Minding the Gap ★★

I appreciate Bing Liu's impulses, and his talent seems to shine brightly enough to reveal significant potential for future success. Where Minding the Gap fails in my eyes is that the film seems to insert its subjects into its model rather than allowing itself to respond to the young men that it follows. It feels like it responds equally to allegations of domestic abuse as it does to a broken skateboard or a moderately funny joke, making the otherwise intriguing ephemerality at work here feel more than a little forced. In addition, the subjects aren't particularly interesting people: the twists throughout the film are that these skateboarders have lives, emotions, and problems, but what comes up doesn't feel particularly interesting either in the general or the specific.