Impact (2004) Review

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Fresh Powder

Impact (2004): 8 out of 10: is a gripping documentary that delves into the adrenaline-fueled world of extreme skiing. Directed by Max Bervy, the film follows a group of fearless skiers as they push the boundaries of their sport in some of the most treacherous and remote mountain ranges on the planet.

The documentary introduces us to a diverse cast of characters, from seasoned veterans (Glen Plake) to up-and-coming talent, each with their own unique approach to skiing. We witness jaw-dropping footage of death-defying descents down steep couloirs, massive cliff drops, and breathtaking jumps through pristine powder.

As the film unfolds, we learn about the personal journeys and motivations driving these athletes to pursue such high-risk endeavors. From the thrill of conquering new challenges to the camaraderie forged in the face of danger, “Impact” explores the emotional and psychological aspects of extreme skiing.

However, the exhilaration of the sport comes with a sobering reality as the documentary also confronts the inherent dangers and tragic consequences of pushing the limits too far. Through interviews with experts and harrowing accounts of accidents and near misses, “Impact” underscores the importance of skill, preparation, and respect for the mountains.

Ultimately, “Impact” is not just a showcase of awe-inspiring feats on the slopes but a poignant exploration of the human spirit and our unrelenting pursuit of adventure, even in the face of adversity. With breathtaking cinematography and raw, unfiltered storytelling, it leaves audiences both inspired and humbled by the power and fragility of life in the mountains.

The Good

The Good: Great soundtrack… no superb soundtrack… nice commentary and excellent footage. Impact has a wonderful way of mixing high adrenaline footage for a few minutes than an interview with a snowboarder going all Bob Ross while sitting on the mountain. Great mellow vibe to the whole proceedings. Impact is a really enjoyable show overall.

Honestly, it is hard to put my finger on what makes Impact greater than the sum of its parts. The whole mood of the piece seems to transport the viewer to a happier place where there are no worries, just fresh powder and a new sunrise. And I watched this sober. Truly a Zen experience.

The Bad

The Bad: Impact is from 2004 (which probably helps the soundtrack) but means it is in a 3:4 aspect ratio and standard definition. I have been so spoiled by modern widescreen 4k documentaries that as spectacular as some of the footage is it feels a little like it was filmed on a potato.

The Ugly

The Ugly: Alert Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow because we have a lot of avalanches being caused by such antics. While no snowboarder was killed while filming this, the filmmakers really don’t take into account either the possible environmental damage caused by triggering so many avalanches nor the possible negative effects to people living miles down mountain if you accidently trigger a big one. Avalanches and skiing through them is visually stunning but seems careless on many levels.

Let me also put on my hypocrite hat for a minute. I have never worn a helmet skiing, so far be it from me to criticize others for the same. But then again I am going down glorified bunny slopes on Mount Snow, not being helicoptered to the top of a cliff.

In Conclusion

In conclusion: Surprisingly mellow and pleasant watch for such an adrenaline filled sport. Impact really captures what we all imagine is the skiing experience. (As opposed to waiting a half an hour in lift lines in your cheap rental skis. Then going down the slope while eight-year-old kamikazes barrel past you)

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