At the core of Skateland is Richie Wheeler and Brent Burkham, two adolescent men who are still unsure of what they want to do with their lives. Set in 1983 small town Texas, the film works hard to show the strength and hostility that comes with growing up. For Brent it comes during the early stages of the film, when he moves back in with his parents after his career as a racetrack driver ends without must luster. For Richie, it takes nearly the entire hour-and-a-half feature as the skate ring that he manages announces that it will be closing its doors forever.
It is their journey that makes up the film. Their trials and tribulations, along with their sweat and tears, give the story its realistic firepower. Though both men are easily outperformed by the still rising Ashley Green (most known for her work as Alice Cullen in the Twilight series), each do their best, and their combined efforts impress.
Speaking of Ashley Greene, I have to admit that though she serves as a ‘supporting’ character in terms of the story, her performance easily rises above the rest as ‘best in show.’ Easily the most recognizable young star in the film, it was up to Greene to put on the charm, and boy did she deliver. Selling the role of Michelle Burkham, she is involved in both boys’ lives, which is great, allowing her even more screen time to impress.
The film is set to a heavy track list taken from the ‘80s. It isn’t anything magical, but it all comes from a time when music was addictively fun and exhilarating. I wasn’t alive in 1983, but I know the tunes, finding myself singing along at nearly every opportune moment.
As the film came to a close, I noticed that although it wasn’t original, it was still fun and entertaining. Much like last year’s Adventurland and 1993’s Dazed and Confused, Skateland will probably not appeal to the masses. However, its infectious tone should place it in the ranks of the few iconic cult hits that will surely conquer the test of time.