Saturday, June 26, 2010

Film Review: Airborne (1993)

Today's film review is a delightful little blast from the nineties called 'Airborne.' Don't remember it? Yeah, it was slight, unimportant, nonsensical really. No big stars, no real plot, no chance during awards season. Yet I remember seeing it at 12 or 13 and pretty much loving it. Why? It's got roller-blading (or in-line skating if you prefer) and a delightful fish-out-of-water story of a cool guy in a square place: Cincinnati.

Did you watch the trailer? What's not to love?
The plot is an oh-so-clever reversal on 'The Karate Kid;' cool surfer guy Mitchell "The Goose" Goosen from California is forced to move to Cincinnati when his professorial parents go on a research trip to Australia. His laid back style, wise adherence to the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and less-than-macho hair attract the aggressions of the tough-guy jocks and hijinks ensue.

In this clip, you get the whole, unmitigated Mitchell Goosen experience. Both barrells of highly-concentrated, California-grown 'laid-back.' This is what everyone in California sounds like, right?

Did I mention that Seth Green plays his unconfident, formless cousin who he convinces to be himself to earn the love of a plain girl?

That really elevates things.

So finally, Mitchell's parents send him his in-line skates (or roller-blades, if you will) in the mail and he finds an outlet for his frustrations. We are then treated to a montage of Mitch "bladin'" across Cincinnati collecting a following of like-minded shredders and BMX kids, some so enthralled by his moves, they depart the stoops upon which they were loitering with nary a thought to their abandoned juice-boxes (I'm not making this up.) In the meantime, Mitch meets an intelligent and prudent young girl (she carries an umbrella) with whom he wiles away an afternoon in a botanical garden, proving his sensitive bona fides by identifying sundry flowers, yet asserting his manly-virtues by rebelliously skating throught the verdant horticultural expo. How awesome is that?

Naturally, his inamorata is the little sister of Jack, the jock's ringleader. What's a skating long-haired pacifist landlocked surfer to do? Naturally, he has a lucid dream about the situation in which he finds himself on 'the perfect wave' which is guarded by a hispanophone shark named Pepe who says: "La ola es mia." The wave is mine. Whoa.

So Mitch proceeds to ingratiate himself into Jack's crowd by participating in roller-hockey contests against "the preps," wealthy-types from a rival school. Also: The preps ringleader, an albino named Blaine, is the unwilling ex-boyfriend of Mitch's gal-pal. So there is that.

The epic epic climax is initiated when Mitch and the boys challenge their rivals to a race down Cincinnati's Devil's Backbone. (An aside: I assumed this Devil's-Backbone-in-Cinncinati thing was a bunch'a hooey, but there is a Devil's Backbone Road in that fine mid-west city. Go figure.) Will Mitch be forced to abandon his Gandhi-inspired pacifism because of the brutality of this race? Will the preps finally be brought low? Will Mitch find true love with that girl who's name I can't remember?

Seriously, you need to see it to find out.

Oh yeah, and Jack Black's in this movie.

Seriously, watch it on Instant Play on your Netflix. Do it today!


Meridth Gimbel said...

Welcome to the dark side of my marriage... Edward occasionally forces me to watch truly awful movies. I could not recommend this movie to an amoeba. Blech, glad that 90 minutes is over.

Tim said...

Oh Meridth, I'm sorry to say I have to side against you on this one. This movie is indeed epic! Not because it has Seth Green or roller blading, but because it prominently features EDIE McCLURG! I'll watch anything with her in it, even Elvira: Mistress of the Night!

My favorite part is when she asks the kids if they want some Grape Kool-Aid.

Justin said...

Edward... this is why we get along so well. First your love of movies is unmatched by any other and discovering your love of film is moving. Second you can find joy and merit in these types of films as I have and I have also had to endure comments and unbelief when I profess my love for these types of film as well. I can truly admit that I have seen and enjoyed this movie no less than 15 times. I was mainly drawn to it given the fact that I served part of my mission in this great city and then learned that it can be enjoyed from any point in the film and at any hour of the day or night. I celebrate your love of this and other films like this.

Meridth Gimbel said...

Is there an epidemic that has made all your brains... stupid? Dear Edward, Tim, and Justin. I heart you guys and have deep respect for you. However, I am beyond baffled at your adoration at this truly vapid film. Blech. One million Edie McClurgs couldn't haved save this flick.

Tim said...

Correction, Meridth:

One Edie McClurg can save an otherwise pleasant, but forgettable movie like Airborne.

One million Edie McClurgs could save EVERYTHING!!! To name just a few things one million Edie McClurgs could accomplish:

1) perfect cold fusion

2) enable us to colonize the other seven planets in our solar system PLUS Pluto

3) bowl one million perfect 300 games

4) put a chicken dinner on the table of every American household two nights a week

5) throw a New Years Eve party to end all New Years Eve parties

6) bring the cast of the Facts of Life together for a highly rated and critically acclaimed reunion special

Meridth Gimbel said...

I stand rightfully corrected.

Pluto appreciated it's inclusion with the other so-called "planets."

Josh said...

I remember watching this gem on VHS back in the day. I remember how utterly shocked I was when Goosen said something to the effect of, "I'd give my left nut..." in a PG movie! You can't talk about testicles in a PG movie. You can only alude to them being painfully smashed on trees and the like.

King of New York Hacks said...

Seth Green is wearing mascara... O_O

Edward said...

I couldn't turn away from his questionable 'tash, (and that's really the reason I picked the pic) but good eye, oh King.

Justin said...

You would wear mascara too if you were the whitest guy in Hollywood. Mer... This film is just plain fantastic and there is no rhyme or reason why I love this but I do.