Travis Scott’s “Look Mom I Can Fly”: “Wish It Was Better”

Andrew Mello, News Editor

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Augie Oppenheimer
“Look Mom I Can Fly” is the latest in a long line of documentaries about musicians.

Rating: 1/5 Falcons

In the age of the internet, celebrity means holding up an image of yourself for all to see. Unfortunately, in the case of trap-superstar Travis Scott, this image took the form of the Netflix “documentary” titled Look Mom I Can Fly, a documentary consisting of everything but substance that feels closer to a highlight tape than an actual story. 

First off, the movie itself is confused about what part of Travis’s life it wants to tell: Travis’s ride at the top of the trap game or his early influences as a youth. At only 85 minutes, there isn’t enough time to tell Scott’s entire life story, but the film insists on hastily cutting back and forth between his youth and scenes from his latest tour, called “Astroworld”. Scott himself worked as executive producer on the documentary, and his touch is felt everywhere, but especially in the home videos forced into what otherwise looks like a tour highlight reel.

Contrasting the more mundane videos of Travis as a boy, the more personal and recent footage finds Scott in possibly the biggest year of his life.  From the birth of his first daughter, to performing at the Superbowl, to a sellout tour, this period of his life has more than enough material to draw from. However, despite the events unfolding around him, Scott never takes a minute to address the audience or let them behind the curtain of celebrity. The movie tries to sell you on the hype of Travis Scott, but never cares if we meet Jacques Webster the individual. Look Mom I Can Fly fails to tell the viewer who Scott really is because it’s too interested in the hype surrounding him, showing more concert footage than anything else. The single moment I found of any kind of self-awareness on the part of Scott’s team was a clip of Scott’s tour manager informing staff that they “wouldn’t know how bad our shows get until it starts.” 

The movie tries to sell you on the hype of Travis Scott, but never cares if we meet Jacques Webster the individual.”

Even with the extravagant show he puts on every night on tour, Scott’s narrative of 2018 would not carry a whole documentary. But with the added concert reel shoved in, I’m not even sure it has the space to try. More time is spent watching fans jump off stage than seeing footage of his daughter, and the perspective of the entire film suffers for it. It’s ironic to watch the footage of sold-out shows and fans with “Wish you were here” emblazoned across their shirts, given that the movie feels more alienating than reminiscent.

Confused on the story it wants to tell, Look Mom I Can Fly is a documentary that lacks the most essential ingredient to a documentary: perspective. Lacking any personality or introspection from the artist himself, the movie loosely hangs on the hours of concert footage spread from city to city. Scott’s inability to drop his façade or get real with anyone on camera makes it impossible for the film to make you care about Jacques Webster, and if you do by the end, it’s only because you were a fan already. Look Mom I Can Fly is a movie made only for the diehard ragers at Travis’ concerts who don’t care about watching a movie and just want to see Scott the way he sees himself.

This piece also appears in our September 2019 print edition.