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While the rest of his high school graduating class is heading to the same old grind of college, skateboarder Eric Rivers and his best friends, Dustin, a goal-oriented workaholic, and misfit slacker Matt have one last summer roadtrip together to follow their dream of getting noticed by the professional skateboarding world--and getting paid to skate. When skating legend Jimmy Wilson's skate demo tour hits town, the boys figure that as soon as he sees their fierce tricks, he'll sign them up for his renowned skate team immediately, right? Unfortunately, the guys are intercepted by Jimmy's road manager and they can't get their foot in the door, much less their boards. But they do get some free advice: keep skating, stay true to yourself, and stay in the game--if you're good, you'll get noticed. Following their dream-- and Jimmy's national tour--Eric, Dustin and Matt start their own skate team, reluctantly sponsored by Dustin and his college fund. After recruiting laid-back ladies man Sweet... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Grind is a film that will amuse its targeted audience and people who are just looking for silly escapism. Where's the harm in that? None, if that's what you're looking for, but those seeking out charm, wit, and style in their characters and plot will have to keep their head held high and continue to walk along the long road of film.
I'm not a person who skateboards. I know many who do and see no problem with it. If I attempted to do some of the things I've seen my friends do I'd probably either be in a wheelchair or be boasting to everyone. Grind makes no subtle approach that it's a film for the skaters in the world. That's not to say that if you don't shred some rails at all you'll be lost, but for a regular patron the "cool" factor on the skating scenes wears thin after a while. I'll put it this way; they are delightfully repetitive.
The story is slim, but efficient. A group of metal-heads want to venture out to Santa Monica to partake in a huge skateboarding event. They create a fake company named "Super Duper," and they hit the road. The group is made up of Eric (Vogel), Sweet Lou (Kern), Dustin (Brody), and Matt (Vieluf) who delivers the most laughs.
Everyone in the film reaches the point of likability, but no one dares to break the stereotype of just some ol' skater punks. Everyone just works out of their gender and personality roles. Notice how I didn't say anything special about each of the boys. Because they're so vaguely similar it's hard to distinguish them apart sometimes.
Much of the MTV Jackass crew make appearances throughout the film. Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, and Bam Margera are all seen in certain points of the film. They're like the sprinkles on top of a bland sundae. They harm absolutely nothing, but they're not a whole big part of the experience.
The best scenes take place when the group doesn't feel the need to impress the camera with their skater lingo and just be themselves. While they release some of their inner-selves to us, they only give vague representations of what they should begin to unleash throughout the whole film. Not just parts few and far between. If these characters had shown more to their persona, it might've made for more of a coming-of-age story rather than just an all out party.
Grind is charming with its amusement in itself and glistening in its innocence because it isn't trying to be bigger than it should. Take one look at the poster, and you know the film. I like how it isn't trying to hide anything from the viewer, but at the same time I don't like how it doesn't provide the viewer with enough character development to actually get familiar with them. Before many people jump all over me and say it isn't about that, stop and think. Would this film be more remembered and relatable to its audience if it developed some characters instead of caricatures? Starring: Mike Vogel, Adam Brody, Vince Vieluf, Joey Kern, Jennifer Morrison, Bam Margera, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy, and Ehren McGhehey. Directed by: Casey La Scala.
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