BMZ Review: Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
By Herb Lash
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk Review
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: October 2002
Fifteenth century Europe was a lot of drudgery, violence, back breaking labor and hardship for the great majority of souls of the time. On any given day you might get gored by your ox, catch the plague, go to the barber for a bleeding or be invited to the Spanish Inquisition - you took a serious risk every time you climbed out of your straw bed to greet the day. And still, there were restless minds like Leonardo da Vinci's, eager to push the envelope of normal human experience. The Big Movie ADRENALINE RUSH connects the dots between da Vinci's dauntless imagination, modern day thrill seekers and the specifically human need to court risk. ADRENALINE RUSH balances a genuine thirst for fun against a need to deliver educational content to the field trip crowd - and it all goes down pretty smoothly. This Large Format film is X GAMES with a brain or the thinking man's JACK ASS - it reminds you of the cool kid who still manages to get his homework in on time.
In 1485, da Vinci sketched out a diagram of the world's first parachute - though he was never able himself to construct and test his bold idea (seen in an elegant sketch in da Vinci's own hand.) ADRENALINE RUSH casually introduces photogenic sky diving couple Adrian Nicholas and Katarina Olliekainen - he holds the world's record for unaided human flight and she designed the jumpsuit that made it possible. Adrian and Katarina's cutting edge lifestyles would be unthinkable were it not for the leaps of faith that came before them. In an effort to make a 500 year old dream come alive, they will attempt to make a jump in a built-to-spec da Vinci parachute. Before we see if it works or not, we get a rock and roll education in how fear works on the human mind - often for the good. Computer graphic models of adrenaline at work are mixed in with heart pounding images of real people BASE jumping off the cliff's edge of a towering fjord. The slow motion fjord jump! ing scenes are what make this a true Giant Screen film - you cannot see or feel anything else like this in any other medium.
By the time the film returns to the da Vinci parachute experiment a pretty good case has been made for the necessity of human risk taking. Risk requires confronting fear, fear feeds the brain a nice adrenaline high and the high spurs us toward action - and nothing gets done without action. ADRENALINE RUSH is in full supply of action - and even inspiration as the da Vinci experiment pays off in an unexpectedly joyous moment.
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