A live action version of the childhood favourite side scrolling video games with a 360 surround of a stage recreating rooftops with chimneys and various obstacles. Player 611 has to traverse around to the other side, dodging various monsters, visiting various shops for power ups and weapons while interacting with a mysterious fellow player. Part of LIFT 2014, the audience each has a headphone providing an occasionally whimsical soundtrack and 3D sound. The parkour like movement is smooth and some of the fight scenes are well choreographed. But the distinct lack of danger and thrill makes it a rather static experience. The monsters and end of level transition are kitsch and surreal, even elements of David Lynch about it, but it all feels rather meek and restraint.
Directed and choreographed by co- directors David Rosenberg (co-founder of Shunt) and Frauke Requardt, taking on a genre and subject matter as vast and diverse as video games is brave. Given the history, innovations and talent in that sector and the well explored artistic boundaries, technology and even opportunities for self parody, it will take some true visionary to take it onto another level. And this is not it. What is left is a mediocre attempt to reference the genre, overlay the parallel of mundaneness of both life and video game with some less than thrilling physical theatre.