Movie Review: “2018: The Ultimate Test” + Exclusive Teaser


Photo credit: CrossFit Games

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After an almost three-and-a-half-year hiatus, fans will finally have the chance to see the long-lost 2018 CrossFit Games documentary, which will be released on Tuesday, December 7 worldwide on itunes.

In a sense, “2018: the ultimate test” is CrossFit Games’ lost documentary, as the project was scuttled shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 Games, when a large majority of media staff were ruthlessly sacked for several weeks.

Documentaries for the 2019 and 2020 Games would be produced by Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, but CrossFit management at the time had locked down footage from 2018, as well as dozens of hours of post-Games interviews, and no one wasn’t really sure it would ever happen.

“Since I was fired in 2019, Tyson [Oldroyd] and I had been working quietly behind the scenes to secure the rights to finish the film, ”director Mariah Moore told Melissa Yinger in a november interview.

“The Ultimate Test” is the first solo directorial performance for Moore, who has worked multi-title on numerous previous Games documentaries like The Redeemed and the Dominant, A Decade of Fitness and Froning, all of which topped best- seller iTunes. graphics.

“I can now own the vision and it’s cool because it’s like I’m learning this whole new process of deciding how I tell the story my way,” Moore explained with us in September.

But resurfacing three-year-old footage and resurrecting a vision first achieved by employees who no longer work at CrossFit, and ultimately the story wouldn’t be complete without tackling the elephant in the room: the layoffs. massive.

*** Upcoming spoilers ***

The opening scene

The film opens with the possibly least likely and least CrossFitty scene that defined the booming drumbeats and intensity of the previous films.

Dave Castro sews in his workshop, presumably at CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, California. What he sews is both unknown and unimportant. It is perhaps enigmatic of the more reclusive nature of Castro, a mad scientist tinkering and playing, playing in minutiae. A creative paints and reflects on many canvases. Perhaps today a needle and thread are his tools of choice.

The scenes themselves, while brief, are important because they immediately touch on the creative approach to the 2018 Games, namely that they could be the last. And as history would reveal, it almost was.

“I think the 2018 Games were some of the most visually and programmatically creative in terms of CrossFit events we’ve ever had, and that was really motivated by the idea that it could be the last Games of the year. ‘history,’ Castro said. “I put everything into this event.”

The two-minute intro turns into an almost eerie sensation. Dark, ominous skies are probably a harbinger of the bomb dropped throughout the movie: These senior CrossFit officers were aware of the sweeping changes coming to the Games as early as March, a full five months before a staff member stepped forward. be warned and let go.

“In March 2018, as we were preparing for an Open announcement in Houston, we got a call and he said our management wanted to change the structure of the Games next year,” said Justin Bergh, vice -President of sports and partnerships.

One thing the documentary clearly shows is that the Games management staff were hoping they could save the Games by putting on a big show. The public and fans know it didn’t turn out that way, but the nuance is still there.

I put everything into this event.

Dave castro

“So on Monday morning, the day after the CrossFit Games, I got a phone call saying these changes are happening right now,” Bergh said. “I thought we solved the problem. It was a surprise and a huge contrast because it came right after an incredibly good event. It was the best audience we’ve ever had, the best international pickup we’ve ever had, the biggest crowds we’ve ever had. And it was a cold water bath on Monday knowing that everything was going to change so quickly.

The entire segment is only about four minutes long, and for those unfamiliar with the story looking for a hard-hitting fitness, the next few hours and forty minutes is all that and some answer.

The 2018 Games

The events of the 2018 Games make up the bulk of the film, which lasts 108 minutes until the credits start.

I guess a little here, but one of the areas that was probably the hardest for Moore was resurrecting three-year-old footage and stitching it together, especially when all those interviews weren’t over. Post-event interviews with athletes like Mat Fraser, Laura Horvath, Patrick Vellner and Tia-Clair Toomey had taken place years ago. But whatever its age, there is no lack of quality.

There are even extended scenes of two athletes, who might not have received so much screen time otherwise: Laura Horvath and Lukas Hogberg, both of whom are highlighted and featured outside of the Games. Fans will also have the opportunity to learn more about the backgrounds of these two athletes.

The film also puts Sara Sigmundsdottir back in the limelight, plunging into the injury that forced her to retire midway through the competition. A constant fan favorite, Sigmundsdottir has been left out of the 2019 and 2020 documentaries, and unlikely to be in the 2021 release either because she did not appear in the Games. Her return to the big screen is also timely as she will make her competitive debut in two weeks at the Dubai CrossFit Championship.

In conclusion

The movie is fun and it’s packed with fan favorites which is a lot of CrossFit. One notable change, in my opinion, is the increase in screen time for non-winners. As I have already noted, Laura Horvath, Lukas Hogberg and Sara Sigmundsdottir, but also Patrick Vellner, Brent Fikowski, Kara Saunders and even a little bit of The CrossFit Cowboy himself, Sean Sweeney.

Additionally, director Moore’s inclusion of uncomfortable elements like the changes to the Games was both important and necessary. A 2018 documentary that didn’t address the big changes would have seemed spurious, but there was no need to spend much time given that CrossFit as a community has far surpassed the events that defined summer and summer. fall 2018.

The film, on the whole, still looks a lot like previous productions, but like I said earlier, it’s mostly made up of footage and interviews shot in 2018, so you hardly expect to go well at the end of the day. -beyond previous styles. There is also the question of whether CrossFit even needs or wants it. After all, they top the charts with every release and it seems likely that the 2018 edition will do the same.

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