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!