Let’s face it, self-propelled flight is pretty cool. Whether it’s Sean Connery in Thunderball, Billy Campbell in the The Rocketeer or Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, there’s always been something too good to be true about flying into the air supported only by an over-sized rucksack.
So, it’s perhaps no surprise that over the last week a short film from DubaiX, showing two daring ‘jetmen’, has been doing the rounds on social media.
From the outset, it’s beautifully shot – the love child of Top Gun and the BMX Bandits (yeah, Eighties films are kinda my thing) – and the wonderful backdrop of Dubai and surrounding ‘desertscapes’ is stunning. In terms of doing a job, I’m sold completely on Dubai as ‘the city of dreams’ and ‘a land of possibility’ (which is presumably the aim) but I’m also sold on wanting a jetpack and the experience of self-propelled flight (which presumably isn’t actually on offer. Drat.)
However, as a story I have one niggle – the film falls between two stools. First, as a piece of narrative, we don’t ever really get to know or connect with their personal journeys of the pilots – the story isn’t really built around them. This need not be a problem because this could have been a film about the awe and spectacle of self-propelled flight. The problem with that however, is that ‘awe and spectacle’ doesn’t justify 11 minutes and 52 seconds. Let’s be honest, they could have done it in 3 minutes.
Still, DubaiX films are something I will look out for in the future. They are amassing a collection of adrenaline filled activities – from wingsuiting to flyboarding to skydiving – that show off their city from the best angle; above.