Documentary Review: King of Chinatown

During this past weekend at PAX East, I had the pleasure of being able to catch a screening of an indie documentary entitled “King of Chinatown”.  Prior to the event, I had never heard of this film, nor the director, nor even the star of the film; however, after seeing the well put together trailer I was very excited for the film.

King of Chinatown instantly had the feeling of another film I love (The King of Kong), but with a more modern and gritty twist.  The primary focus on the film is professional gamer Justin Wong and his relationship with his then manager (and later in the film former manager) Isaiah Triforce Johnson.  We begin by meeting the two around the time Street Fighter IV launches.  Justin has all ready become a superstar of the game and the film chronicles his victories through many tournaments.  Interlaced with these advances, the director shows us interviews with former members and associates of the group that Triforce heads up.  These interviews form a balance in the film in that you have the somewhat outlandish Triforce, both in personality and in his ideals and then we have these people that know him and think he is not at all that which he makes himself out to be.  They claim Triforce is was leaching off of Justin’s success, and in the film we do see this angle too.  We also meet Justin’s Rival, Daigo Umehara. They call Daigo the beast as he displays no emotion, win or lose and also because he rarely loses.  Daigo ends up beating Justin almost every time they meet.  Overall, for someone who didn’t know really anything at all about this world in gaming the film was an eye opener.  Whether or not you knew anything about the competitive gaming world, when the credits rolled there was much applause.  A great film, and here’s hoping that they find a distributor for it soon.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Author: Ryan Kenward View all posts by
Ryan is the Founder of Vagary.TV - he currently works in a free lance capacity and as an advisor. He formerly hosted the Game Seers Podcast, was the first Editor-in-Chief and is generally, a badass.