Good Company have been around for a while now and the basic premise has always no nonsense ski porn for addicts. The new movie, their first full length, definitely continues in the same vein. It’s 38 minutes long which is pretty much perfect and there is no filler, almost no behind the scenes and very little talking. This is a ski film with no frills attached.
In fact, it’s reminiscent of Level 1 films of years ago, Turbo particularly springs to mind for me. That’s partly because of the cast but also the style of filming, riding, even some of the music. For those of you who long for the return of those days, this is a much watch. But of course the riding now is on a whole other level of crazy.
The trailer is a pretty accurate representation of the movie, except the film is even madder...
The film opens out with a shared segment from ON3P team mates Magnus Graner and John Ware. For me it’s the highlight of the film because they have pretty contrasting styles and trick selection, which makes for a really varied segment. I don’t want to give too much away but Magnus' no kicker Nollie Lip 2 is a thing of beauty.
Thayne Rich is a name you’re going to be hearing a lot in the ski industry in the next few years. He has a full segment more or less to himself and damn, the man can ski, he’s got that ‘backcountry born and bred style’ and he’s no slouch on jumps either. He slays some monstrous pillow lines and stomps maybe the biggest *no spoiler buy the film* I’ve ever seen.
Both Niklas Eriksson and Tim McChesney have full parts and some of the best footage I’ve seen from them in years. Sadly, Khai only has a couple of shots but his style is typically sublime and definitely left me crossing my fingers for shedloads of footy in Pleasure.
I’m not a big fan of park segments and there’s 2 in Vice Versa but some of the tricks are so mindblowing that even those are good value. T-Wall’s segment is slightly spoiler’d by his X Games part but that was to be expected. There’s nothing I can say about his skiing that hasn’t already been said and there’s still plenty of new stuff from him and from Chris Laker, who has a chunk of tricks in there, to make his part a solid watch.
Good Company One to further wet your appetite
The ender falls to none other than Krazy Karl, frequently backpack and all. He’s been on the cusp of moving up to the ‘big leagues’ of skiing for a few years now and this could be the part that seals the deal. I'm pretty sure there are at least a couple of backcounty NBDs in there and he goes gucci every hit. There are tricks in here that are frankly worth the $10 on their own.
There are a few spot overlaps in the film and arguably a couple too many backcountry dub 10s but there really isn’t anything of note to criticise in Vice Versa from a skiing or production point of view. It has a great mix of street and backcountry, it’s cleanly edited and the soundtrack is good.
For me the only real negative of Vice Versa is it wasn't that original and possibly as a result, it didn’t particularly hype me to ski. I think the latter is largely because it all felt a bit unattainable, the spots were so otherworldly and the riding was so good that I didn't feel motivated to go out and do it. Obviously the skiing in every ski movie is pretty unattainable to us lesser mortals, that's sort of the point, but the fact that everything was just balls to the wall massive and technical brought that into sharp relief. Is it possible to be too good, too clean? I'm not sure but there is one exception in Vice Versa, the Japan segment, which was a world apart from the rest of the film with fun vibes and and damn, do I want to go there now.
As I said in my opening lines, this is a movie made for skiers. Skiers who want to see how far skiing can be pushed. Skiers who understand how stupidly difficult what is happening on screen actually is and how borderline impossible it is to make it look as good as these guys do. You'll know already if that is the kind of film that gets you stoked. And if it is, just man up and drop the pocket change it takes to buy a download or make your way to a premiere. In fact even if it isn't your normal cup of tea, you still kind of need to see the skiing that the crew has pulled out of the bag for Vice Versa.