dir. La Scala

Opens Fri Aug 15

Various Theaters

Every time I review a skateboarding movie, somebody threatens to beat me up--whether I enjoyed the movie or not. Skateboarders don't like it when non-skateboarders write about skateboarding (even if the non-skateboarder is, like me, an actual skateboarder). To them, anyone who writes about skateboarding threatens the boarder's "outsider status," therefore deserving an ass-whooping. I could complain about this inequity, but it would probably only worsen the ass-whooping I will undoubtedly receive.

This brings us to Grind; a skateboarding movie closer to Gleaming the Cube than Dogtown and Z Boys. And I can already tell I'm going to get my ass kicked, because the only types of people who will enjoy this numbskulled dorkfest are the numbskulled dorks who constantly threaten me. Such is life, or as the French like to say, "Veuillez ne pas me tuer."

Grind tells the story of four pals who decide to drop out of society and follow around a professional skateboard tour in hopes of getting corporate sponsorship. (Question: Why aren't these sell-outs getting their asses kicked?) During their travels they try to bag chicks, get their van stolen by a chick, and then once again try to bag chicks. Interspersed are an impressive (yet extremely unfunny) variety of fart jokes, and an occasional scene devoted to the actual act of skateboarding.

While not an attempt to save myself from an ass-stomping, I must admit the skateboarding sequences are really terrific. Actual pro skaters double for the actors and appear as themselves, giving the competitions a sense of realistic beauty and integrity. There are also a couple of uncredited cameo appearances (Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall, what the hell are you doing?!?) that occasionally lift the viewer above the hazy stench of incessant fart jokes.

Unfortunately, only a certain type of boarder is going to enjoy Grind, and perhaps not even them--I mean, I don't expect realism, but c'mon! There's only one ass-busting wipeout in the entire flick. To sum up, I did not enjoy Grind, and if you're looking for me, I will be out of the office for the next three weeks.