More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Wild in the Streets,” a documentary about an ancient game — not an exploitation film about a hippie rock star who becomes President of the United States.
Director: Peter Baxter
Official Synopsis: “Narrated by Sean Bean (‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Game of Thrones’). Every winter, the people of Ashbourne, UK, gather in the center of their town to renew the longest running sports rivalry on earth. The game is called Shrovetide Football and it is the origin of Soccer, Football, and Rugby. Each team consists of hundreds if not thousands of people. The field of play… the town itself. The object of the game is simple: get a 4-pound ball to one of 2 goals that lay 3 miles apart.”
“An engagingly oddball sports documentary that’s as much about community as it is about competition.”
“By the time Baxter’s joined in the skirmish with handheld cameras, you’ll be hooked.”
“On my personal rating scale of with ‘5’ being drop everything and see the movie now… this movie earns a ‘4.’”
“Other than a passing nod to the social friction generated between modern suburban trends and Ashbourne’s traditional community values, Baxter is content to immerse us in Shrovetide’s storied history and give us a front row seat to the giddy spectacle of neighbors who wrestle, trample and pummel one another in the name of a beloved custom.”
“Much like the 2-day game itself… a fun, yet forgettable diversion.”