A prototypical August release, “Supercross” is as forgettable a picture as Hollywood can possibly make. Nevertheless, I had to sit through it, and let me tell you, even for junk, the film is horribly made and acted. A cheap looking, suspiciously short film, “Supercross” won’t even appeal to fans of the very sport it idolizes. Now what sense does that make?Responsible K.C. (Steve Howey, with a decent “accountable” haircut), and mischievous wild man Trip (Mike Vogel, given “I’m uncontrollable!” long hair) are Supercross-loving brothers who dream nonstop of the big time. When K.C. manages to impress a corporate race team (owned by Robert “Where’s Lizzie?” Carradine), he vaults to the show, leaving his dim-witted and impetuous brother behind to sulk with his racing girlfriend (Cameron Richardson) and her father (Robert Patrick). When K.C. finds the sponsored Supercross world isn’t what he expected, he must make peace with his brother, and try to reclaim his talent for racing away from evil.
"Forgettable and useless, but still quite painful"
When Hollywood tries to cash in on fad sports, it’s always a hoot to watch. Besides dating themselves even before release, these productions always feel the need to try to connect with the crowds, often through abysmal drama and even worse acting. “Supercross” lives up to that promise, and adds a bonus game for the viewer: try to figure out why this nonsense is getting a wide cinema release.
The world of Supercross motorcycle racing is the focal point here. With roaring bikes, flips and twists on dirt tracks, and bald men who love to walk around shirtless, “Supercross” doesn’t need to accomplish much to appeal to the target demo. Stunted by a nothing budget, the film aspires to do for Supercross what “Fast and the Furious” did for tricked-out Hondas. However, when you have no money, it takes a creative director to make up that critical distance.
The filmmaker here is Steven Boyum, a former stunt director who graduated to making straight-to-video sequels to “Timecop” and “Slap Shot.” Boyum has lots of experience behind the camera, yet one would never know that looking at “Supercross.” The picture is so dismally made that it looks like a random bystander was in charge of the production. How else could anybody explain the huge leaps in continuity, the wildly uneven level of performances, the dreadful, murky cinematography (the film looks like a high school class project), and the biggest sin: the mangling of the Supercross sequences. You’d think Boyum would save his cinematic juice for the race scenes, but he manages to ruin those as well. Cut to smithereens, glossed over with silly split-screens and assorted camera speed changes, and scored with monotone metal selections and squealing guitar instructor solos, the Supercross sections of the film are a complete mess. Whenever the characters strap on their helmets and scurry out to the dirt, forget about who is in the lead or how long the races are. It’s all one long, sustained, amateurishly directed blur, rendering Supercross the movie and the sport about as appealing as a slapfight.
Also as painful is the cast, who look lost in this film, trying their best to assemble actual performances, but sharing the same feeling with the audience that any effort is useless. While Steve Howey and Mike Vogel can be complimented for not challenging their formulaic, garbage roles in the least, Boyum asks so much of his viewers to believe Cameron Richardson as a successful Supercross competitor. The 90-pound actress (a former model), who has all the physical presence of Shelley Duvall after a particularly strong colonic, is a joke trying to play as though she’s “been around the track” with the best of them. Toss in teen superstars Aaron Carter and Sophia Bush, and the cast is as flavorless as they come. This leaves Robert Patrick to pick up the slack, and you can sense the fatigue in his voice. Imagine spending an 18-hour day acting with Steve Howey and Mike Vogel. I can’t imagine dinner theater sounds all that bad to Patrick anymore.
Running a scant, but merciful, 75 minutes, “Supercross” trots out all the clichés it can think of (including “The Accident,” “The Come-From-Behind,” and the “I Love You, Bro”). Boyum even throws in a small bit of low-rent “bullet time” camera trickery for the grand finale, adding a new influx of idiocy to the already dam-bursting waters of malarkey that make up 99% of this picture.I doubt “Supercross” will even appeal to fans of the race world, for it renders the competitions into nanosecond, flavorless bits, essentially killing the suspense and the talent the sport was founded on.
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originally posted: 08/17/05 00:31:09