The Dwayne Johnson-produced Stuntman follows Eddie Braun in his attempt to recreate Evel Knievel’s jump over Snake River Canyon.
Johnson introduces the film–his clip also makes mention of the upcoming Jungle Cruise and acknowledges his stunt double. The star of this particular film–a mix of documentary and action–is Eddie Braun. Unless you followed the 2014 attempts, there’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of him. Stunt performers rarely get the credit they deserve. Even when it comes to the Screen Actors Guild Awards, only the title is listed for the award. None of the performers are listed unlike the wins for comedy and drama series. Beyond this, there’s still not an Oscar for stunt performers. This really needs to change! But I digress, Braun has a long list of over 250 film credits for stunts.
Braun teams up with Scott Truax, the son of the rocket scientist that made Knievel’s rocket. What Traux hopes to do his clear his father’s name. The only way that this can happen is if Braun clears the canyon. Knowing what we know about the canyon and the rocket, it is easier said than done. While I’m watching this film on a large screen TV in my apartment, I can only imagine what it would look like to take in the size and scope of the big screen. It works on the small screen but stunts like these are just made for the big screen.
What’s so interesting about Eddie Braun’s story is that this attempt took place back in 2014. I’m an avid Deadline reader but I didn’t remember reading about the jump no longer being televised. I mean, I get the reasons for why they would choose not to do so. G-d forbid, something happens and it could possibly result in a tragedy! But after what happened to Evel Knievel, nobody could blame the TV networks for erroring on the side of caution. But similarly to this, I am honestly surprised that it took this long to find either a broadcast or streaming home. There’s one clip from 2019 to show that Braun is still working. But aside from this clip, the bulk of the film is from 2014.
The film’s credits point out that every stuntman was injured in the making of this film. It’s clever wordplay on how the Humane Society makes sure no animals are harmed while making movies.
A stunt performer’s job isn’t easy. While this documentary largely focuses on Eddie Braun, there’s more to being a stuntman or stuntwoman than just recreating epic stunts. They’re the ones that take the brunt of the action and sometimes risk their life in the process. In some instances, they’ve given their lives while performing on set. It’s always a tragedy when this takes place. If you’re still interested in learning more about stunts on screen, be sure to check out April Wright’s Stuntwomen.
DIRECTOR: Kurt Mattila
FEATURING: Eddie Braun