I only just saw this film the other day which is some considerable time since its initial release. With such tardiness, some might think my opinion would be prejudiced due to everyone else’s personal views being aired. However, I watched The Lords of Dogtown with an unbiased eye because any mainstream media hype around skateboarding tends to make me run in the opposite direction faster than Kris Markovich from his next sponsor.
So, basically this is what you get when you want to make a film out of an amazing documentary that introduced to the pioneers of skateboarding as we know it today. Honestly, the people behind this have done a good job. The characters (Stacy Peralta, Jay Adams and Tony Alva) are all credible, and to think that the actors playing them had to learn how to skate 1970’s equipment in order to perform the stunts is pretty inspiring. The continuity of fashion, location and music from the era is also kept up to speed which is nice to see considering a few of the pools that got shredded by the Z-Boys don’t exist anymore.
The only things I had doubts about when I watched this film were the skater groupies. Whether it’s something in the water – even though the birth of modern skating arose from a Californian drought – or a simple spin from the Hollywood side of things for the viewer to stay focused, the chicks are hot! As a skater who spends a lot of the time in the streets, the next time I see a parade of tanned bodies in Indian attire and pristine smiles will probably be when they put speed bumps on mini ramps… Anyway, that aside because Hollywood had to create some emotional thread, the only other thing that made me cringe with The Lords of Dogtown were the real skaters acting. I spotted big Tony Hawk, Don Nguyen and Chad Fernandez (There might be others..?), but not one of them had more than two lines which in consequence were delivered with about as much integrity as Krusty the Clown. Stick to what you’re good at guys: Skating!
Anyway, overall this film is obviously aimed at the mainstream, but of all films that have tried to use Skateboarding as a theme, this one actually pulls it off and can be deemed viewable. I think this is partly thanks to Stacy Peralta’s initial Dogtown and the Z-Boys documentary, and more importantly the Z-Boys themselves. Without them, where would we be now???
For more info on this movie, visit www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/lordsofdogtown. This DVD is out now alongside the box set that includes the Z-Boys Documentary and bonus footage…