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MOVIE REVIEW

Daredevil lands in new film

April 16, 2008|Susan Carpenter | Times Staff Writer

In the 20 years Travis Pastrana has been pummeling motorcycles, he's broken more than 60 bones, survived 25 concussions and, in the process, become the most celebrated motocross freestyler of all time. How does someone like Pastrana even happen? That's the subject of the appropriately titled new documentary "199 Lives: The Travis Pastrana Story," which screens at select theaters around the country today and Thursday.

Anyone who's watched Pastrana accomplish his death-defying feats on TV or live at various events will sit bug-eyed before the big screen as they watch the bottomless pit of outrageous footage that supports his daredevil resume. Pastrana's landing of his legendary double back flip at the 2006 X Games is impressive enough, but there are also up-close-and-personal shots of him jumping from an airplane without a parachute, rolling a rally car and launching -- with a passenger -- into the gaping maw of the Grand Canyon.

If you take Evel Knievel's life and multiply it by 10, you'll get Travis Pastrana's. And he's just 24 years old.

"199 Lives" is worth seeing for the exhilarating eye candy alone, but it also attempts to peel away Pastrana's broken skin and search for the soul of this intrepid, happy-go-lucky biker through in-depth interviews with his parents, competitors and friends as they talk about this surprisingly still-living legend.

For theater locations, visit www.199lives.com.

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susan.carpenter@latimes.com

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