The King of Kong, aka Cults, Evil Forces, and Stereotypes

By Lynne M.

I absolutely loved the movie The King of Kong. I enjoyed every character and his or her addition to the duel between Billy and Steve. There were some very strange people (namely Mr. Kuh) who seemed like they fit better into a cult than in the arcade. I think it’s easy to answer the question of who is the protagonist in the movie, but my view has shifted since I learned the real life story of the men’s battle.

The movie obviously makes Billy seem like a pompous and arrogant has-been hero trying to maintain his title at all costs. From shots of Billy combing his outdated hair style numerous times to his selfish quotes about how great he is, the movie is definitely geared at making Billy seem like the antagonist. Which clearly makes Steve the protagonist, since they are rivals that loathe each other (or so the movie claims).

Steve’s role as the protagonist in the movie is quite stereotypical. He is the underdog that has had failure in life and dreams of rising to the top. He finally accomplishes his goal, or so he thinks, only to find out that his massive score was dismissed due to suspicions concerning his relationship with “Mr. Awesome”. The movie definitely focuses on Steve’s struggles to become the best at something and makes Billy seem like the leader of the evil forces (Twin Galaxies) that keep Steve from accomplishing his goal.

Both of the characters go on quests throughout the movie, but they are all for the same reason: to be the best at Donkey Kong. Steve even has to figure out how to transport himself across the country to play the game live to make his score count. Billy shortcuts his way through his quest by submitting a video instead of playing live, which is preferred.

The ending rocked. It was brief, but it made me happy that Steve finally made it to the top… until I found out at our next class that Billy was on top again. I guess they will have to continue their epic quest for life.

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2 thoughts on “The King of Kong, aka Cults, Evil Forces, and Stereotypes”

  1. I have seen many cult-like personalities in the nerd kingdom. These manifest themselves in the form of Dungeon Masters, uber gamers, and serious programmers. Good observation as to the sociology of nerd life. However, I think the filmmakers certainly skewed and reinforced many preconceptions to aid the enjoyment of the film.

  2. I noticed your review of “The King of Kong” from). We are distributing a very similar gaming documentary, “E-Athletes”, which releases on DVD, January 27th, 2009.
    Attached is a sell sheet.

    We would love to send you a screener for review.

    Would you be of interest? If so, what would be the best address to send you a copy?

    Thank you so much and look forward to hearing from you.

    Best,

    Jacob Ripley
    Public Relations Representative
    Passion River Films
    732-321-0711 x135
    Jacob@passionriver.com

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