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By Eric Campos | October 13, 2007

Through the documentary’s boom in popularity over the past several years, filmmakers have revealed to us many different walks-of-life, hobbies and competitions. The competition doc is especially strong due to the success of 2002’s spelling bee nail-biter Spellbound. Some of these competition docs are uplifting, others horrifying, while some are just plain bizarre. But none may be as bizarre as this film, “Air Guitar Nation,” a documentary on air guitar competition. Yes, guys competing to see who can pretend to play guitar the best. Goddamn.

The film’s hero and center focus is nationally renowned air axeman C. Diddy who is best known for totally owning the stage when he performs his trademark tune – Extreme’s “Play With Me.” With imaginary guitar in hand, C. Diddy dominates the song so hard that even Nuno Bettancourt would moisten his undershorts if he were in the audience. We follow C. Diddy as he climbs the competition ladder, ultimately leading him to compete at a be all, end all international contest.

“Air Guitar Nation” is a very well-made film and it tells its story at a quick, even pace, but you really need to suspend your disbelief if you’re going to allow this film to fully wrap you in its charms. The fact that C. Diddy and his competitors travel the world doing what was originally a simple drunken knee-jerk reaction you would have at an AC/DC concert…and are revered for it…is a lot to swallow. Watching the film you’re gonna swear that you’ve stepped into Bill and Ted’s excellent alternate universe. It’s madness, but it really is a lot of fun. And it has its uplifting qualities, as well – it assures those out there with no musical ability that they too may one day become a rock god.

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