“That’s what I love about the Volcom films: there’s no formula.", said Pat Moore when we sat down with him to talk about his new movie, Mr. Plant. He acknowledged that it'll be following in the footsteps of such all-time classics as The Garden and Subject Haakonsen: "It’s some big shoes to fill, but it’s also motivating to know that we can’t just put out some bullshit." Well, now that we've seen it, we can say that his project will sit right at home in Veeco's catalogue.
Right from the off we're dropped into a 'throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks' intro, which then turns into one of the gnarliest slam sections we've seen in a while - all to the sound of the Melvins' relentless drums. It's rough, it's scattershot, but by God is it interesting; expect to find yourself leaning towards your screen, trying to make sense of everything you see.
There's a brief respite as the Volcom-esque animated titles welcome us to enjoy a film that's 'based on the travels of Pat Moore', but it's short-lived. Jake Welch gets the opener - not a Volcom man himself, interestingly, but one of Pat's good buddies from the Forum days - and we're back into Melvins and hammers. Curtis Ciszek's section is a massive curveball, with a frantic country song behind big, stylish hits. It's infectious stuff - the kind of part that makes you wish you could just grab a board and head out right now.
Volcom's three amigos are up next, and it's pretty much what you would expect. Terje Haakonsen, Bryan Iguchi and Jamie Lynn lay waste to Baldface Lodge like the good old days; it takes the sight of Terje wielding a smartphone to remind us that this ain't the 90s.
By this point things are getting a bit pow-heavy for a film that's supposed to be about all aspects of snowboarding, but Zach Normandin soon redresses the balance in his shared part with Arthur Longo. The Frenchman, meanwhile, splits his time between kickers and pipe, before closing with a monster hip.
Mike Rav is as hyperactive as ever, flying his creative colours just as high as he did in the recent CAPiTA movie, Defenders Of Awesome 2. His antics lead us into the inevitable 'friends' part that includes Scott Blum, Jeremy Jones, Elena Hight and Chris Grenier, among others.
And all the while there is Pat: grinning, turning, talking, dog-impersonating, and occasionally riding alongside whoever's got the focus at time. When his ender comes - not the first one he's had, and unlikely to be his last - the opening bars of Metallica's 'The Call of Ktulu' act as a harbinger of heaviness; it's immediately apparent as to why Volcom based a film around him. It doesn't let up, even as the song does; this is banger-banger-banger from start to flourishing finish. While it's not breaking any moulds, the quality is undeniable.
As good as that part is, the real masterstroke comes right at the end; as the credits roll, we're treated to a montage of methods that covers everything from Ingemar Backman in '95 to Pat Moore in '14. You can play 'Guess The Method', and check your answers with the list that rolls by once it's over. If snowboarding were ever to die, this is what we'd play at the funeral.
Pat described the general M.O. of the film as "who's around that wants to waste some time with us?" In the end he and the crew have definitely captured that session feel, with nothing coming across as staged or forced. As for 'wasting time', though? No chance. Mr. Plant perhaps won't be to everyone's taste, and appreciation for its style will almost certainly skew towards older riders, but if you like it you'll love it.
WHITELINES RATING: 8/10
You can read our full interview with Pat in Whitelines Issue 115, on sale now.