Grind is an annoying movie. The title is meant to signify a move in skating, but also means, in a sense, to annoy. It does very well on the latter. It's not quite a movie, but a collection of skateboarding stunts set in different parts of the country. Grind aims squarely for the younger male demographic, which explains the multitude of stunts, bevy of scantily clad (but not nude) women, and loads of punk and rock music. However, writer Ralph Sall gave the story a full lobotomy, which makes it nothing better than one of those clip videos that play in skateboarding shops. It's one big road trip from event to event, with its main characters engaging in moronic acts along the way.

The purpose is so that Eric (Mike Vogel) can get a sponsorship. He's a really good skater, and just needs somebody to see it. School is over, and he decides he wants to skate professionally. He convinces his friend Dustin (Adam Brody, The Ring, American Pie 2) to use his hard-earned college savings to finance a trip across America, following a professional skater in the hopes of showing him a tape of Eric. Everybody here is an uninteresting one-note character. Eric is the handsome nice guy. Dustin is the kind of uptight friend who looks kind of cute and eventually loosens up. Their cohorts are Matt (Vince Vieluf, Rat Race, Dropping Out), the village idiot/wild child, and Sweet Lou (Joey Kern, XX/XY, Love the Hard Way). Sweet Lou is their older friend who speaks like a stoner and seems to prey on younger women. And he looks eerily like Matthew McCounaghey.

Director Casey La Scala sends them from tournament to tournament, with a wholly imagined rivalry with a wannabe team. Eric also keeps running into Jamie (Jennifer Morrison, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Stir of Echoes), the ultra hot and ultra cool girl who can probably do just as well as the guys. Of course, contrived situations keep them from truly talking to each other. They hit some setbacks, but keep trying to go from place to place. Instead, Sall and La Scala add in filler of juvenile shenanigans. There is little substance to Grind, and it is quickly forgotten.

The main reason to watch Grind is because of the skating. All of the actors used doubles, who probably did not look like them. The reason for this hypothesis is that La Scala hardly ever shows the head of the actors. Instead, there are lots of close-ups on the skateboard and everything below the neck. This takes a lot away from the stunts. Things get better at the end, when the guys go to an exhibition with some big names. This means a lot of unidentified skaters and some famous ones get lots of air time. And the stunt double for Eric dons a helmet, making him virtually indistinguishable. Just like the rest of the film.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual content and language.

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