‘Stuntman’ Review: A Big Leap
“I’m the face you never see,” Eddie Braun says, even though he’s racked up over 250 film and TV credits. Braun’s greasy hot rod hairstyle and battered jumpsuits mean he’s either a “stuntman,” hence the title of Kurt Mattila’s simplistic documentary, or an aging astronaut commissioned for one final mission, which turns out to be also close to the truth. Now in his fifties, Braun misses cars that explode and roll barrels, as does his wife and four children whose stormy response to his latest fireball implies they think their pops are indestructible.
Yet Braun seeks his own immortality – the chance to pull off a blow that escaped his idol Evel Knievel – and undertakes to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in a steam rocket. And Mattila, an automotive sales manager eager to change gears in his own career, follows the nearly four-year process of getting Braun through a Leviathan gorge with the spur of the original rocket engineer son. who wants to prove that his father’s design would have worked, if not for a pesky parachute malfunction.
This is a children’s documentary, a point made in the introduction where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tells children not to try this at home. (“This” means merging a steam whistle with a lawn dart and skipping three and a half football pitches.) Braun is in hero mode, repeatedly assuring the camera and guitarist Slash who has agreed to record an anthem for him. , that it will be fine. Lacking deep emotions, the film cuts American flags over and over again. The only drama comes when the stunt’s TV sponsors pull out – twice – forcing Braun to put his money where his life is. There is something morbid about a world where a brave man is more afraid of financial risks than physical ones. But it’s a leap this doc can’t take.
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes. Watch on Disney +.
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