Supercross (2005) / Action-Drama

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language and some sexuality
Running Time: 75 min.

Cast: Steve Howey, Mike Vogel, Cameron Richardson, Robert Patrick, Robert Carradine, Channing Tatum, Sophia Bush, Ryan Locke, Aaron Carter, Carolina Garcia
Director: Steve Boyum
Screenplay: Bart Baker, Ken Solarz

Review published August 19, 2005

There's nothing super about Supercross.  It's standard race film so by-the-numbers that the only joy in watching it comes from figuring out which sports-related movie that each scene liberally rips off.  There's only one thing going for it, and that's the well-shot moments of soaring supercross action, although most of it is spliced together that you can never get a sense of the actual race that's going on.  No matter.  People with a hard-on for everything motocross will still eat it up, despite the fact that this is about the most forgettable movie you're likely to see all year.  Even the producers of the film must have realized just how generic the film is by dubbing it with Supercross as the title.  Can you imagine Bull Durham just having the title Baseball or Cinderella Man just being called Boxing?  Hell, if they really wanted to name this in a literal sense, I might suggest 75 Minutes of Wasted Life.

I have no idea why I bother explaining the plot of a film with such a limited potential audience.  Two brothers, K.C. (Howey, of TV's "Reba") and Trip (Vogel, Grind) Carlyle, have only each other after the death of their motorcycle champ father.  Like dad, the two boys have aspirations of being champions of their own, and they possess a natural ability that catches the eyes of at least one factory team that regularly competes in the supercross races, Team Nami.  Trip is too tempestuous to make the cut, so K.C. is the only brother to compete in the Nami camp, and this casuse a bit of friction among the two brothers.  Meanwhile, the world of supercross is dog-eat-dog, as backstabbing partners, scheming team managers, and underhanded race maneuvers have the brothers questioning whether or not all of the fame and glory is worth it in the end.

Take out the gratuitous scenes of supercross action and you'd have a movie that would barely fit into a half hour television slot, even with commercials.  It's hard to complain, as the scenes of overwrought drama are so heavy-handed that they are embarrassingly painful to watch, so any chance to escape the poor dialogue and wooden acting is truly a blessing.  Lots of rock tunes adorn the soundtrack, played to excess during the near ceaseless cavalcade of clips showing supercross competitors performing jumps in the air, many of them showing off some sort of rude gesture or other death-defying trick to wow the audience.

My rule of thumb when evaluating a sports movie is that it has to be at least as exciting than watching the sport itself to be truly worthwhile.  I've never really watched a supercross event from beginning to end in my lifetime, but it's a pretty safe bet that I probably would have enjoyed the experience far more than watching this dull, formulaic movie.  At least in a real event, you would have the benefit of not knowing who is going to win.  Most viewers will probably have figured out the rest of the plot in the movie called Supercross before the first ten minutes have elapsed.    

The brothers in the film have to perform the tedious job of cleaning pools to earn a living before they become supercross champions, and there are some scenes of them doing just that early on in the film.  If this film were about nothing but pool cleaning, I probably would have been just as riveted as I had been during the "excitement" of the supercross action. 

A helpful tip:  replace the "c" in the title with a "d" for a better description of this movie's entertainment value. 

Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo