I loved Tony Hawk Pro Skater and its soundtrack. It has influenced my music preferences for decades. I purchased the re-release of the original game and have put hours into it. I know that Tony Hawk advanced skateboarding in the late 90s and early 00s, but I did not know how far back it went.
The documentary picks up as Tony grabs a skateboard for the first time and joins the Bones Brigade. His teammates and siblings are heavily featured throughout the film. There is also a shocking amount of video footage from multiple competitions. Every competition must have required a professional photographer and videographer to be present. The footage has been restored and looks better than most smartphone photography.
The history of skateboarding’s popularity is also traced throughout the film with its many ups and downs. Tony Hawk does not know how to do anything other than skating and amazingly made it through multiple lean years. His perseverance and singular focus are remarkable but, is it inspiring? Like most G.O.A.T.s, they sacrificed EVERYTHING for a singular focus. It is an unhealthy obsession at times and the damage done behind the scenes is often glossed over.
Tony Hawk has had multiple concussions and broken bones and knows he is headed for a challenging back half of his life, but he is continuing to skate. He, and many fellow Bones Brigade skaters, must have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy from concussion after concussion after concussion. Dave Mirra, a BMX legend, took his own life in 2016 and had CTE like numerous NFL athletes. The fact that the highest end of the skateboarding community has not suffered is surprising.
This documentary is a nostalgia trip for one of the greatest extreme athletes of all time. He deserved this documentary, and all the legacy film keeps it interesting. It does not rely on old men reliving the glory days without the footage to back it up, it brings receipts. The subject may bias me, but this was one of the most enjoyable sports documentaries I have seen.