It’s difficult to find a viewable extreme sports movie, let alone a good one, but Dishdogz, from director Mikey Hilb, comes damned close. It falls in the same traps that most films from the genre do, but a decent story and good acting save the day in the end.
Our hero Kevin (Marshall Allman) is one of those smarmy skate punks that you want to run over whenever you see them out jumping around on their boards. But let’s face it, if you didn’t have responsibilities and had the talent, you’d be right out there with them. I never could master the jumping part, but there is something very freeing about racing along on a skateboard, feeling the wind against your body as you careen around. But anyway, back to Kevin.
Kevin’s mom lets her deadbeat boyfriend move back in, and he has the brilliant plan of shipping Kevin off to his cousin’s orange grove to work for the summer, freeing him up to swill beer and have sex with Kevin’s mom. Can’t really argue with his plan, it’s brilliant in its simplicity.
With board in hand, Kevin buses it from New Mexico to sunny California for a fun-filled summer of picking oranges. When an opportunity arises to get a job as a dishwasher at an extreme sports summer camp, Kevin jumps at the chance. So now after work, instead of scrubbing his hands so he doesn’t smell like Goo-Gone, he can skate to his heart’s content.
But his mean old boss Tony (Luke Perry) runs a pretty tight ship, so free time is going to be at a minimum. But little by little, Tony warms up to Kevin, especially after Kevin learns that underneath his rough exterior lives a fellow skater at heart — in fact, he’s a legend in hiding.
This fatherly figure will certainly come in handy, because one of Kevin’s other extracurricular activities is trying to get into the pants of the concession stand girl Cassidy (Haylie Duff), which angers the camp’s head thug Malone (Timothy Lee DePriest). Kevin will have to prove himself in a well-choreographed skate-off to prove that he’s top dog and get the bullies off his back.
Sure, the story’s overdone, and yeah, there’s a few too many scenes of kids with bad haircuts doing all sorts of cool stunts (and for the love of Pete, enough of the “speed up and then slow down the film” editing — sheesh!), but the movie’s got charm. Allman does a fine job of playing the young punk who’s really a good kid at heart, and Luke Perry, while still playing his Dylan McKay role from 90210, is actually pretty decent in this flick. And I must admit, I had my doubts about Haylie Duff playing a love interest, but she did okay as well — and she’s a minor nose job away from being one stunning actress.
I could have done without all the overdone skating/biking sequences, but for the most part, the movie wasn’t half bad (in fact, what they did with Martinez’s Spanish subtitles was downright hilarious). The soundtrack was good, and screenwriter Steven Sessions did not overdo the lingo. It’s something I could watch again, and makes for a decent rental.Powered by Sidelines