CINEMA

TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF (2022) 

MPAA: TV-MA
Release Date: 04/05/22 (HBO MAX)
Runtime: 135 Minutes

THE PREMISE:

"Follows famous skater Tony Hawk's personal life, career and relationship with skateboarding, including never-before-seen footage and unprecedented access to Hawk, along with interviews with figures from the skateboarding world."

OUR MOVIE REVIEW:

For those of us who grew up around the time of the X-Games and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, this new doc is fun and reminiscent, filled with interviews and stories from skating legends. For those of us unfamiliar with the skating world, it's a rather hearty story about how one man influenced the sport and the culture of skateboarding forever. From humble beginnings to mainstream popularity, decline, resurgence, and everything in between. Tony Hawk has been through it all.

 

The story of Until The Wheels Fall Off appropriately begins from Tony’s childhood; a big chunk of his life that many of his fans probably don’t know much about. With the help of his siblings, we get to know the little naughty kid who was the youngest of four by over a decade. The beginnings of Tony’s career are told with the help of fellow skaters, including legends like Stacy Peralta and Mike McGill, who each paint a rather realistic picture of Tony's past struggles in the spotlight. Then there’s heavier topics like Tony’s complicated relationship with his father and how he coped in the early 90s with fatherhood, divorce, and an all time low in popularity of skateboarding. The overall tone of the doc is more sophisticated than you might think at first glance. A lot of the topics discussed are from a very mature perspective, and I think this doc is coming out at a good time in Tony’s life. He isn’t in his prime, but rather he’s at a point where he can look back on everything and assess it all linearly. The doc reads like a visual memoir from a stable point in Tony’s career, unlike his biography, Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder, which was released in 2000; arguably a career peak for him.

 

While there’s plenty of documentaries concerning the sport of skateboarding, all of which almost guarantee a mention of Tony the athlete, there hasn't been a document this extensive of Tony the person. Within the history of skating, Until The Wheels Fall Off fills a lot of the gaps between docs like 2001’s Dogtown and Z Boys, and 2020’s Pretending I'm A Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story, which is specifically about the Pro Skater franchise, a topic that Until The Wheels Fall Off only mentions in passing.

 

This documentary had me so emotionally hooked from start to finish that I ended up watching it three times in a week. If that’s something you’re looking for going into the weekend, or even a good distraction from our dark present, it is streaming now on HBO MAX.

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OUR VERDICT: