ARRIVAL Reviewed 3
For the last few months, the mountain biking world has been buzzing in anticipation of the next major bike film release. Already screened during Crankworx and at select premiere locations since, and after a bit of a delay, ARRIVAL is finally available to purchase as of today. The film is a collaboration between the Coastal Crew and Anthill, and offers an invitation to "step into our world, as we bring you a raw look at the talents of the next wave of riders and photographers." An up-to-date version of the classic all-action extreme sports movie, ARRIVAL makes up for what it lacks in narrative with breathtaking execution and a story that is told in images. ARRIVAL is all about what is happening in mountain biking right now.
We've already been treated to a series of Making-Of's, so if you paid attention you have some idea of what to expect. However, rest assured that what we were shown was a mere fraction of what awaits in the full movie.
ARRIVAL kicks off in the Coastal Crew's natural habitat, the dense rain forests of Canada's Sunshine Coast. Curtis Robinson and Dylan Dunkerton get straight down to business in a segment that pretty much defines the Coastal Crew - build a big line, shred it, and film it. No need for any foreplay, it's straight into an orgy of fresh dirt, roost, and more style than you'd know what to do with.
Early on, the Anthill touch can be felt, with high frame-rate slow-mo and intricate camera movements in abundance throughout. In this day and age, 240fps can get real old real fast, but when the riding is at this level, it takes a natural part in the story telling. We never got tired of gorging ourselves on this visual smorgasbord of loamy goodness.
Kyle Norbraten takes us to Lillooet to discover a visually stunning moment of magic at the movies. In a golden hour that seems to stretch out for days, Norbs puts on a big line riding clinic. Hit after hit, from massive features to dusty ridgelines, the Crew capture these fleeting minutes forever as the setting sun lights the camera sensors on fire.
Matty Miles is the first guest rider to make an appearance in ARRIVAL. He chose Retallack for his segment, or maybe Retallack chose him. Be that as it may, Matty honored his invitation and threw down a big and stylish part, which didn't end quite as Matty would have hoped for. He'll be back to shred another day, and we're not left wanting.
Trail building is in the Coastal Crew's DNA, it is what has always defined their work. When it came time to stack up a few jumps for Logan Peat's segment, no corners were cut. From a huge set of dirt doubles to a flowy section of Sunshine Coast prototypical trail, Logan makes it all look too easy on these lovingly sculpted lines.
Whistler. It's been shot to death, and our hearts almost sank at the sight of a couple of A-Line whips at the start of the next segment. Well, fear not - with R-Dog and Mitch Rips-a-Lot-o in charge of the steeze, and Dunkerton in charge of getting wasted and spending a night sleeping under a bush with his bike, the segment delivers a fresh look and a real first-person perspective on the whole Whistler experience. Just remember to bring enough spare tubes next time you go...
Rio de Janeiro is not a place most people associate with mountain biking. After seeing Stevie Smith's part, that may change. Stevie and the Crew build a few sketchy-looking jumps before heading off to ride some pretty massive lines with local pinner and Whip-Off World's winner, Bernardo Cruz. The Brazilian lifestyle permeates this segment, and the film lets the story take over without trying to make more out of it than it already is. Shreddy and delicious!
The Coastal Crew has already left a big mark on the sport in a few short years. Where do they go from here? The answer comes in the next segment, but shouldn't be a surprise if you have been following the news at all. The Coast Gravity Park embodies all what Kyle, Curtis, and Dylan have always stood for, and its realization seems a logical next step for them to take. From the first shovel of the dirt to first laps on the first trail, we watch as the Crew bring their vision of what a mountain bike park should be to life. A rollercoaster of berms and gaps, groomed to perfection. Coastal Crew trademark entertainment.
ARRIVAL is a contemporary take on the mountain bike shred flick. There is no story telling nor narrative to speak of, yet the message is as clear as it gets. The Coastal Crew love what they do, and they love sharing it with the world. It's the kind of movie that lets you tune out and immerse yourself in the ride, without ever wanting to reach for your remote. In keeping with its new-age ambitions, the soundtrack is resolutely not of the classic kind. For better or for worse, it works pretty well with the movie, providing an energized backdrop to the visual fireworks on display.
40-minutes is not a lot of time when you're having this much fun, and as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. But don't stop the movie when you see the credits start to roll - the outro is a segment in itself, featuring none other than Kenny Smith and another one of his ridiculous mega-roller lines. The pucker factor is at an all time high, and that's a good way to leave it. In the immortal words of Dylan Dunkerton, now "all we wanna do is shred!"
ARRIVAL is available to purchase now on iTunes:
For more information: ARRIVAL
ARRIVAL - Official Trailer:
Catch the Making-Of episodes here:
All photography by Harookz