Booted from his hockey team after being wrongly accused of league misconduct, Jack takes to the road. Along the way, Jack makes friends with a skateboarder Ben and a skate shop owner Ollie. It seems that Jack’s hockey skills translate directly into tearing up the half pipe and popping sick grinds! With his new buddy Ben by his side Jack takes off on a cross-country skateboard competition tour with hilarious results!
Most Vertical Primate stars Jack, a chimpanzee that, along with his brother, Louis, lives at a nature preserve run by the caring and loyal Julie.
In an amazing turn of events, Jack is drafted by a hockey team, the Seattle Simians, and says good-bye to Louis and is off to join the team. Jack sits on the bench in his first game, but then Coach Miller presents an opportunity for him to enter the game and to even be a hero.
The coach is teased by a rival who says, “I didn’t know your kid could play hockey!” But Coach Miller gets the last laugh when Jack scores, and later scores again, which happens to be the winning goal. Jack’s excitement at scoring is hilarious. Jack makes the newspaper, and the next thing you know, one of the players is asked by kids to get Jack’s autograph! Jack’s signature is barely legible, but he complies.
Most Vertical Primate does a good job in bringing several characters together. The Simians go on a roll, winning 15 games in a row. A new player on the team, Rob, who was traded from another team, misses his family and when Jack misses his brother Louis, Rob and Jack form a bond. A young boy named Ben, an orphan runaway, is a remarkable skateboarder, and when he meets up with Jack, they begin skateboarding together. A man named Ollie (played by Richard Karn), who owns a sports store, helps by donating a skateboard.
There are plenty of funny moments, including the scene in which Rob sees a photo of Jack and Louis, and asks Jack, “Is this your family?” Although the premise of this story is a bit wild, to say the least, it really works well due to the fast-paced script and the nicely placed funny moments. Of course, a good story features conflict, and in one scene an opposing team’s coach has a player put ketchup on Jack and then act as if Jack just bit him. Jack is off the team while an investigation is started. Jack runs away and soon a reward is put out for his capture.
As the story rushes toward its conclusion, it’s learned that Ben wants to enter a skateboarding competition. It is his dream. Jack helps him practice for the big moment. And then Louis leaves home, hitchhiking, determined to see his big brother Jack again. In yet another funny scene, when Louis is seen hitchhiking on the side of a road, he holds up a sign that has the misspelled word, “Seeatil,” and you won’t be able to contain the laughter.
Will it all finish with a happy ending? Will Louis find Jack? Will Ben be able to enter the skateboarding contest, and, if so, how will he do? Will Jack be allowed to join the Seattle Simians again? You will have to watch it to find out but be prepared to laugh all through the journey. The content is wholesome in the film and we award the movie our Dove-approval for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
This feel-good movie creates a perfect comedy night for the whole family.