Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest
Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest is infectious. The script (mostly the narration by director Mads Hedegaard) adds personality to anything and everything that it talks about – from the characters and their own journeys to the technical jargon of arcade games, and even musical theory. And while the delivery is very monotonous (there are a lot of highs and lows expressed only through the choice of words), and none of it is decorated with fancy delivery – even the humour works in the same manner, just based on what is said and not how, the result is compelling.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but one thing that sticks out is how much the audience can learn about so many different things through a feature about playing a video game for 100 straight hours. Hedegaard enriches the storytelling with numerous insights and fun facts, from the behind-the-scenes workings of an arcade game to the average number of words a person speaks in a day. These add endless colour to a production that’s heavily reliant on its narration.
The flick is also chock-full of self-realising quotations – things like, “If you haven’t prepared and practiced, then even as the best in the world, you increase the risk of failing” and “All the superhero movies may be due to a lack of superheroes in real life”. Speaking of heroes, they’re another theme that is a constant throughout the film– that and the bringing of people together through gaming. There’s a heartwarming irony when archival footage from the 1940s claims, “If there’s any danger, it’s the breaking up of social contacts. It’s such a loner sort of activity”: here is a group of friends working towards one goal and finding friendship through video games.
Visuals filmed through the arcade screens are fantastic, taking the viewer into the world of each game – kind of like the Wreck-it-Ralph effect, but more authentic. Even outside of the graphics, each archive clip and every illustration used to guide the audience through the journey adds not only to the enjoyment, but also endears the audience to each and every personality. But more specifically, it entices viewers to truly root for the success of Kim Cannon Arm.
Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest here: