For globe-trotting playboy wastrel JC (Alexander Polli) and best bud Chico (Carlos Briceno Schutte) life is one endless party. Rock stars of the BASE jumping community, they roam the world, visiting iconic locations (the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, the Eiffel Tower, the Alps) and jumping off them, evading the law and risking their lives in pursuit of the ultimate rush, JC constantly filming not just their stunts but every aspect of their lives.

JC and Chico’s bromance is disrupted however by the introduction of Chico’s fiery French girlfriend Ash (Julie Dray). Even as he’s attracted to his friend’s lover, JC is determined to push himself to the limit, dragging the more cautious, hesitant Chico along for the ride. When a risky jump goes tragically wrong leaving Chico dead, a distraught JC abandons his friend’s body and leaves the scene of the accident without waiting for the authorities.

Cutting himself off, JC becomes increasingly obsessed with his films, finds himself increasingly drawn to the grieving Ash, perhaps seeing in her the redemptive love he lacks. But JC is haunted by guilt over his complicity in Chico’s death. Can their tentative relationship survive JC’s secrets? And can JC resist the lure of the ultimate high?


“Two types of people step off the edge.

Those that want to die.

And those that want to live.”


An anaemic fiction masquerading as documentary, writer/director Richard Parry’s BASE is full of that kind of faux-profound bollocks, the lead characters often given to pontificating the likes of “When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty watch!” as they essentially record the same experience over and over again, ad nauseum. Apparently having a variety of experiences to watch is not a high priority. I’m not saying the footage Parry has secured of his lead actors performing actual jumps isn’t stunning, that it isn’t a visceral, pulse-quickening experience. It is. But there’s a reason why their online jerky video exploits are usually confined to a couple of minutes max on YouTube. Frankly, on the evidence of BASE, if you’ve seen one death-defying BASE jumping, you’ve pretty much seen them all.

Styling itself as The Big Blue for the Extreme Sports enthusiast and borrowing the aesthetics of a YouTube GoPro video to sketch its weak tale of a fictional BASE jumper, played by an actual BASE jumper, experiencing love and loss and catharsis while throwing himself off high things, even at just 80-odd minutes, BASE feels long. The only actual actor in the film, the talented Dray is ill-served by a love interest role that kinda suggests co-writer Parry may never have met an actual human woman before while Polli and Briceno are braying sub-Jackass arseholes who call each other “Bro!” constantly. Neither character is particularly likable and the film’s faux-documentary style serves merely to underline the film’s artifice, the knowledge that lead actor Polli died soon after principal photography ended merely serving to further distance the audience from the unimaginative material rather than add poignancy.

While Polli and his life may perhaps have been better suited to a straight documentary, there’s no denying the power of his dizzying jump footage. If there’s a reason to watch BASE, that’s where it lies and, while it fails as a narrative feature drama, BASE will no doubt find it’s audience among the fans who made Polli an Extreme Sports superstar.

Movie Review: BASE
2.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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