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The year is 2000 and investors are going crazy about a new mobile phone company called Riot Entertainment. Many high profile companies, like Nokia, invest millions on this unknown firm. Two years later, when all the money has been spent and the company is bankrupt, the fun is over. What happened? Written by
Before the film's premiere at Helsinki International Film Festival, there was a legal threat posed to the authors aiming to ban the film from public screenings. This caused quite a stir and was reported also in Finland's largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat. Also, security staff was hired to the Helsinki International Film Festival premiere in case of violent outbursts from people involved in the documentary. See more »
I am reviewing this documentary about the company I worked for. Riot Entertainment (RIOT-E) was a Finnish mobile game company set to produce mobile games based on famous brands from movies like Lords of the Rings, Marvel Universe (X-men, Spiderman etc.), Bridget Jones Diary etc. What made their story unique that RIOT-E originally had just 6 Finnish guys with a Powerpoint show. They didn't have any products, technology etc., but they managed to get $21 million venture capital. All this money was spent on years 2000-2002, when the firm finally went bankrupt.
The film is directed by Kimm Finn (alias Kimmo Saksanen), who worked as content specialist for RIOT-E. The film is produced by John Hakalax, who is was one of the founding members of RIOT-E. They both know their subject well, perhaps too well, because the film could have benefit more from outside view. They have done good job on finding the backgrounds and interviewed people all over the world, but all the dialogue is edited short, taken often out of context to repeat the same message.
Although the film has no factual mistakes, it gives a one-sided view on the subject. Working for RIOT-E was not so much partying (actually the parties were normal and not so glorious compared to many other IT companies of that time). Most of the workers did not have access to company credit cards.
I went to see this film in a movie theather full of people. The 500 head audience was laughing all the time, so the documentary is certainly very entertaining, better than most comedies by far.
The film is edited extremely fast, like MTV's music videos, using lots of special effects and short animation clips, real video footage and photos from the days of the company. End result looks very stylish, gamelike, unique.
The first two third of the film are good and hilarious fun, the last third being boring and slowing down, showing too much John Hakalax, who plays to be suicidal, but doesn't succeed well on that role. The beginning is glorious, the end being sad.
The film features one of the best sound tracks found in modern documentary films, lots of classical music remixed into modern dance and hip hop, enhancing the fast and chaotic mood of the film.
Despite its weakness the film gives a very realistic view on the attitudes, the general atmosphere of the crazy years of 2000-2001. RIOT-E was an entertainment company, on the top of its field, with all the possible side effects from drug use to paid women. Especially Americans could learn so much from the film.
Do not go see this film for its sex scenes (they are short and fuzzy), go to see it to have fun and learn from it!
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