Style-wise, the documentary footage was too cut up and special effected for my taste. Granted, film footage from the 70's is minimal, and lots of still pictures had to be weaved in. It shouldn't be Ken Burns slow, but the fast cuts seem very MTV 90's or 00's... while the scene and music are perfectly 70's. Sean Penn's narration is a great coup - the perfect actor for this. At one point, Penn got stuck half way through a word, stopped, cleared his throat, repeated the word, and kept going. I love that no one said "do it again"... a punk aesthetic.
The Dogtown themes remind me of "Style Wars," about late 70's/early 80's New York City kids using graffiti, breakin', and rap to turn their environment into "art." (Authorities often called it "crime.") Dogtown (South Santa Monica/Venice) Z-Boys use their resources - athleticism, style, mental hunger, and physical environment - to create a new attitude... that fed/feeds energy to the world. As a Pasadena grandma would say, "Not too shabby!.... Uh... What the %@# happened to my pool!"
With so many 70's skaters covered in the film (by design - to show the scene), few of the individual stories carry much weight. Jay Adams' story was most interesting: He was the youngest and brightest skater, but at some point took a walk on the too wild side for too long. Adams' not lasting with the pro scene is portrayed as big a loss for skateboarding as Alva's ascendancy was a gain.
Overall, Dogtown is a unique "one of." That said, I prefer the 80's themed documentary "Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator." (It's technically more formal and linear.) Take the preference with a grain of salt... I'm a product of the 80's.