an organization started in 1982 for the express purpose of ratifying and compiling high scores. In their common zeal, you would think that no time had passed at all.