Warren Miller’s ‘No Turning Back’ an uninspiring trip

Ryan Deuschle

One can count on a good ski film to take you to Alaska and a few other exotic locals with huge gnarly lines, helicopters and few local ski hills sprinkled in. They wow us with the imagery and psychotic lines these folks seem to ski and ride with no effort. It’s called ski porn and if you are into the sport you know how sexy it can be.

On Nov. 7, The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins screened Warren Miller’s newest installment “No Turning Back.”


Warren Miller has previously put out films that did the above, in addition to distinguishing themselves by giving them a funny, friendly quirkiness that made it more than mere ski porn. However, since he stopped personally making the films they have slowly lost their fun, quirky edge, leaving them rather dull and contrived.

This year’s film was just that. It felt forced, weird and failed to capture any of that classic Warren Miller magic.There was an attempt at storytelling, but the stories lacked depth and continuity that made it difficult to empathize with. The filmmakers tried using love interests as well, but they ended up feeling adolescent and unconvincing. On top of all that, I couldn’t stop wondering how much the various boards of tourism paid to have their locations highlighted.

The crowd was lackluster as well. While I was happy to see a lot of families there getting a new generation of people excited about skiing and snowboarding, I also noticed an overall nasty, negative vibe. I guess they forgot that even the worst of ski movies is still a movie about skiing, which is always at least a little awesome. Thankfully, most crowds are not a bummer and usually contribute to a great time.

For all the negative aspects of the film, they traveled to a few unusual locations, including Greece’s Mt. Olympus and the North Island of Japan, where apparently the powder never stops falling and the locals have developed a style of skiing that closely resembles surfing. Speed skiing also got a segment, and it is always fun to watch.

If you are a die hard Warren Miller fan and still want to make the yearly pilgrimage, there are several more showings taking place in Denver, Boulder and other locations around the country. The next showing will be Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8:00 p.m. at The Boulder Theater.

Collegian Columnist Ryan Deuschle can be reached at letters@collegian.com.