Jack and I watched The Birth of Big Air. This is the seventeenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series. ESPN aired the film just before the opening ceremonies of X Games 16 which are scheduled for July 29 through August 1.
The film looks at the career of Mat Hoffman. In 1987, at the age of 15, Hoffman was the youngest rider to enter the freestyle BMX circuit. He is credited with inventing many of sport's popular tricks. Hoffman had a very long career that included winning bronze and silver freestyle BMX medals in the 2001 and 2002 X-Games.
Hoffman is also credited with keeping the sport alive during the 1990's before the advent of the X-Games. After the boom of the 1980's faded and the sponsors disappeared, his production company organized some of the only competitions.
Frankly, this film was more than a little hard for me to watch in couple of spots. One segment interviewed his doctor and looked at all of the injuries and surgeries that he has experienced. Another segment ends with Hoffman getting knocked out and spending three days in a coma, while a third talks about how he ruptured his spleen and almost died. Throughout the film, Hoffman is interviewed so at least you know that he is still alive and was not killed in one of the stunts!
For me, this is an odd film. My passions definitely do not include freestyle BMX bikes or the X Games. I had never heard of Mat Hoffman. It was interesting, but it is not a film that I would recommend that someone go out of their way to watch.
The film is available on Amazon.