A rock-star narrative tailored for a skatepunk crowd, Lords of Dogtown is the fictional account of real-life skateboarding pioneers Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), Tony Alva (Victor Risuk) and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch).
This move arrives a full four years after Dogtown and Z-Boys, a documentary about the very same story that made waves at Sundance. In effect, the audience is being fed the fantasy version after having seen the "real" one. The usual sports movie drill applies: underdogs come together and succeed like never before due to work, skill and serendipity; underdogs become superstars; superstars are then broken up by sex, money and merchandising; superstars are humbled and eventually return to their origins. It's a shame that the end result isn't terribly inspiring, nor are the skating tricks, which are often blundered by Hardwicke's obnoxious reliance on shaky-cam and hyperediting. Unless you're a skateboarding enthusiast, you'd be better served renting the documentary, which is far superior in its treatment of the people, the story and the history. Also stars Heath Ledger and Johnny Knoxville.
LORDS OF DOGTOWN (PG-13) opens June 3 at local theaters.