Review: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Director: Seth Gordon
Year: 2007
Score: 9/10

Brilliant documentary works on several levels (excuse the pun): it’s a classic story of a rivalry between the evil establishment (reigning Donkey Kong world champion Billy Mitchell and his cronies) and the heroic underdog (good guy everyman Steve Wiebe); it’s an exploration of a subculture that is both unique and representative of every other ‘in crowd’ community we’ve all experienced at some point; it’s a parable about success, failure, honesty and determination in contemporary America; and it’s a portrait of a bunch of fascinating real-life characters. I was going to give it 9.5 but then I read a few things (e.g. claims of inaccuracy, some of which the director has apparently conceded) that made me revise my score slightly. Nonetheless, it’s now my third favourite documentary ever.

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