Grind has been referred to as one of the worst movies of 2003 more than once, but considering that I have obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to watching movies (I will watch just about every major release that comes out in a year, regardless of whether other critics unanimously pan them), I had to check it out anyway. Surprisingly, I didn't hate Grind - and even enjoyed some segments of it - though it is far from being anything worthwhile.
Grind is the latest attempt to snag the X-Games crowd; it is solely about skateboarding. The movie follows four guys cross country as they try to snag some sponsorship for their skateboarding and go pro. They are pretty good but it isn't easy getting one's foot in the door, so they try over and over again, repeatedly doing stupid things to blow it. Of course, throw in a romantic interest and a bunch of other sexy girls and you have your plot. You see, supposedly everyone who likes skateboarding (which is not me, by the way) will like a skateboarding movie, even if it doesn't have any kind of reasonable plot.
Anyway, Grind is about what can be expected for this kind of movie. It s four lead characters have the intellectual preparing to go to college (Adam Brody, of Fox's "The O.C."), the hot guy no woman can resist (Joey Kern), the loser (Vince Vieluf) and the best skateboarder of the pack, who is destined to end up with the girl at the end (Mike Vogel). Of course, they are willing to throw away their futures to become skateboarding pros for a few years - something I cannot relate to and will never understand.
Personally, I find skateboarding a rather uninteresting spectacle, something that seems to make anyone involved look like a slacker. It is all stereotyping - I'm sure there are plenty of skateboarders that are not slackers by any stretch of the imagination - but that's the first thing I think whenever I see one. I don't know why, but I've never really liked skateboarders, even though it is quite obvious that it takes some real talent to pull off the major stuff. That being said, I did enjoy some of the skateboarding action in Grind, though the stuff I really enjoy - that of skateboarders landing with a pole between their legs - is missing.
Grind has some funny moments and characters that are likeable enough. Throw in a fair amount of scantily clad young women and there is enough eye candy to survive for an hour and a half. Of course, the movie altogether has very little going for it; there is little that stands out. The skateboarding action is okay but not extraordinary; you can see more exciting stuff on ESPN. The plot is basically nonexistent, and a little unreasonable at times.
So, if you're still reading this review that probably means that you are still interested in seeing this movie. If you are a diehard skateboarding fan, you might get a few kicks out of the film. For the rest of us, Grind has very little going for it, though it definitely will not damage too many brain cells one way or the other.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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