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Supercross the Movie (4/10)

by Tony Medley

The producers want us to know that Supercross is the second-fastest-growing motor sport in the U.S., behind only NASCAR, the “ultimate youth sport” with most riders between the ages of 16 and 25, the riders are among the best conditioned athletes in the world with body conditioning that places them in the same league as boxers, football and soccer players, riders can make from six figures to $3 million annually, etc., etc., etc.

With that kind of money, you would think they could make a better movie advertising their activity. This thing suffers from the same illness afflicting surfing movies, to wit, they don’t explain anything! OK, this is a race. But the riders fly through the air, go over bumps, slip and slide. Nothing is ever explained. What’s the strategy? Why all the bumps? How many laps? How many miles? Lots of motorcycles but nobody ever says how to win. The brilliance of “Seasbiscuit” was that we were part of the strategy. Seabiscuit’s jockey was told to pull Seabiscuit back so War Admiral could catch up. That would inspire Seabiscuit to put it in overdrive. But in Supercross, the only strategy of which we are informed is that the star, K.C. Carlyle (Steve Howey) is out there running interference for his teammate, sacrificing his ability to win. Is that all there is?

Screenwriters Ken Solarz and Bart Baker come up with a trite script that follows all the rules laid down in film school. There’s a good guy, K.C., his wild brother, Trip (Mike Vogel), their girl friends, a bad guy, and a David vs. Goliath story. If I were grading the script, I’d give it a low C. How it actually got produced is a bigger victory for these two guys than K.C. winning in Las Vegas.

Most of the film is motorcycles flying through the air. Clearly this film was made for spectacular cinematography. Unfortunately, I don’t find motorcycles flying through the air every couple of minutes compelling, nor do I find the sound of motorcycles enthralling. The sound reminds me of the jerks who gun their engines at night to awaken everyone, not a pleasant thought.

This is mercifully short, around 80 minutes. Unless you’re a motorcycle aficionado, or a teenager, it’s unlikely to be very entertaining.

August 16, 2005