Screening at the Wilma: Chasing Evel
Brad Tyer of the Missoula Independent reviews Chasing Evel: The Robbie Knievel Story:
So here's a film about a man whose whole life story is his attempt to escape his father's shadow, and still, it's dad's name that comes first in the title. Robbie Knievel, alive and striving in his mid-50s, is relegated to post-colon status even in his own biography. That's got to chap a guy's ass.
But if Evel Knievel was a tough act to follow, Robbie was more than up to the task. "Evel broke bones," an early quote quips. "Robbie broke records." In fact he far surpassed his more famous dad as a daredevil, and he held his own against accomplished paterfamilial competition as a self-destructive drunk.
Robbie's late-career attempt at sobriety and comeback is the thread that pulls this documentary taut, but it's the father-son conflict that gives it tragic heft—and hints of triumph, for that matter. The Butte backdrops are an illuminating bonus. I wouldn't venture to guess how this film might read outside its natural demographic of people roughly my age, but if you, like me, watched Evel Knievel crash into the Snake River Canyon on live TV, or tuned in to watch Robbie Knievel stick the landing at Caesar's Palace, or ever woke up on Christmas morning to a red, white and blue RV and a plastic ramp and a wind-up motorcycle, you can expect to spend this doc's two-hour running time entirely enthralled.
The film screens at The Wilma on Sunday, February 18.