With the 71st Cannes Film Festival kicking off this week, we here at Geronigo HQ have decided to stick with the theme of the big screen and give you a rundown of some of the best action and adventure sports movies to have ever been made.
But what do you know about the Festival de Cannes? Well, this annual film festival had its first edition back in 1946 at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and it’s been held there ever since! This exclusive festival, which is usually held in May, previews new films of almost every genre alongside some of the biggest names of the red carpet. And when we say exclusive, we mean it – the attendees are all there by invitation only.
Besides showcasing the best forthcoming movies, the festival also holds an awards ceremony with over 20 awards on offer. These include the Grand Prix (Grand Prize), Prix du Jury (Jury Prize), Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director), and Prix du scénario (Best Screenplay) to name but a few. However, out of all the awards, la crème de la crème of all the awards at the festival is the Palme d’Or – or Golden Palm for best film.
With the sheer amount of movies released each year, it must be a near-impossible task to select which ones will make the winners shortlist. But here at Geronigo, we like to do things a bit simpler. Here’s a rundown of (what we think are) the best action and adventure movies to ever grace the big screen.
That’s It, That’s All
This 2008 documentary picture presents the life of an influential professional snowboarder who goes by the name of Travis Rice. Travis, who hails from the United States is widely considered as one of the greatest snowboarders of all time, so it’s only fitting that they made a film about him and his crew.
The movie follows them through some of the greatest challenges that face professional athletes as they trot around the globe performing groundbreaking tricks for the first time on film. The movie undoubtedly brought popularity to not just the big mountain freestyle genre of snowboarding, but snowboarding as a whole. If you know about snowboarding or not, you’re certainly in for an action-packed treat as this film does certainly not disappoint!
Continuing with the documentary theme, Riding Giants is a 2004 picture which is directed and produced by world famous skater and surfer Stacy Peralta. The movie traces the origins of surfing and more specifically, big wave riding.
The movie uses a number of various sources to tell its story – namely stills, archive footage, re-enacted footage, home movies and interviews. According to director Peralta, he wanted to create a film which would tell the real story of surfing to people who normally see the sport as something based on TV commercials and popular culture stars such as The Beach Boys – he hoped it would answer the question as to why people choose to devote their entire lives to the pursuit of riding waves.
Lords of Dogtown
Another Stacy Peralta-associated movie is Lords of Dogtown. Written by Stacy himself, this biographical drama film follows a group of young skateboarders around Los Angeles, California during the early 1970s.
Starring Emile Hirsch, John Robinson, Victor Rasuk and Heath Ledger as skaters Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Skip Engblom, the film focusses on the birth of modern skateboarding as they took the sport to the next level by skating in abandoned swimming pools – something which was previously unheard of.
Peralta, Alva and Adams all make cameos in the film and sometimes ended up acting as stunt doubles for their younger selves as they choreographed various skateboarding scenes. The authenticity of this movie really does make it a must watch for any cinema-lover!
On Any Sunday
Turning the attention to horsepower, On Any Sunday is a 1971 documentary film about motorcycle sport. Directed by Bruce Brown, the movie shows how different each discipline of motorcycle riding really is, along with which personalities are required for each rider.
What’s more, the timeless legend himself Steve McQueen is featured in this film! Without a shadow of a doubt, this movie revolutionised the stereotypes centred around motorcycles and their riders for the better. If you’re a fan of mud-shredding and engine revving, this is definitely a must-watch!
Getting back to the waves, this 1991 action crime thriller featured a then-all-star cast of Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. This cult movie sees Reeves, acting as a rookie undercover FBI agent, infiltrating the surfing community in order to investigate a series of bank robberies.
The movie features a whole host of big wave action and crazy stunts – featuring a (some would say) over the top, in-air skydiving chase between Reeves and Swayze! However for all the right reasons, the film grossed $8.5 million on its opening weekend and made a worldwide total of $83.5 million, which was big bucks for back then! In 2015, a remake of this legendary film was released to much dismay, as the film was panned by critics. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
So, there we have it. Five action and adventure sports movies for your viewing pleasure. There’s only a few things left for you to do. Get on that sofa, put those feet up, crack open the popcorn and enjoy!