Review of Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest (2021)

Moving picture, 90 minutes

Seen in 2021.

A Danish man attempts a new high score in Gyruss (1983), while also playing the game continuously for 100 hours on one coin.

Patterned after The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007), and featuring both Billy Mitchell and Walter Day from the earlier documentary. The narrator claims that news of Mitchell having cheated arrive at a critical point in the new narrative, which seems unlikely and is not shown.

The pee breaks are a highlight and the Iron Maiden medley at the dramatic apex is well edited. The team of friends around Kim the “Cannon Arm” is also fun, but the film is double-edged in its gawking at these geeks, who ultimately fail in their most important job. Nobody thinks to get a clicker and an uninterrupted video feed to keep an accurate count of “lives” in the game, something that is only needed because Gyruss stores lives in an unsigned 8-bit integer without overflow protection and fails to display the count to the player. The trivial nature of those technical flaws is supposed to be charming, but as in any extreme sport, the arbitrariness of the challenge is a turn-off.

moving picture non-fiction