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Film / Airborne

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A 1993 film starring Shane McDermott as Mitchell Goosen, a California teen who loves surfing and in-line skating. His zoologist parents have moved to Australia for six months for grant work, but Mitch couldn't go with them, so is sent off to Cincinnati with his aunt and uncle to finish off high school. As expected, he has an awkward time fitting in. Mitch also meets his equally awkward cousin Wiley, whose parents — while loving and understanding — are a bit old-fashioned.


During a hockey game against the rival preps, Mitchell and Wiley are asked to fill in for two players on their team (led by a kid named Jack), but Mitch screws up royally as he scores the winning goal for the other team. He and Wiley are subsequently pranked on by their teammates.

Mitchell even falls in love with Nikki, who is smitten by his surfer attitude and Maharishi-esque philosophy. However, it turns out that she is the former girlfriend of Blaine, the leader of the preps. During a standoff, Mitch absolutely refuses to fight back until Jack (who is Nikki's brother) stops Blaine.

The movie eventually finishes off with an epic in-line skating race downhill as Mitchell finally earns the respect of his peers.

Airborne was universally panned by critics, scoring a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


This film contains examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Mitchell, nearly to the point of Designated Hero. But eventually he ends up pulling a bully's pants down.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In a rare antagonist example, Jack manages to save Nikki and Mitchell, as they were harassed by the preps.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Wiley plays dress-up to the tune of "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred as he prepares for a date.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Characters refuse to use swearing beyond "butt."
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: The driving point of Jack antagonizing Mitchell.
  • Noodle Incident: At one point, Wiley is talking to Mitchell. The only part of his conversation we hear is the ending: "My dad shot her. It was weird."
  • Pretty Boy: Mitchell.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Nikki has basically no personality beyond being smitten with Mitchell.
  • Advertisement:
  • Socially Awkward Hero
  • Surfer Dude: Mitchell, to the point that he starts cracking while away from the ocean. He even tries to cope with it by putting his surfboard on his bed and pretending he's surfing.
  • The '90s: And it shows!
  • Totally Radical