It must be kind of annoying to be popular for certain things and yet to want to be more than just those things. It’s the band with monster hits that would rather play their new, introspective songs instead of decades-old singles.
Crowds can understand that artists evolve. Thus they will tolerate those new songs that never quite reach the peak of the old stuff so long as the artistic indulgences don’t break the unspoken covenant made at the moment of ticket purchase: the band is going to play the hits.
If that agreement is violated, well, then you have something like Depth Perception.
As first proudly displayed in The Fourth Phase (to the dismay of all viewers), Travis Rice has aspirations to be a philosopher. Which, great. You reach the peak of a sport and you want something more. Maybe you always wanted something more. Maybe you knew from the beginning that your real calling was finding the meaning of life and that you just needed some way to pay rent, and you happened to be good at snowboarding so you did it. After all, it was clear that you weren’t in snowboarding for all the reasons as everyone else, as evidenced by your repeated shunnings of snowboard competition.
But then you made some movies that were filled with flat-out incredible snowboarding. Yes, we admit that you did it a little differently than the traditional snowboarding films. You wanted yours to be more epic and artful. And they were, both That’s It, That’s All and The Art of Flight. Still, they were really fun and, as just mentioned, there was incredible snowboarding which had to mean that huge, huge tricks were included because part of incredible snowboarding is throwing massive tricks. Like oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-he-did-that-did-he-really-just-do-that tricks.
So go ahead and have your movie narrated by a tree. Go ahead and do some occasionally cool Wes Andersonesque interludes. And go ahead and talk about nature in ways that would make a strung out pothead blush. Just make sure you give us the tricks.
We are standing here reluctantly cheering for an encore in hopes that maybe, just maybe, if the band comes out for one more song, that song will be the song they should have played an hour ago. But we know it’s hopeless. For a reason that’s still unclear, we are never hearing those songs, and in the case of Depth Perception, we are never seeing those tricks.