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BoxBoarders! (DVD Review)

29 Jun, 2008 By: David Greenberg


Prebook 7/1/08; Street 7/29/08
Peace Arch
$29.99 DVD
Rated ‘PG-13.'
Stars Austin Basis, James Immekus, Melora Hardin, Julie Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky.

Check your brain at the door, strap on your pads, let yourself go and enjoy the ride that is Boxboarders! — a sort of mockumentary that chronicles the birth of a (hopefully fictional) new extreme sport from conception, development, rejection, acceptance and then, after the requisite legal battle, glory.

Would-be surfers/rockers Ty Neptune (Immekus) and, yes, this is the character's name, James James (Basis) find themselves aimless, lonely and out of step with the cool kids at school and, in the name of amusement/nothing better to do, decide to mount a cardboard box onto a skateboard and see what happens.

The ensuing action is frequently hilarious, consistently amusing and totally entertaining as the two inventors deal with trial and error, devious rich kids, clueless parents (including the great Tobolowsky as a delusional shrink) and competition on the race course and in the courts.

Less plot-driven than it is a collection of gags interspersed with boxboarding footage, the film is a real throwback to 1980s classics such as Better Off Dead.

It is either the hope of writer-director Rob Heddon (Clockstoppers, Friday the 13th Part VIII) that the sport remains confined to the screen or it is a legitimate concern that the producers of the film are anticipating because the movie begins with a witty but well-placed “do not try this at home” disclaimer.

In any event, the filmmakers know exactly to whom this movie will appeal: bored teenage boys who are probably not yet old enough to drive but definitely old enough to salivate over hot teenage girls. Every carefully engineered plot device, line or setpiece that they aim at the target audience scores a direct hit, so it is easy to understand why they might be concerned about people attempting to re-create the action in real life.

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