If there's one thing you'll glean from watching "Ultimate X", Bruce Hendricks' IMAX-sized look at extreme sportsmen, it's that these people are bonkers.
What else would compel a person to somersault, mid-air on a motorobike, or risk breaking their neck on a half-pipe? Still, by the end of 40 minutes' worth of gravity-defying tricks, you'll be glad they do it.
"Ultimate X" was filmed during the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia, where athletes compete in events including Skateboarding, Street Luge Stunt BMX, and Aggressive In-Line Skating.
Each event is showcased from a variety of unusual angles, point-of-view shots, and in slow motion, dissecting each trick and displaying the pure skill and talent of each participant.
There are some striking shots of airborne bikers along with dizzying footage of the stunt skateboarders, all set against the similarly energetic soundtrack, including OPM, Fatboy Slim, and Sum 41. A Street Luge segment is memorably serene, while later footage of the athletes stacking it is wickedly enjoyable.
With the X Games as high on the American teen interest-o-meter as MTV and Coca-Cola, you won't be surprised at the amount of product placement in the film. Neither, then, is it any surprise that it favours wall-to-wall action over critical dissection of the games as a cultural phenomenon. At 40 minutes, it's brief but keeps firmly to its action remit.
Interviews with the athletes are amusing and display their indifferent attitude to the risks they regularly face, even making jokes about the amount of injuries they have endured. Key to their participation is the enjoyment factor, something equally present in Hendricks' film.