Ultimate X

on May 06, 2002 by Tim Cogshell
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   The X Games exult Extreme Sports and the athletes (and, despite a street punk vibe, they are most certainly athletes) who brave them. These are the guys whose names don the Rollerblades and video games your children spend a good deal of your money on. They are not ordinary team-orientated sports figures who hawk Gatorade. These daredevils do what they do more for the rush than the reward.

   The IMAX format is all about scale. Everything filmed on 70mm is outrageously big: five stories tall. It's an obvious match for equally outrageous extreme sports like motocross, BMX cycles, skateboarding and street luge. It's all much larger than life as the participants flip motocross bikes (riders hanging on by fingernails), skateboarders go airborne and urban lugers speed downhill flat on their backs on three-foot-long boards with wheels. The only time these adrenaline-junkies slow down is when the film is in slow-motion--which is also very interesting in the IMAX medium.

   This is probably as close as most people with ever get to this sort of thrill ride without breaking a bone. Nevertheless, with the exception of total devotees to the religion of Extreme Sporting, one can only watch this stuff for about a half-hour. The film's 45-minute running time stops shy of overkill, though viewers may be more exhausted than the athletes onscreen. Starring Bob Burnquist, Brian Deegan, Carey Hart, Mat Hoffman, Bucky Lasek, TJ Lavin, Dave Mirra and Cory Nastazio. Directed and written by Bruce Hendricks. Produced by Arthur F. Repola. A Buena Vista release. Documentary. Rated PG for daredevil sports action and mild language. Running time: 45 min

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