When you think about it, the premise behind the arcade classic Donkey Kong is actually pretty dark (no, really).
A giant monkey kidnaps some poor guy’s girlfriend, and he then has to chase the (potentially misunderstood) beast up a load of scaffolding to get her back.
MyNameIsBanks clearly interprets the game in a similar way. His live action Donkey Kong short is less fluffy Nintendo fun, and more gritty action movie.
For a start, his Mario (or Jumpman here if we’re being real) is looking pretty lean for a portly Italian guy.
Which is not to say that I didn’t like Banks’ take on Donkey Kong – I think it’s fantastic. It’s wonderfully shot, gorgeous looking, and has some awesome music that pays homage to the original game.
As in the game itself, Mario has to scale a rather questionable looking construct, dodging barrels as they roll down from the top, where Donkey Kong himself waits.
It’s not the kind of thing I ever thought could be made visually interesting, but Banks has nailed it. There’s an especially cool first person part where it goes all Mirror’s Edge, and the moment he grabs the hammer is when shit really kicks off.
Check it out below.
Just when you think it’s all over, a wild Bowser appears. It’s an awesome twist (since he was never part of Donkey Kong) and the subtle change in music to Bowser’s ominous theme from Super Mario World clues in observant fans before it happens.
I’m left wanting more, to be honest.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.