GAMESTOP: RISE OF THE PLAYERS (2022)
A documentary that plays more like an entertaining drama with unexpected heroes you’ll find yourself cheering for, GameStop: Rise of the Players breaks down what really happened when the retail gaming company’s stock skyrocketed last January in an entertaining and (mostly) simplistic manner.
In January 2021, online investors took Wall Street by storm as they netted millions and cost hedge funds billions as GameStop’s stock rose over 2500% after the group conducted their own research and followed their own intuition. GameStop: Rise of the Players is a totally engrossing documentary that does its best to break down the complicated story of what exactly happened to send GameStop’s stock skyrocketing. In short, this small group of investors manipulated the market in their favor and turned the tables on those hedge funds that have made billions doing the same. The filmmakers tell the story through a spiderweb of internet connections that surprisingly comes full circle by the end, wrapping up better than many of Hollywood’s biggest tentpoles (which is probably why numerous projects around this story are in development).
As well executed as the film is, it still can be rather confusing if you’re not already knowledgeable about the stock market. I read up a bit on the true events following and think I now understand fully what happened, but don’t ask me to explain it. Where GameStop: Rise of the Players excels in director Jonah Tulis’ ability to take such a complicated concept and hook the viewer with game-centric dazzling visuals and thorough interviews with the major players. Tulis has a niche for telling true stories centered around gaming culture. Here, you’ll laugh, you’ll cheer, and you’ll want in on the knowledge that propelled these unlikely heroes into history.
GameStop: Rise of the Players is now playing in theaters.