Extreme Days

    What do you call a movie that combines the idea of a quest and the travel shenanigans of ROAD TRIP, the absurdities of DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?, and the irreverence of AMERICAN PIE -- but leaves out all the profanity, nudity, drug use, and violence? Some might call it a parent's dream. Now throw in the vision of a few committed Christian filmmakers and you get that dream come true. The film I'm talking about is EXTREME DAYS, a "coming-of-age" movie from Providence Entertainment. It tells the story of four close friends who graduate from junior college and set off on one last youthful adventure. The goal? Surf, skateboard, and snowboard as much of the West Coast as possible before surrendering to adulthood. Along the way, they come to the aid of Jessie, a young girl with car trouble. But Jessie is not your average Damsel in Distress. Though short on cash, she's long on spunk. As we'd expect, Brian, one of the young men on this post-adolescent pilgrimage, immediately falls for her and bets one of his buddies that she will become one of his conquests. Little does Brian realize that his attempts to win her over will forever change his view not only of women, but also of himself. The plot outline is virtually indistinguishable from that of the other recent teenage road films showing in the American cinema. I shudder to think what those responsible for movies like American Pie would do with a story like this. Fortunately, in the case of Extreme Days, bathroom humor and adolescent hi-jinks lead to a conclusion that honors a Christian worldview. Extreme Days concedes to all the young thrill seekers out there that life really is an adventure. But it makes a powerful case that true adventure is much more than an adrenaline rush laced with lust. And it's about time. Twenty years ago, MTV exploded onto the pop-culture landscape, making music videos a part of American life. But the cable channel did more than revolutionize the music industry -- it unearthed a previously untapped market giant: youth. Today, 30 million teenagers make up a more than $150 billion market. Every month, teens spend an average of up to $200 on movies, music, and other entertainment. In short, MTV has become a model for business success. Unfortunately, that model targets youth by using the profane. Thankfully, Providence Entertainment has refused to give in to those who feed our kids an endless supply of filth. Now, let's be clear. Extreme Days is not Citizen Kane. But that's not the point. Abraham Kuyper once said that there was not a square inch in all of creation that Jesus did not claim as his own -- and that includes entertainment. Providence ought to be applauded -- and supported. If Extreme Days is showing in your area, why not go see it? Or encourage your kids to do so. The film's title refers to the popular phenomenon of "extreme sports" -- those deliberate recreational brushes with death on air, land, and sea. But recent tragic events remind us that the most extreme days we'll ever know are real life. As Americans return to their routines and seek out entertainment, it's welcome news indeed that they may now find something fit for their consumption.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary