BMZ Review: Ski to the Max
By Herb Lash
BMZ Review of Ski to the Max
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: July 2001
Ski to The Max is not so much a complete Big Movie as it is a stuntman's highlight reel. Warren Miller's ski films have set the standard for showcasing the sport within a lighthearted, engaging narrative. Ski to The Max certainly spotlights some of the most incredible ski, snowboard and paraglide stunts anywhere ever filmed or seen. The stunts are all the more incredible because they manage to transcend a story that revels in cheesiness and product placement. Storytelling here seems a casual afterthought, something left for the editor to cobble together from an assortment of snow related spectacles.
Acknowledged master ski photographer Willy Bogner wrote, produced, directed and photographed Ski to The Max and enlisted the help of some of the world's best skiers in making his film. Mr. Bogner is clearly the best at what he does - filming skiers. He skis along with the action while he films and is responsible for most of the more memorable snow scenes from the James Bond films. To enjoy this film one must simply remember that the snow stunts are the thing - ignore the silly fantasy sequences and the bad acting.
A man in his truck sits in a Denver traffic jam wishing he were somewhere else - on the slopes. He looks around at his fellow stuck in traffic drivers an each inspires a different bit of stoplight daydreaming. These man-in-his-truck interludes are poured on thick - but most of the pretense drops away once the cameras reach the mountains. World-class skiers carve up pristine powder in world-class locales, including: Alaska, Colorado, Utah, the Himalayas, Switzerland and Canada. A bizarre, but enthralling sequence has pop star Pink showing up in a souped up four wheel drive. She happens to have a copy of her new single in the tape deck and manages to give it a listen before she deploys a car-sized paraglider and drives off a mountaintop. The car really is gliding off the mountain and the result is a goofy sort of awesome sight that has to be seen to be believed.
Snowboarders rip it up, BASE jumpers do their thing and even dune bounding motorcyclists get their due. One can only imagine what sort of film this might have been if the writing equaled the rest of the skills on display.
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