Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and heartrending tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends. Nowhere else is skiing celebrated so intensely. The city, the nation, and the entire winter sports world go crazy for the battles that play out on the slopes, and the race down the Streif is the most anticipated event of all - the Superbowl of skiing. "STREIF - One Hell of a Ride" vividly shares this momentous occasion, plus everything done in preparation. The ultimate ski race movie, produced by Planet Watch, presented by Red Bull Media House. Starrting: Aksel Lund Svindal, Erik Guay, Max Franz, Hannes Reichelt, Yuri Danilochkin, Marcel Hirscher, Hans Grugger, Daniel Albrecht and others. Narrated by Daron Rahlves and Didier Cuche.
The premise of this film is actually quite ambitious and interesting. The world's most dangerous ski track in the world, forces that even race car drivers only rarely encounter - but skiers have no aids to work against them but plain muscles, fame and fortune if you win this vicious run on this infamous killer slope...
The pictures actually do reflect what i just mentioned, but it keeps doing it over and over again. It seems like this film's mission is to constantly remind you of the danger and significance simultaneously. It appears like no other downhill race on the world cup calender counts - only this one. In fact it's the holiest of holy grails but it can kill you. Do you start to see a pattern here? Actually there isn't much to say about the contents of this documentary. We have this dangerous track, like a wild bull, and the cowboys who can tame it, heroes, as we would call it. The framework is a very straight forward editing with heavy use of dramatic music and sound effects to underline the fury of this "ride" - yet, you never get to see the full ride. Although this movie spends near two hours glorifying this race you never really get a chance to hear very basic facts.
Over and over we hear preparing athletes pay their tribute and respect to this course and how it changed their lives but just after you think a chapter will be further explored it jumps around very loosely and mixes rather incoherent scenes using quick cuts.
Although there would be so much substance this film actually lacks a real story. It is more a portrayal of fates than actually a developing story, a TV two parter in ESPN production standards. And that makes me a little be bit sad because all the material was basically there, but the ones who put it together really should revisit film school. Although it meets all the production standards of modern documentary film making it is just not thoroughly pleasant to take a look at the clock and being told you still got an hour to go.
I call it the Transformers effect: Once you cross the invisible line of perceivable magnitude you end up achieving exactly the opposite with the viewer. In other words: far too much may achieve far less than even the sum of its elements - and yes, less can be really be more. The problem is that this film relies too much on tons of effects instead of just giving an insight on what this is actually about.
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