Airborne has been a personal guilty pleasure of mine since my early college years, back when I met like-minded people who were totally uncritical of any film branded independent, who introduced me to the strange new world of Ska music, and who could recall the glories of Swan's Crossing with the same affection I did.
As a matter of fact, Shane McDermott – who played Garrett Booth, star-crossed lover of then dark haired Sarah Michelle Gellar in that oft-mentioned Brix Pick – takes the lead role of Mitchell Goosen in this movie, which is wholly acted by no one particularly good looking. Don't get me wrong, I love the kid, but I'd only cast him as a date rapist in a Lifetime movie titled something like, “If She Knew What She Wanted” (that's officially my idea now, so I don't want to see you all shopping scripts without due credit).
But don't fret if you've never seen the show, a plethora of non-Swan's Crossing talents abounds as well. Jack Black proves that he wasn't always just some cool dude that stumbled into comedic success as he hones his signature spazzing out before your very eyes and hams up lines like, “I like Nintendo and I like Nintendo” – oh, and he gets a tree in the nards. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but my friend Brandon can be seen in the double date turned disaster scene – he's the one wearing a patchwork denim jacket and staring straight into the camera.
Stewart Copeland – yes, that Stewart Copeland – is behind the music, though I can't imagine he was 100% responsible for the B-grade Babyface-type song that includes the lyrics, “I'll pick you up in my per-son-al limonsine!” which plays during a rollerblading greenhouse scene… and I know he wasn't behind Right Said Fred's 'I'm Too Sexy' montage of Seth Green trying on various outfits for a date, looking, I'm sad to say, a lot like a ventriloquist's dummy in all of them. Yep, Seth Green is here too, sporting a haircut and circular rose-tinted glasses that make him look like a lesbian friend on Ann Magnuson's, circa 1989. As always, he's totally boss as a goof ball best buddy.
The plot's a familiar one and we've all been there: you're a Ghandi-loving California surfer who tells his rollerblades 'gracias' at the end of the day and you come home to find your parents packed off to Australia forcing you to head to freezing Cincinnati, a sad, sad place where no one understands your enlightened Zen attitude and everyone plays hockey.
Ok, so maybe it didn't happen to you – but it happened to me… vicariously. In eighth grade we got our very own Mitch Goosen when Ryan Lokken, a?blonde California surfer dude enrolled in our class and (I swear) handed out wallet-sized portraits of his surf crew to all the ladies. But, unlike the Ohian high school in Airborne, we didn't have any forty-year-old bullies out for Ryan's blood.
But if your school did have bullies, cast as forty year olds or not, you might savor the moment when Mitch tells his, “I could give two left testicles about you, your school or you hockey game!” There's also some sweet afternoon movie romance with tapered jean dream named Nikki who, while only being Sarah Powell hot (from Charles in Charge), still manages to look pretty great next to the other slags.
It's a rare and wholesome treat (and, I might add, a nice companion piece to former guilty pleasure Heavyweights), the kind of movie where the big finale takes place at dun, dun, dun… The Devil's Backbone! “Only the most dangerous hill in the whole town!”
By the way,?watch it now on Netflix on demand because the DVD, according to super irate Amazon customers, is only available in German.