Fri. May 27th, 2022

Hawk’s career is known for being a brand, a cameo across ’90s and ’00s pop culture, a lanky dude who presents himself as kind and also extremely, nerdily good at what he can do. But that all traces back to him once being a super-determined teenager, who created his own space in the growing popularity of ’80s skateboarding, to the dismay of his older, bigger, far more punk peers. Part of the intrigue from this documentary comes from how Jones fills in the scene, with former skating hotshots like Duane Peters talking about being unimpressed with the elaborate tricks that Hawk was doing during their competitions, or the more philosophical Rodney Mullen intellectualizing what Hawk was achieving. 

Becoming so good at skateboarding led peaks and valleys of fame and success for Hawk, which Jones incorporates into the stories generally chronological view of a career that thrived depending on the popularity of skateboarding. Meanwhile, Hawk was further grounded by the focus on his family dynamics; he was the youngest child in his family by many years, and his father Frank Hawk helped create the National Skateboarding Association, but also created a shadow for the growing Tony. That amount of success at a young age, it doesn’t teach you financial responsibility. 

The soundtrack to this may be full of different eras of punk (with some recognizable needle drops feeling more stock than others), but the documentary has its own edges softened by the straightforward style. It becomes like a lot of glory days docs, in that it looks back on a certain phenomenon with a collection of amazed words from everyone who was there, but doesn’t feel as fast-energy by its storytelling methods. It’s exciting to learn about Hawk’s origins, and the traits that led to such a stand-out career, and yet it’s telling when this sports maverick’s tale is being told about in a fairly rudimentary way. 

By admin