The King of Kong & r & & r & by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & ho would ever guess that the story of Cain and Abel could be told through the arcade game of Donkey Kong?
Yet here it is, The King of Kong, presented in a rollicking 79-minute documentary that packs all the laughs, tension and plot twists of a feature film. This is a documentary that examines grown men -- family men -- who are obsessed with retro arcade games like Pac-Man, Missile Command and Donkey Kong.
The King of Kong centers on the longtime ruler of the game, Billy Mitchell, now a Florida hot sauce baron. With a shimmering mane of '80s hair and often dressed in black, Mitchell has held the Donkey Kong high score since 1982. His crowd of acolytes think it will never be broken.
Along comes Steve Wiebe, a sweet loser from Redmond who plays Kong in his garage. He's a natural. We see him beat Mitchell's score not once but twice. The Mitchell disciples, however, are the international referees of arcade gaming -- and the way they treat Wiebe's record submissions will have you shouting from the edge of your couch.
The film is classic good guy/bad guy struggle, with the outcome in doubt to the very end. Besides, it has hysterical dialogue. Here's how one of the gamers describes himself for the camera: "I wanted the glory. I wanted the fame. I wanted the pretty girls to come up and say, 'Hi. I see you're good at Centipede.'"
Oh, sweet God, don't we all.
The DVD is packed with bonus features, and the bonus screen itself resembles a Donkey Kong game in which Wiebe is chasing Mitchell up and down the ladders. Bonus scenes and extended interviews, augmented by the directors' commentary track, keep viewers updated on who is royally pissed at whom since the movie debuted.
Last but not least, there is a "very, very brief" animated featurette on the history of Donkey Kong.
So armed with all this knowledge, put on your tightest black jeans, shake out your hair, kick back and wait for all the beautiful chicks to come swarming your way. Yeah, dude ... any minute now. (Rated PG-13)