Skateland review

            From the title to the underlying themes, Skateland shares far too much in common with Adventureland not to mention. If only the execution were more like Adventureland. Both take place during an economic slump at the beginning of the 80s, both have female leads from the Twilight franchise, and both have protagonists working at failing entertainment-based businesses. What Skateland adds to the mix is an unnecessary amount of melodrama.

            Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) works at a local roller rink, despite being out of high school and nagged by his sister to apply to colleges. Life is freewheeling fun in Texas when Ritchie’s childhood friend returns and he begins a new relationship with his friend’s sister, Michelle (Ashley Greene). Then a group of bullies threaten violence over a girl and we are left with the looming hint that trouble will eventually come.

            There are some promising aspects to Skateland, despite its melodrama and unoriginal concepts. The cast is surprisingly engaging, which goes to show what is possible when you remove the romantic leads from the direction of Catherine Hardwicke. The film is also elevated by the choice to set it in the 1980s, allowing for interesting costume and music choices.

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