Exclaim!

Nitro Circus: The Movie

Gregg Godfrey & Jeremy Rawle

Nitro Circus: The Movie
Considering that the demographic attracted to a movie like Nitro Circus, which is essentially little more than a cluster of Peter Pans driving various transportation devices over ramps, it's extremely unfortunate that the DVD menu has an inherent flaw. When attempting to click "Play," the DVD defaults to the "Intro," which is a series of outtakes filmed on ersatz leader Travis Pastrana's front lawn. To access the actual film, you have to go to the "Scene Selection" and choose the first frame. It's very likely that the Bud-drinking, monster truck-driving audience won't figure out this roundabout fix, which may result in a number of remote controls being thrown across the room while the home DVD release of this movie, which was presented in 3D theatrically, unleashes an abundance of expletives. Worse is that the only thing more frustrating than not being able to pick the actual movie is accessing it and having to sit through it. In the opening scene, after a motorcycle jump display introduces and contextualizes everything we are about to see, the seven central players of Nitro Circus hop into a school bus and drive it over a ramp. The slow motion image of the bus sailing through the air is repeated from various angles and at different speeds, which is essentially the entire trajectory of the film. The various guys (Streetbike Tommy, Erik Roner, Special Greg, Travis Pastrana, Jim DeChamp and the token female, Jolene Van Vugt) take turns sailing down elaborate ramps on tricycles, air balloons, snowmobiles, four wheelers and even the occasional demolition car, seeing who can land properly, or make the most flips in mid-air. Each attempt is shown multiple times over, taking the word redundant to an entirely new level. And where Jackass took the comedic approach to performing stunts, typically setting up elaborate, gag-inducing situations intended to fail, the Nitro Circus boys really just seem keen on jumping over things repeatedly, often winding up with gaping wounds and grisly bruises. The distinction here is the life or death aspect of the stunts, which are particularly evident when the gang attempts to jump between two high-rise buildings on a children's toy. While some may cheer about the nerve or bravery it took to conduct these stunts, others might question the level of intelligence of someone willing to risk their life for sheer bragging rights and posturing. If anything, these sorts of puerile theatrics seem like a banner way to rid the gene pool of undesirable human characteristics. Also included with the DVD is a vulgar segment about Red Bull and a montage of graphic wipeouts for the Spike TV crowd. (Alliance)
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