REVIEW: The wizard's apprentice - worth the wait

by Björn Pohl - UKC Jan/2012
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+The wizard's apprentice, 149 kbThe wizard's apprentice
Björn Pohl - UKC, Jan 2012
© Petr Pavlíček

For a couple of years now, the climbing world have been looking forward to The wizard's apprentice Petr Pavlíček's documentary about Adam Ondra, and now it's finally here. It was worth the wait.

The original plan was to release the movie in the fall of 2010, but as is often the case, that was a bit over optimistic as the work took a lot longer than expected.

In case you're only reading this to find out weather this is a film worth buying, let me cut through the chase and state right away that it is. Without a shred of a doubt even.

The wizard's apprentice has the feel of a true documentary, rather than a mock one if you know what I mean. Petr Pavlíček wasn't a sport climbing or bouldering fan when he embarked on this project, meaning he wasn't really aware of the Adam Ondra hype. This is likely one of the reasons why he didn't have a clue as to what he was getting himself into.

Luckily for us, this is probably what makes this movie so good. It's not primarily a story of the hardest ascents in the world, although admittedly they do play a big part, but the story of a Czech boy who fell in love with climbing.

An extremely obsessed boy who has now turned into an equally obsessed young man.

What I mean to say is perhaps that I don't get a feeling the film is made to increase or ride on the Adam Ondra hype. Simply put, it doesn't feel like a commercial the way some other productions tend to do.

We get to follow Adam Ondra for a year and a half, May 2009 to November 2010, on the rock and in competitions. Adam, his parents, Alex Huber, Tomáš Mrázek and others give us their thoughts about Adam, climbing, grades and so on.

We get to watch the joy and disappointment and get an understanding of what kind of determination is needed to do what Adam does. Luck has very little to do with it.

I could go into detail about all the routes and boulder problems featured, but why really?

Instead, I strongly suggest you click on this link and download your own copy right now.

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