Review: A Story Worth Living

Some time back, I went to a motorcycling movie. "Motorcycling" movie. And this is what I walked away with.

'A Story Worth Living' is a creepy, confused, contrived, and manipulative religious train-wreck with about 15 minutes of good motorcycling footage.

As long as it's not waved in my face nor shoved down my throat, I've nothing against any person's religious beliefs. And let's be clear here: 'A Story Worth Living' doesn't fail for the religion, despite the contrived, weighty words delivering it to the audience.

The movie fails first for not stating its intentions outright and instead luring motorcyclists in with the promise of an epic motorcycle adventure. Yes, there's good motorcycling - a little. And really, as the movie drones on, and the talking goes on and on and on, the (maybe) fifteen minutes of motorcycling footage getting repeated over and over actually gets boring. So why is the lure a fail? Well, honestly, knowing up front that the movie was more of a vehicle for psychological therapy and religion, I likely would not have gone. I'm a motorcyclist and not particularly interested in talk for therapy nor someone else's religion. And I expect others might feel the same. So the movie first fails for its cowardice.

Next let's discuss one of the greater points of the movie, seemingly delivered by Ghallagher's sledge-o-matic: great stories. I learned, way back about 33 years ago, that great stories must be shown (through actions or descriptive words) and not merely told. This movie tells the story of six guys, lacking in motorcycling skills, who undertook a ride of mediocre difficulty - and they tell you the story, in small bland words. Lots and lots and lots of small bland words. Not even the few shots of epic Colorado beauty can save the ears of the audience from the deluge of hard pebbly turds used to tell their tale.

The very limits of contrival are stressed hard as the authors of this epic failure seek to weave religious meaning between the thinnest of what story threads they have. Bouts of cringe-worthy writing and close ups of sensitive eyes drape over the script like soggy cold blankets in their attempts to draw on the emotions and pity of those watching. We're all but told to feel bad for the people on the screen, as they use so carefully selected and pre-scripted words to manipulate our sensibilities. It's really nearly too much to handle. But, like one witnessing a train-wreck, I persevered, wondering just how bad this ... this thing could be.

And finally, we get to the motorcycling. Or rather, the lack thereof. Stating openly they were inspired by Ewan and Charlie, they fail in one of the ways Ewan and Charlie so awesomely succeeded; the authors here don't show the motorcycling, but instead talk about the motorcycling. What little there is, is shown over and over, as though the audience is so awed by the same spectacles they'll forget seeing them merely minutes before. It's an insult to motorcycledom.

Spare yourself the two hours and what money you'd be charged for this most smelly turd of weak religious manipulation. Watch 'Long Way Around' again, and then go out and have your own motorcycle adventure.

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