The Crash Reel is an absorbing documentary about the life of professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce.
Snowboarder Kevin Pearce is a hopeful for the Vancouver Winter Olympics and a long-time rival to Shaun White. Whilst training for the event, Kevin suffers a near-fatal incident that has life-changing consequences…
Lucy Walker’s film begins well as a build up to the Winter Olympics. Viewers are aware than an accident is imminent, yet this opening does well to set the scene. Editing is effective, and the film features a good soundtrack.
The Crash Reel is aided immensely by the amount of pre-crash footage. To parallel the pre and post crash footage is an effective device, giving a sense of the impact of the accident.
The involvement of Kevin.s family, friends, and co-competitors and weight to Walker’s film. These accounts give an excellent window into Kevin pre-accident, and fully exhibit the repercussions of the accident both on Kevin and his loved ones.
The Crash Reel is a moving film because it offers a personal story. Kevin’s journey to recovery is sometimes difficult to watch, but nevertheless is compelling. The strength of Walker’s film is that it effectively depicts a very serious event with emotion, yet the tone is never melancholy.
The film focuses on Kevin Pearce. However, it also highlights other cases of traumatic brain injury in action sports. Walker succinctly sheds a light on safety in the sport and the role of sponsorship without ever dwelling on these issues.
The power of The Crash Reel is its ability to command the attention. The way Lucy Walker delivers the story is almost as important as the story itself.