There are exactly three reasons why this competition doc is much more enjoyable than The King of Kong, this summer’s other film about major-league nerds making fools of themselves:

  1. Unlike The King of Kong, which wimps out in the third act, Air Guitar Nation tells a complete story, from the inception of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships and qualifying rounds in New York and L.A. to the World Championships in Oulu, Finland.
  2. The contestants are in on the joke. King of Kong’s joystick wigglers Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell seem to think beating a thirty-year-old video game actually matters. When C-Diddy and Björn Türoque do their thing, they know they’re being dorks, and they love every minute.
  3. Nobody but the judges sit and watch guys jump over flaming barrels for two hours, waiting for them to screw up. Unlike Donkey Kong, Air Guitar is a spectator sport, and there’s always a crowd ready to rock.

Air Guitar Nation. Alexandra Lipsitz, 2006. ***