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Parents' Guide to


By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Disney rollerblading movie addresses gender and race issues.

Movie NR 1998 99 minutes
Brink! Poster Image

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A solid sports movie, with abundant rollerblading action sequences, this also works on an emotional level. Brink (von Detten) goes from a happy-go-lucky boy to a teenager carrying the weight of family money worries, moral dilemmas, and judgmental friends. Von Detten makes Brink relatable at every step. Elsewhere, Val, is a controlling bully and is portrayed suitably slimy by Sam Horrigan. Christina Vidal also gives a stand-out performance as Soul Skater Gabriella, who takes people to task for addressing the team as "guys," dislikes dresses, and is armed with barbed comebacks against the racism and sexism she encounters.

Screenwriter Jeff Schechter also gives periphery characters emotional beats, too. Soul Skater Peter (Patrick Levis) discusses his stepfather problems and Brink's dad, Jimmy (Geoffrey Blake) is particularly moving during a heart-to-heart with his son. Much like Schechter managed in a similar scene in Beethoven's 3rd, the father-son moment is a joy to watch, with emotional heft and a positive message that gives equal time and respect to father and son. A fun ska-punk soundtracked time capsule, Brink! is a successful sports movie and emotional journey.

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