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Supercross: The Movie

My son has been asking me for the last few days to take him to see a movie. I have been working a lot of long hours at a thankless job lately, so getting out to see a movie sounded pretty good. I didn't want to spend the afternoon watching a film on birds, flightless, animated, or otherwise. My son, who is just barely pushing eleven, wanted to see "The Great Raid", but it's "R" rating took that off the list, until previewed. He has watched a few "R" rated movies, but most were rated that way in the Seventies. Different standards now. One that comes to mind is "Caddy Shack", which with some slightly sexual parts taken out, could have been rated "PG". The other is "Animal House", which without 5 seconds of John Belushi ogling globular coed flesh, is played on primetime TV on a regular basis.

I feel that a lot of the movies that come out of Hollywood miss a great deal of audience that really could have enjoyed the film, if they had just left out a couple of scenes that didn't really add to the plot in the first place. "Super Cross" is one of them. The minor amount of bad language that I started using when I was 9 or Ten, and the "almost" shots of women disrobing for extra-curricular activities could have been left out all together. It would have been the same movie either way. They really never get to showing anything anyway, so what's the point? Instead of watching Super Cross the movie, with my son, and two thirteen year old girls in an otherwise empty theater, it could have been at least a little less sparsely attended. This was a Twelve Thirty showing. I didn't expect a crowd.

The Plot was typical, but has enough to keep you with it. Poor boys, made orphans by the loss of their ex-club biker Father, who we never really find out what happened to. There is no mention of a mother, but it really isn't important. Mothers would cost money in terms of Hollywood casting. The brothers dream of becoming top professional motocross riders, and the story centers around their climb to the top. The older brother K.C. Carlyle is a very fast, but cautious rider who plans ahead and tries to see the big picture while his brother Trip Carlyle flirts with danger and disaster at every turn, jump, or burm. The Brothers become smitten with two different women, to add some sex appeal, as they ride hard through a film with very good photography and not too campy of a script. One of the women turns out to be a very good rider, or her stand in at least is�.

Are all the shots perfect? Hell no! Do all the sounds that the bikes make fit with the bikes that make them? Come on this is Hollywood, not ESPN. Do the racing scenes fit seamlessly like a well televised event? Not at all, but for the layman it works well, and for my son really well. Without any prodding as we walked out of the theater he said, "That was ahhhh-some, I want to see it again!" He bubbled like kid on Christmas morning, all the way home. He and I both enjoyed it, and I would take him back to see it again. I wouldn't go back on my own, but I rarely go to a movie alone and my wife is not likely to want to see this on a bet. My seventeen year old daughter had no interest in the movie, before or after we told her about all the cute hunks with their shirts off.

They could have really made this one a little longer, as it is only about an hour and 15 minutes. Did a lot of predictable stuff end up on the cutting room floor? I would say so, and I'm glad it did. To bring more drama into this would have been easy, and unnecessary. Glad they used their heads! We could have had the brothers fighting over girls, with other racers, and with the tough hoodlums that appeared throughout the flick. It was nice to see these "Bikers" were not made out to be the stereotypical movie bad guys so prevalent in Clint Eastwood sagas. I do give them credit for showing some of the woman in they story with gumption, brains or both. Others were just strategically stuck in for the guys in the audience to say, "Nice ____!" You can fill in the blank rather predictably.

One of my favorite scenes was the set up with and race between a very large biker on a chopped Pan Head Harley, and the reckless young brother "Trip" on his blown out dirt racer. The night time drag for pink slips is very realistic. I don't recommend this at home, piss wind your bike at the track!

I think the thing I liked least of all in the movie was the tendency to try to use the face and eyes of each racer as a reference to who was on the bike. They kept splicing the same shots in, like it would help us keep track of the riders. They all had number plates. I can read the numbers. I can even remember the face of the guy that is on that bike, without having to see it every three shots. The other thing that bothered me was the cheep shot at corporate participation in racing, like they were the "Evil Empire". No referees would have put up with purposeful bad sportsmanship and obvious team mate blocking so prevalent in this flick. That and the track announcer telling us about it like it was all part of the game. This is Hollywood though, and yes I am sure that some of that does go on. After all, they couldn't just make a documentary on motorcycle racing and have anyone stand in line to see it, could they? I still remember standing a couple of hours in a line a block long to see "On Any Sunday" when I was Eleven. When we came out of the movie I think I said, "That was excellent, I want to see it again!" It was rated "G".

They made this movie for the end of summer teenage crowd, and it kind of works for them. At least for the male half, and that was what they were aiming for. Personally I liked the movie, and thought it was a good show to take a ten to 14 year old boy to for an afternoon with dad. If they had just left out a few seconds of a few scenes, there would have been a lot more parents taking their kids to see it. I'm sure I will see it again some time, as it will likely hit the DVD rental market before the last seat gets cold.

Rating: I give this one a three quarter throttle.

Big Brother rates this one: P-G 13.

Barry Mercer/Summer 05


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