WAITING FOR LIGHTNING is a gripping, amazing documentary that follows the life of Danny Way, an extreme skateboarder.
It begins with Danny preparing for his next big stunt to pull off, a skateboard mega-jump over the Great Wall of China. The stunt will be an engineering nightmare in terms of building a huge ramp and a physical feat testing test Danny’s strength. How did Danny become this fearless skateboarder?
Danny Way had a rough childhood. When he was a young boy, his father was arrested and then murdered in jail. Danny’s mother took the death extremely hard and started abusing herself with alcohol and drugs. Danny’s way of escaping the brokenness of home was to go skateboarding, something that he was beginning to get good at doing.
Eventually, Danny’s mother got remarried to a man name Tim, who was a good stable guardian of Danny and his brother. This new father was a good mentor to Danny, and really encouraged him to follow his passion for skateboarding. Danny’s mother still struggled with alcohol. Her problems eventually drive Tim away from the family. Because Danny was so fond of Tim, Danny grew angry with his mother. Their relationship became even more strained.
Danny was still quite young, but he was making a name for himself as the new skateboarder to watch. At the age of 11, he entered his first contest and won it. By the time he was 15, he turned pro and was collecting checks upwards of $20,000. He was living a life of fun and games. His mother was out of the picture much of his life, so most of the time he was unsupervised and caused trouble around town with his peers. Danny created a reputation for being fearless and unstoppable on the skateboard. He would think up new tricks to try and he would attempt them over and over until he perfected them, even if he got hurt in the process.
In 1997, Danny’s sponsor built him a giant quarter pipe called The Super Ramp. It was there that he broke the world record for the highest air, all the while film crews shot footage from a helicopter. This gave Danny an idea, what if he jumped onto the ramp out of a flying helicopter? After several failures, he finally landed the jump and made headlines.
After winning several gold medals at the X Games, we are taken back to China where the construction of the MegaRamp is underway next to the Great Wall. The danger is clear. If Danny falls off the edge of the ramp, it’s likely he could die. His fearlessness is being put to the test with his greatest stunt yet.
WAITING FOR LIGHTNING is truly captivating. It will have viewers on the edge of their seats. However, the movie is devoid of God or faith. It also seems to have a Romantic view of freeing oneself from the constraints of social expectations. Danny’s desire to push through all his pain and hardship is inspiring, but it sometimes borders on being self-abuse and suicidal. Danny does mention he’s making a statement of freedom in a controlled China by jumping over the Great Wall, which is viewed by over 100 million people worldwide. However, WAITING FOR LIGHTNING has a fair amount of foul language and bad behavior that warrants extreme caution.
(RoRo, AC, B, LL, V, N, AA, DD, MM) Strong Romantic worldview of trying to break free of the constraints of social expectations with an anti-communist aspect that’s laudable; 13 obscenities (including one “f” word) and five profanities; some stunt violence including lots of skateboarding wipeouts; no sexuality; upper male nudity; some alcohol abuse is mentioned; some drug abuse is mentioned; and, miscellaneous immoral behavior includes young kids driving on people’s lawns and throwing objects out of cars at bystanders, selfishness, alcoholism of protagonist’s mother drives a wedge between them, and some reckless immature behavior on skateboards.
WAITING FOR LIGHTNING is about Danny Way, an extreme skateboarder who from a very early age started changing the skateboarding world. Growing up in a broken home with a mother who drank was difficult for Danny, but, even in the tough times, it just made him skateboard even harder. Danny started winning many competitions and became a professional skateboarder at 15. Eventually, he went on to skateboard at the X Games, where he won several gold metals. However, his most dangerous stunt is when he decides to jump over the Great Wall of China, something that’s never been done before.
WAITING FOR LIGHTNING is truly captivating. It will have viewers on the edge of their seats. However, it’s devoid of God or faith. Also, it seems to have a Romantic element of freeing oneself from the constraints of social expectations. Though Danny’s desire to push through all his pain and hardship is inspiring, it sometimes borders on being suicidal. There’s an anti-communist element in WAITING FOR LIGHTNING, but much of the foul language and bad behavior requires extreme caution.