The bigger boys wouldn’t let them surf, so they just shrunk the boards and stuck wheels on ’em. This is a pert and punchy account of how a bunch of kids from Venice, California, channelled their outlaw swagger into the invention of a sport/performance art. But it cowers in the long shadow of Stacy Peralta’s peerless doc on the same subject. Is Dogtown big enough for both of them?
Almost. Presumably, the logic was: The Kidz might be turned off by a documentary. So, sign up a bunch of vogueish first-timers (the excellent John Robinson; future superstar Emile Hirsch) and recast the story as slick and digestible drama. The grungy, low-slung lurch and ’70s stylings are bang-on and Thirteen helmer Catherine Hardwicke goes suitably heavy on the Parkinson’s-Cam and blink-edits. But there’s too just much gloss and trowelled-on Spielbergian schmaltz.