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“Huck Yeah!” opens with skiing patriarch Klaus Obermeyer exclaiming, “[Skiing] just makes you feel good. It’s great. It’s fabulous!” Profound? Not exactly. Accurate? Definitely. And not a bad summary of this 2020 offering from ski movie stalwarts Matchstick Productions.
The movie is an hour-long smorgasbord of blower pow, steep lines, and mind bending tricks. There’s not a lot of filler, and just enough locational context to round out each segment. Simply put, “Huck Yeah!” is ski porn; it’s exactly what you need to get pumped up for winter.
Ski movies over the past few years have been increasingly self-serious, filling their runtimes with hit-or-miss attempts at emotional gravitas rather than with just more skiing. In that sense, “Huck Yeah!” is a breath of fresh air, in that it lets the skiing and the skiers take the stage in ways that are both exciting and refreshingly goofy. Narrator Scott Gaffney has fake conversations with the skiers, whose intro cards double as the crash segment, and there’s a shameless stoke that’s tamped down in a lot of recent flicks.
That’s not to say the skiing and the locations don’t deliver. Marvel as MSP vets Mark Abma, Eric Hjoerleifson, and Chris Rubens tackle the isolated Mt. Cain and its colorful locals, deep on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Get pumped on the high energy shred of The Blondes—Emily Childs, Janelle Yip, and Tonje Kvivik—as they pop cliff after cliff. Bobby Brown, Lucas Wachs, and “Crazy” Karl Fostvedt show why they’re leading the next wave of skiers into the backcountry. Michelle Parker, Arianna Tricomi, and Sam Kuch, among others, round out the star studded lineup. In what’s likely a first for a ski movie, “Huck Yeah!” devotes equal screen time to men and women—something that’s been a long time coming.
Does “Huck Yeah!” break new ground for ski movies? It does not. Will it convince you that skiing and skiers some kind of higher purpose? Probably not? But doesn’t it pass the Klaus Obermeyer test—does it make you feel good? Is it fabulous? Huck yeah it is.