It's hard to wring much pathos out of lacing up skates; the noxious
Xanadu (1980) retains a potent radioactive half-life. But Malcolm D.
Lee's wan yet soulful valentine to jam skating, set in Chicago in the summer of
1978, boasts a much more charismatic lead than Olivia Newton-John: hip-hop
heartthrob Bow Wow as Xavier, alias X, a good kid from the South Side who skates
for his dead mama. When no one's on wheels clapping to Parliament, the film's
effervescence fizzles. But it's easy to get lost in Lee's nostalgic haze.