It’s Summertime in LA and troubled 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Soljic) comes across an intriguing collection of older boys who spend their days skateboarding, hanging around the local skateboard shop, smoking, drinking, partying with girls (when they could be bothered), and getting filmed by the aspiring film-maker amongst them. One of the group is only slightly older than Stevie and sees an opportunity to rise in the pecking order, so aids his introduction, but to his resentment, Stevie (or ‘Sunburn’, as he becomes known) proves popular. To build on this Stevie is willing to take risks and indulge in everything the group does to the nth degree. But nothing is free of consequences.
The performances from the mostly young cast in Jonah Hill’s directorial debut are impressive, but too often there are dead ends in the narrative and in the characters themselves. By the end, we can feel we’ve had a sneak-peak into an ever-developing sub-culture, but little else.
Reviewed by Craig Coventry