Reviewed: Mark McMorris’ In Motion
Mark McMorris's new signature video project, In Motion, confirms the theory that he was always going to be more than a contest kid. The fact that he can barely navigate a snowmobile through the Whistler backcountry but stomps frontside triple corks and Cab 1260s with ease out there about sums it up. Many seasoned video part pros don't have those tricks in their part after a full winter of trying. Which isn't to say that McMorris is done with contests, just that with this film, he seems to be setting himself up for life after the podium. And when you've got the kind of contest pedigree he has--Olympic slopestyle bronze, back-to-back X Games slopestyle and big air gold, and back-to-back victories at the 2013 and 2014 US Open slopestyle--you can write your own ticket.
That's probably why the film feels like an answer to the question "What would you do if you could ride where ever you wanted, with whomever you wanted?" And aside from a few obligatory contest appearances at the X Games, Burton European Open, and the US Open, that's basically what McMorris does.
In Motion kicks off with McMorris, Terje Haakonsen, and Danny Davis snorkeling through the kind of tits deep, blower Japanese pow days that make you rethink every life choice you've ever made, because why isn't that you riding those lines? Terje literally says, "It's too deep." Somehow, the trio make-do, and notably, Davis tweaks one of the most stylish tail grabs in recent memory.
The X Games contest recap that follows lags a little, mostly because if you watched McMorris's competitive season there's nothing new to learn here. But then you're treated to a tour through the many pow fields of Laax, Switzerland with Nicolas Müller pre-European Open, which is worth it just to hear this mystical mountain wizard speak. And ride. Müller's trick and spot selection is always a study in style and imagination.
Then it's back to plodding through the Euro and US Open recaps. But 14-minutes in the contests are left behind, and it's mostly all hammer riding as McMorris helis in Stewart, BC, with Müller and Mikkel Bang. There he shreds some warm-up lines and makes yet another series of backcountry jumps his bitch.
The movie proceeds with an Aspen Snowmass park session, a failed Revelstoke heli mission, some epic days in the Whistler backcountry, a grand finale on a monster crossed-up hip feature in Solden, Austria, and some down under laps in Australia as the credits roll.
Throughout the 45-minute film, the level of riding is what you’d expect, and more. But with the story, there were a few places where some more context would have helped. We're given a brief introduction to legends Terje and Danny Davis in the Japan section but next to no background on up-and-comers Mikey Ciccarelli and Darcy Sharpe who join McMorris at Snowmass. On the chance you haven't heard of them, I'll give you a little help here. Both are Canadian slopestyle destroyers following in McMorris's footsteps and you shouldn't be surprised if the group makes up Canada's next Olympic slope team in 2018. The Solden session could have used some more background too. Has a feature like that ever been built before? Who came up with it? What’s the connection between the riders summoned to session and McMorris?
In Motion is one to watch for a good mix of the pow days we all dream of and the kind of progressive riding that keeps snowboarding interesting. More than that, it's a milestone in McMorris's career as he begins to chart a course for a long future.
Featuring: Mark McMorris, Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang, Mikey Rencz, Mikey Ciccarelli, Darcy Sharpe, Ulrik Badertscher, Kevin Backstrom, Tor Lundstrom, Nicolas Müller, and more.
Tune into Red Bull TV for a free 24 hour exclusive viewing on October 15 at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST at http://www.redbull.com/inmotion. Incase you miss it, In Motion will be available for purchase starting October 27.
In Motion Teaser