With the Summer Olympics playing out in Tokyo, it is time to review a Touchstone Pictures film that was beyond the norm of what the company produced. This week we journey back to 2002 and get extreme with Ultimate X: The Movie.

The Plot

Street Luge, Skateboarding, BMX Racing, Freestyle Motocross, and Rollerblading are just some of the challenging sports found in the X Games. The highs and lows of each sport is dependent on how an athlete lands their tricks or falls flat on their face. Hearing prominent athletes like Tony Hawk and Carey Hart talk about their journey in the X Games and then witnessing their success and failures will keep you riveted throughout the film.

Cinematic Compliments

The shots are excellent. Capturing the height and the danger that each athlete places themselves in during competition is incredible. While best to experience it on the big screen, even on a small screen viewers will hold their breath waiting for the athletes to complete their rounds.

Ultimate X: The Movie is all about the incredible stunts, but we get to meet some of the athletes and learn about their motivation to compete in such dangerous sports. I knew nothing about the X Games and the athletes outside of Tony Hawk and Carey Hart. It was great to meet a variety of athletes.

Cinematic Complaints

The movie is only 47 minutes long. While it chronicles some of the sports, Ultimate X: The Movie barely scratches the surface of all the sports at the X Games.

Surprisingly no female athletes are profiled. Thirteen more minutes could have been added to the film and at least three female athletes could have been given the profile status that Tony Hawk and Carey Hart got.

Fun Film Facts

  • The film was shot as an IMAX documentary.
  • The movie chronicles the 2001 Summer X Games.
  • The X Games like the Olympics have a summer and winter competition series.
  • BMX freestyle was added as a summer Olympic sport at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.
  • Skateboarding has just been added to the Olympics for 2021’s Tokyo competition.
  • When the X Games began, they had some short-lived sports, including snow shovel races as well as bungee jumping in kayaks.
  • The movie was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing In Special Venue Film.

The Golden Popcorn Bucket Award

Highly enjoyable and thrilling to watch, even on a small screen portable DVD player, Ultimate X: The Movie gets a 3 Golden Popcorn Bucket Award. Adding ten more minutes and profiling some female athletes at the X Games would have made this well intended film a well-rounded picture.

Coming Attractions

How smart is John Travolta? We will find out next week with a look at the 1996 blockbuster Phenomenon.

Production Credits

Directed by Bruce Hendricks

Produced by Touchstone Pictures / ESPN films

Starring:

  • Tony Hawk as himself
  • Carey Hart as himself
  • Bob Burnquist as himself
  • Bucky Lasek as himself
  • Mat Hoffman as himself
  • Brian Deegan as himself

Release Date: May 17, 2002

Box Office Gross

Domestic: $4,197,492

Worldwide Total: $4,786,084