Release Date: June 3rd, by Columbia Pictures.
The Cast: Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, John Robinson, Michael Angarino, Nikki Reed, Heath Ledger, Rebecca de Mornay, Johnny Knoxville
BASIC PREMISE: A group of young 70's surfers revolutionize skateboarding by "surfing" empty swimming pools.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The skateboarding stunts are nothing short of amazing. The cinematography is also stunning. These Zephyr boys (known as Z-boys) are certainly full of guts and talent as they built up speed and eventually become airborne for a while before their skateboard touches the floor again. It is like going through a roller-coaster ride without seatbelt. The skateboarders are played by mostly underrated actors (Hirsh, Robinson, and Rasuk). Hirsch is known from his work in The Girl Next Door, while Robinson from Elephant, and Rasuk from Raising Victor Vargas. Together in this movie, they have a lot of energy. There is no stand-out skateboarder--they all have their moment to shine. The trainer is played by Heath Ledger, who doesn't do much but shout and look macho. What is really surprising is a plot twist that fortunately doesn't shy too far away from the narrative--it still remains a fun movie to watch.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Even though there are scenes showing the skateboarders' relationship to their parents, it is hard to feel an emotional connection to them when they take on a daring, untraditional new sport. The skateboarders look different, but they don't act different--they all seem selfish and naive most of the time. The one exception when they are in are unselfish and mature is toward the end of the film, but that scene ends up being too contrived.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The Z-boys' rise to fame is unconvincing because it happens too quickly.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: A skateboarding movie with amazing stunts and lots of energy, but it lacks an emotional punch that could have made it more than pure entertainment. But especially because it's summertime, entertainment alone is worth the price of admission.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "L" Menu