Supercross: The Movie
Directed by Steve Boyum
Written by Bart Baker and Ken Solarz
Starring Steve Howey and Mike Vogel
A couple of years ago, in these very pages, I reviewed Grind, a skateboard movie mostly about a young team's quest for sponsorship, which was given a half-star rating mainly due to comic cameo performances by Dave Foley and Tom Green. Supercross: The Movie is an even more shamelessly cross-promotional "extreme" sports flick and, like Grind, was dumped into theatres without an advance screening.
And like Grind, Supercross: The Movie has a title that inspires the critic to take cheap shots.
But rather than say things like "You'll be super cross when you realize you're actually watching a really long Clear Channel ad" (oops) or "You'll be super cross that Robert Patrick doesn't make like T-1000 (his character in Terminator 2), jump on a motorcycle and waste a few people" (oops, I did it again), here are some thoughts and background information that may explain the existence of The Movie and why it may elicit similar responses from some viewers.
Those who caught The Fantastic Four this summer may recall the scene in which The Torch, the young firebrand, sneaks out of the compound to compete in a very dangerous-looking motorcycle-riding competition, held in a huge stadium and televised to the masses. Silly me, I thought that was just a cool idea to showcase the character's rebellious ways and evolving superpowers. Actually, it is a promotional "tie-in" scene that capitalizes on the popularity of Supercross, one of North America's fastest-growing motor sports.
Supercross: The Movie is made possible through the filmmakers' strategic partnership with Clear Channel, the U.S. broadcaster of Supercross and parent company of the sport's competition circuit, and is thus one extended promotional spot.
Built around access to locations, stock footage and, one assumes, drivers, the movie is never as exciting as watching the real deal -- that is, if you like that sort of thing.
K.C. (Steve Howey) and Trip (Mike Vogel) Carlyle are fatherless brothers who become rivals as they take their motorcycle skills to the Supercross big leagues.
One gets sponsorship, the other becomes a "privateer," and both find girlfriends and substitute father figures that are in keeping with their different paths.
When one takes a nasty spill and finds out he can never ride again, they make up and combine their talents to try and out-ride the circuit's arrogant champion at an important race.
Supercross: The Movie is a lemon, running on empty from the starting line to the final flag.