You’d have to really love motorcycle racing to spend your money and 80 minutes of your life (that you’ll never get back) to watch the mind-numbingly repetitive “Supercross: The Movie.”
You could see the same thing for free — with higher production values and snappier dialogue — watching X Games coverage on ESPN.
Yes, the movie is wholesome enough and it probably means well in its ultimate message of team spirit, but the road to get there feels long and bumpy.
Brothers K.C. and Trip Carlyle (Steve Howey and Mike Vogel) clean pools for a living, but they seek success in the down-and-dirty world of competitive motocross through conflicting means following their father’s death. (He died mysteriously, according to the movie’s production notes, but K.C. and Trip barely talk about it. And aside from their existence on this planet, you’d never know they had a mother.)
K.C. goes the corporate route, getting snatched up by a Japanese racing team (which is known as a factory ride, FYI). Trip, meanwhile, enters races on his own, which makes him a “privateer” in the vernacular. A fraternal rift ensues, but they’ll have to work together to have any shot of winning the big Supercross showdown in Las Vegas, which is described as “the Super Bowl and the World Series rolled into one.”
Let’s be honest, though — the movie is really just a series of races, with inane dialogue in between, mostly about racing. Among the cliched sports-flick nuggets from writers Bart Baker and Ken Solarz:
—“I love your hunger. You’re like a rabid dog,” says K.C.’s racing team leader (Robert Carradine).
—“Get out of your head, you’re gonna talk yourself right out of this race,” K.C. hears from a longtime rider (Ryan Locke).
—“I like the way you ride, kid, you keep it out there on the edge,” a veteran racer (Robert Patrick, the biggest name in this movie) says to Trip.
There is plenty of racing action, though — as well as product placement for everything from Honda to Heineken — under the helm of director and longtime stuntman Steve Boyum. Unfortunately, it all looks the same — one daring jump or dangerous turn after another, regardless of the stadium or outdoor course where it’s taking place.
The aesthetic Boyum has chosen — a grainy, 1970s style with lots of slow motion and split screens — ostensibly is intended to create an old-school maverick vibe. Instead it just looks cheap and dirty. The audio, meanwhile, sounds like it was recorded inside a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (which is not one of the film’s sponsors).