When a movie has the tagline “Heroes aren’t raised or bred. They’re AIRBORNE”, you know you are getting into some bad ass medicine. When a movie has a second tagline that says “How do you become the most popular kid on earth? Take to the sky”, then you know you are getting into something even more bad ass than you thought you were after reading the first tagline.
But when your film has a THIRD tagline that reads: “There are two basic types: those who get AIRBORNE…and those who don’t”, then all I only have one thing to say.
I get AIRBORNE.
This film was directed by Rob Bowman who made his name hitting cinematic home runs like Reign of Fire and directing television shows like MacGuyver, Baywatch and Quantum Leap. Let me tell you something, Rob Bowman really got robbed that year for the Oscars. James Cameron wins for Titanic? That show is rigged.
This movie opens up with Mitchell Goosen, the poster boy for the 1990s California surfer stereotype, shredding all over Venice on a sick set of Rollerblade TFS’s. He’s doing all the cool crap your friends whose parents didn’t make them wear the wrist guards and super douchy helmets could do. Mitchell Goosen, is friggin’ awesome at Rollerblading. But that is not all. He stops at the beach to show that he is also the best surfer on the planet as well. He then races his ‘boy’ back in a very competitve way. We know all we need to know about Goose: he’s got badass Rollerblading and surfing skills, and his hair is awesome.
But then, the bad news happens. Mitchell’s super-mellow and out there parents inform him they are peacing out to Australia for six months to research stuff. Mitchell’s like “tight, California gangsta pool parties” but they are like “sorry Goose, you are going to live in Cincinnatti with your Aunt and Uncle and cousin who you somehow barely know at all.” Drag in D flat, broseph.
So Goose goes to Cincinnasty as is super bummed all the time. It’s cold. It’s lame. It’s Ohio. His Aunt (the secretary from Ferris Bueller) and his Uncle (Mr. Dewey from Saved by the Bell!) are nice, but clueless. Also, they pinch the Goose’s cheeks. Clearly they don’t do that in Cali.
The only good news is that his Cousin Wiley is played by Seth Green with long hair wearing a leather jacket. I think we all want that cousin. Wiley sort of shows Mitchell around the ‘Nasty, but the ‘Nasty cannot handle the Goose. They Goose is all about good times, good vibes, awesome hair, waves and Ghandi. The problem is, everyone in the ‘Nasty only likes hockey and making fun of California.
One guy REALLY hates Mitchell and that is Jack. Jack is the best hockey player ever and he also looks like he is in grad school and has two kids already. Jack’s hate for the Goose leads to the most important scene on film of all time. In fact, I am pretty sure 90% of the water polo playing Orange County crowd (they call it H20 polo) learned something really valuable from this film. This is the first time the word BRAH made it onto the big screen. You are welcome, America. Love, Hollywood:
Whoa. That was hot. So hot, Orange County said “Yup. That was it. We want that.” In fairness to Mitchell Goosen, the H20 polo thing is more of a combination of the Goose and Jack. It’s jocky, it’s laid back, it’s the most awesome sport ever that is on television once every four years at 4 am. But I digress.
By the way, did you notice Jack Black in this scene? Good. Because it’s him. And he is rad in this film as Augie. He’s the goalie.
Anyway, there’s a big hockey game against “the Preps” and Jack sees the Goose fleecing his hot sister Nikki (who I was in love with when I was eleven years old) so Jack basically gets Mitchell to get in on the hockey game. Mitchell totally blows it though and scores on his own goal. Lame. Nikki is super bummed. The main dude on the Preps (who we’d only hate more if he was a terrorist) makes fun of Jack for the California boy. Jack is extra super pissed now and basically goes into caveman mode for the rest of the film.
Either way, Nikki is a total tuna and totally falls for Mitchell and his smooth talking California game. He takes her to like an arboretum and impresses her because he knows all kinds of plants and stuff. Then Jeremy Jordan’s “My Love is Good Enough” starts pumping and Mitchell totally impresses her by Rollerblading the shit out of the arboretum. After all of this, he scores a date. He does so with this conversation:
Nikki: So, if you could have lunch with any three people in the entire world – alive, dead, fictitious, I don’t care. Who would it be?
Mitchell Goosen: What kind of question is that?
Nikki: A fun one, c’mon.
Mitchell Goosen: Well, I’d have to say Tom Curren; greatest surfer in the world, now that would be cool. And, um, maybe Ghandi. Not for lunch though, he wouldn’t eat lunch.
Nikki: And the third one?
Mitchell Goosen: I’d have to say you.
Nikki: Me? You can have lunch with anyone in the world, and you would choose me.
Mitchell Goosen: You’re not just anyone. You’re special.
Hell yeah, Goose. That’s how you melt some frozen girl heart.
He and Wiley bust out some cool outfits and hit the road and do some cool stuff with the girls on their date. Wiley seems like he’s blowing it, but later on she starts digging him. It’s rad. Until Jack shows up and it gets too hot to handle. Mitchell is all into Ghandi and won’t fight even though he should. Even Wiley thinks that is lame.
Anyway, things are really bad for Mitchell. Nikki is on the fritz. Wiley doesn’t respect him. Also, there is no ocean in the ‘Nasty which is still pissing the Goose off. What can he do?
Get a conveniently timed package from California with his rollerblades! Now Mitch starts making friends super easy as he’s shredding everywhere. It turns out EVERYONE in the ‘Nasty likes to shred. Dude, why didn’t he bring the blades in the first place. He’d have already been super popular. Remember the tagline of the film? Hell-O!
Anyway, Mitch gets this weird look on his face and decides to rock up to the hockey game and beg his way in. Nikki is watching like “oh, man what’s next”. Goose keeps smiling like “chill, brah I know what’s next”. He decides to PANTS the dickhead from “the Preps”. Jack Black laughs and says something I have no idea what it is, but it is awesome.
Goose is stylin’. What is stylin’? I’ll show you:
So the hockey team comes over later and is like acting like they still hate Goose, only its a joke and they all start hugging and tell him how awesome he is. Duh. So Snake, the oddly misplaced Latino and resident bad ass, tells Goose that they are planning a rollerblading race to “settle it once and for all” with the Preps. The race will be on the Devil’s Backbone, which sounds pretty intense. There is a definite sense that not all of these rollerbladers will be coming back alive. Whatever, man. The Preps need to get cut down a notch and the only way to do that is with Rollerblades.
The race shows up and Jack is like SORTA cool will the Goose, even though it’s pretty obvious the Goose at this point has gotten tricky with Nikki. The race starts and it’s pretty gnarly. It’s also clear that the Devil’s Backbone is code for “all of Cincinnati”.
I won’t tell you then ending. It must be experienced. And you can. The whole film is online at youtube. Just search “Airborne Part 1” and follow to 2, 3, 4.
See you next week.