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'Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D': Step right up for 'stupid' human tricks
A movie review of "Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D," a self-made infomercial for the stunt group's live touring show — and a tedious ride. The film's one impressive figure is an extreme wheelchair athlete whose 50-foot ramp jump is a genuine nail-biter.
'Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D,' with Travis Pastrana, Tommy Passemante, Aaron Fotheringham. Directed by Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle, from a screenplay by Godfrey, Rawle and Pastrana. 80 minutes. Rated PG-13 for depiction of extreme and dangerous stunts throughout, and for language. Several theaters.
The stunt athletes in the traveling Nitro Circus collective wear mental deficiency as a badge of honor. "This is so stupid," they'll say before flipping a race car into the air or pedaling a modified tricycle off the roof of a high-rise. It's false modesty, of course: What they're really doing is drawing attention to their bravery and machismo.
Whether you buy this double meaning or just take the guys at their word, "Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D," a self-made infomercial for the group's live touring show, is a tedious ride. Directed and coproduced by teammates Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle, it's basically 10 minutes of stunts with 70 minutes of replays, though that isn't the main problem. The personalities on screen have such limited shticks, such one-dimensional ideas, that they're no fun to hang out with.
The Nitro guys literally knock themselves out trying to be as cool as the "Jackass" crew (both had shows on MTV), but none of them has the low-rent bonhomie of a Steve-O or a Johnny Knoxville (who graciously makes an appearance). Nitro leader Travis Pastrana has one routine: Strap some doomed dupe into a vehicle, give a mocking thumbs-up to the camera, then come back and show the bungler how it's really done. This persona starts to rankle when Pastrana's buddies suffer real injuries.
The film's one impressive figure is Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, an extreme wheelchair athlete whose 50-foot ramp jump is a genuine nail-biter.