These X-Gamers may be ultimate, but the DVD isn’t

ESPN’s X Games showcases the talents of crazy athletes who perform death-defying stunts at speeds that can reach 80 mph and heights of more than 100 feet.

ESPN set out to capture these stunts when it released its first movie to the big screen with Ultimate X: The Movie.

But for those expecting a wild film, packed with highlights of the greatest stunts ever performed on a motorcycle, skateboard or bicycle, ultimate disappointment is the only thing this DVD offers.

The film offers highlights of the seventh X Games that took place in Philadelphia. It focuses on the main events that draw the most spectators: street luge, motocross, BMX and skateboarding. However, those hoping to see their favorite X Game athletes in full throttle are better off watching the highlights that make it to SportsCenter.

First, the film is only 39 minutes. If all that was shown was the best stunts that happened during the weeklong event, the film might be worth the money. But that would just be too simple.

Instead, half the film is filled with useless commentary. How many times do we need the athletes to come on screen and tell us they’re crazy? Don’t we know there are a few screws loose in any person who tries a backflip on a motorcycle 150 feet in the air?

Between every set of stunts, somebody comes on screen to talk about what it takes to do them.

Next, the same stunts are shown again and again. The first time you see Tony Hawk’s 900 on the halfpipe, you marvel at the technique and balance. But after you see it in reverse angle, top angle, slow motion, ground view and The Matrix version, it just gets a little boring.

Last, it took the whole movie to get to the crashes. Although it only offered about five minutes’ worth, it was the best part of the film. Seeing a guy on a motorcycle hit the ramp and try to fly behind it holding on to the seat, only to miss the seat and do a belly flop on a huge dirt hill, was well worth the wait. It just took too long to get to it.Now, X Game athletes are athletes, there is no question. It takes skill and balls to do some of the tricks they try.

However, that doesn’t mean a movie, albeit a short one, should be made. Anyone who shelled out the cash to catch this on the big screen ultimately got ripped off.

Contact Adam Adkins at