When the name Travis Rice is attached to a project you know it’s going to have all the money, aerial shots, HUGE lines, and Red Bull that a project possibly could have thrown at it. The name alone elicits that sickly sweet combination of taurine and caffeine (and maybe strawberry?) in my mouth. Needless to say when Rice gets an idea in his head, he has the resources to put it in motion.
What was put in motion was a three year project which followed the hydrological cycle of water and heat around the North Pacific. Ok, cool, got it. Wait, what? Yeah, they snowboarded a lot. AND WENT BIG.
With fellow snowboard prodigies Mikkel Bang, Shin Biyajima and Ben Ferguson, Rice follows the flow of snow ladened air around the North Pacific in search of the biggest lines, steepest drops and a close call with an Avalanche which left a mountain face bare. Rice emerging humbled by his close call with one of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces is probably the most powerful moment of the film and allows a glimpse into the human that resides inside the superstar that is Travis Rice.
Overall a spectacular spectacle and feast for the senses, The Fourth Phase raises the bar for cinematic Snowboard films. In the tradition of The Art of Flight, The Fourth Phase may not be what every snowboarder desires in a film made about the sport, but it can’t be faulted for its vision and sheer awe inspiring grandeur.