It's not so much that Danny Way lands the rocket backflip air varial 540 on his last of five runs down the mega ramp at the 2008 X Games in Los Angeles -- a feat that appears impressive enough on its own -- but he does it minutes after breaking his foot. Badly. And possibly his back and shoulder, too.
It's about pushing the limits, Way tells a reporter afterward, with not so much as a wince.
Unfortunately, "X Games 3D: The Movie," the ESPN-Disney collaboration running in theaters for one week only, doesn't push the limits.
Don't expect a chipped tooth or four to come flying off the screen and peck you in the eye. There's no late-night boozefests, no naughty arm-sleeve tattoos, no off-color language when a buddy soars over the Great Wall of China or misses his mark and slams 50 feet to the ground. Forgivable -- this is a family film, after all. But the interviews are emotionless and forgettable. And for a film with so many dangerous curves and flips, the narration by Emile Hirsch -- who had a role in the 2005 cult skate-biopic "Lords of Dogtown" and starred in the auto-racing flick "Speed Racer" -- falls, well, flat.
But for a quick ticket into the world of extreme sports, the sky-high, adrenaline-gorged stunts captured in "X Games" will make any spectator gasp, wince and brace with fear for the (literally) fallen heroes -- supporting skateboarding kingpin Tony Hawk's statement that "the Olympics need skateboarding more than skateboarding needs the Olympics."
-- Kate Kilpatrick (Friday, Aug. 21, 2009)
X Games 3D: The Movie PG, 92 minutes Contains extreme sports action and accidents.