Lords of Dogtown (Catherine Hardwicke). 107 minutes. Opens Friday (June 3). For venues and times, see Movies, page 175. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Lords Of Dogtown is sad proof that consummate skill as a documentary filmmaker doesn't necessarily translate into screenwriting ability.
Stacey Peralta's literal-minded adaptation of his own extraordinary doc, Dogtown And Z-Boys, goes something like this: Tony Alva ( Victor Rasuk ) is skating in his first-ever competition. He does a fancy turn and the camera quivers in on him like it's filming a Mountain Dew commercial; cut to three hot chicks looking impressed. "I don't know what to call this!" exclaims the announcer. Alva does another fancy turn. Three different hot chicks smile. "Io I've never seen anything like this!" the commentator exclaims, again. An electric guitar wails. Repeat.
The film doesn't credit its audience with much intelligence, and maybe it's right. It's pretty squarely targeting the slow-reading Hardy Boys set with a sanitized plotline about a gang of cool young dudes who skate, freak out hopelessly square authority figures and, in the end, smoke a little bit of medical marijuana.
Some of the more gormless 14-year-olds in the audience seemed to be digging it, but the movie's dumbfuck sexism isn't doing them any favours. Z-Boy Peggy Oki ( Stephanie Lamb ) is all but absent, and the females in the film are all mute trophies for the boys' sports stardom. Weird given that the director, Catherine Hardwicke , is best known for her rebel-girl drama Thirteen.
Disappointing. Stick with the doc.