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Supercross

Fox // PG-13 // January 31, 2006
List Price: $27.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted January 31, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Filmmaker Steve Boyum started his Hollywood career as a stuntman. If you enjoyed the kinetic craziness found in movies like The Blues Brothers, 1941, True Romance, and the Lethal Weapon sequels, then feel free to thank Mr. Boyum for his various stunt-oriented contributions.

But if director Hal Needham has taught us anything, it's that veteran stunt coordinators don't necessarily make for good directors. (For the record, Mr. Needham has directed the following movies: Smokey and the Bandit 2, Cannonball Run 2, Megaforce, Rad, Stroker Ace, Body Slam, and something called Street Luge.)

Steve Boyum's directorial filmography doesn't look much better. After getting started with the outlandishly terrible Meet the Deedles, he moved on to Stepsister from the Planet Weird, Mom's Got a Date With a Vampire, Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice, and Timecop: The Berlin Decision before landing the Supercross gig.

Bankrolled by Clear Channel (because they also put a lot of money into the actual motorcross circuits and X-Games happenings) and created with virtually no recognizable components of quality filmmaking, Supercross is a limp story you've heard 1,000 times before, peppered with more product placements than a NASCAR vehicle, built on the foundation of one amazingly inept screenplay.

And for a former stuntman, Mr. Boyum shows alarmingly little skill where action scenes are concerned. 70% of Supercross takes place on a dirt race course, and were it not for the omnipresent dronings of the play-by-play announcer, you'd have no chance whatsoever to figure out who's winning, who's losing, and who the main characters are.

Two brothers race motorcycles. There's your plot. Each brother gets precisely one personality trait to show off and precisely one hottie to woo. If you can't figure out where Supercross is headed within the first ten minutes, I suspect that Supercross is the very first movie you've ever seen. Lifeless, plotless, and entirely beholden to its numerous corporate sponsors, this 80-minute music video is so drearily bad that I suspect even the hardcore moto-maniacs won't find much to enjoy here.

The DVD

Video: Choose between a Full Screen (on side A) or anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) on side B. The widescreen's less horrific looking, but there's still a grainy film that seems to percolate through most of the non-racing moments.

Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround, 2.0 French, or 2.0 Spanish. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

Extras

On side A you'll find a series of featurettes: The Stunts (3:42), The Stunt Doubles (3:03), The Story (2:29), The Industry (2:05), and The Cast and Crew (2:15) deliver precisely what you'd expect from such a facile package, complete with frequent praise for Clear Channel and zero filmmaking insights whatsoever.

Switching over to side B, director Steve Boyum delivers a very dry and obvious audio commentary, in which he spends a whole lot of time narrating the scant occurences that happen onscreen, stopping occasionally to ponder his various uses of "color scheme." Sheesh.

You'll also find a brief casting session, the Supercross theatrical trailer, and an Inside Look at the Michael Douglas/Kiefer Sutherland thriller The Sentinel.

Final Thoughts

Save your hate-mails, motorheads. I'm not knocking your favorite sport, just the amazingly brain-dead movie that it inspired. Frankly if I were a hardcore motorcross fanatic, I'd be pretty annoyed to see this 75-minute atrocity acting as my favorite sport's flagship flick.

Then again, Supercross fits just perfectly beside Grind, Rad, and BMX Bandits, I suppose. Come to think of it ... has there been one worthwhile bike movie since Breaking Away and/or American Flyers?

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