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by Jack Sommersby

"Far From a Great Ride"
1 stars

So bo-hiss silly it should be made available only in novelty shops.

I had a friend who swore by the trashy appeal of the television series Knight Rider that involved a high-tech black sports car with a talking computer named KITT, that he and his buddies in college would have a weekly "Knight Night" where they'd kick back getting drunk and/or high and revel in the show as one of life's unsung guilty pleasures. And, truth be told, to its modest credit a couple of the shows did have that so-bad-it's-good vibe about it. Unfortunately, the same certainly can't be said for the low-budget Heather Thomas star vehicle Cyclone, which involves a five-million-dollar experimental motorcycle that boasts armor plating, rocket launchers and laser guns, with its most valuable component a hydrogen-powered transponder that possesses enough energy to keep a battleship going indefinitely. Thomas plays Teri Marshall, whose boyfriend has created this revolutionary prototype called Cyclone, and he's killed by government assassins who want the transponder so it can be sold to the highest foreign bidder, but he took the precautions of hiding it, and the movie consists of Teri, herself an ardent motorcycle rider, using the Cyclone to defeat the enemy and avenge her beau's death. Blonde and attractive, Thomas is fairly insipid throughout, neither as charismatic as she was in the TV series The Fall Guy nor vivaciously sexy as the cheerleading vixen in the high-school comedy Zapped! And the villains are equally lackluster, with Dar Robinson lacking the genuine menace he displayed as the Miami hit man in Burt Reynolds's Stick with Martin Landau flat-out terrible as the three-piece-suited government official behind the dastardly scheme. And not helping matters are the hazy soft-focused lighting that deprives the visuals of vibrancy, and the incompetent direction by Fred Olen Ray who can't compose a simple shot or stage an action sequence to save his life - he couldn't so much as direct traffic on Rodeo Drive as far as I can tell. (By contrast, the excellent B-movie Black Moon Rising from the previous year showcased a nifty high-velocity experimental car, boasted a commanding lead performance by Tommy Lee Jones, drop-dead-gorgeous cinematography, and icily precise execution.) As for the title machine, it's far from an enthralling screen presence - colored a light gray and with a body resembling something out of a third-rate Flash Gordon comic book, it's no more alluring than a teenager's Moped. Direly lacking humor, splashes of style, even some agreeable cheesiness to help offset its many negatives, Cyclone has all the enjoyability of a kindergarten race comprised of bicycles on training wheels.

"You're as plastic as your tits" is about as good as the dialogue gets.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12391&reviewer=327
originally posted: 11/18/20 13:30:59
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6/01/05 tatum Mild, goofy actioner 1 stars
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  02-Mar-1987 (R)
  DVD: 30-Nov-2004



Directed by
  Fred Olen Ray

Written by
  Paul Garson

  Heather Thomas
  Ashley Ferrare
  Dar Robinson
  Martine Beswick
  Martin Landau

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