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'Dirt Bike Kid'

MOVIE CAPSULES

September 16, 1986|Michael Wilmington

If you're undiscriminating enough to wander into "The Dirt Bike Kid" (citywide), it probably means one of four things: (1) It was the only PG movie around; (2) you watch everything; (3) you're a dirt-bike enthusiast, or (4) your glasses were steamed up and you thought you were buying a ticket for "The Karate Kid."

Anyway, you're likely to be disappointed.

The movie is an imitation '60s-to-mid-'70s Disney comedy-fantasy. It's about a magical dirt bike that falls into the possession of a cute, bespectacled boy with an adorable Goldie Hawn-ish mom. This wonderful bike can drive without its owner, fly through the city and perform spectacular stunts--and it swivels and blinks its headlights to express happiness or concern.

Also hanging around are a winsome baseball coach about to lose his hot-dog parlor to the fat, nasty bank president, and a lot of oafish motorcyclists, bungling cops and nifty kids who jump, smile and holler a lot--particularly when the dirt bike single-handedly saves the hot-dog stand from demolition.

The movie is shot rather grainily, though the actors--especially Stuart Pankin as the bank president--have surprisingly mastered that bright, chirrupy '60s Disney style. The special effects often seem to consist of dragging the dirt bike around on a string or having the actors flail their arms in astonishment while riding it. The movie is occasionally cute, and it comes right out against fat, nasty bank presidents, so it's hard to feel angry about it. But then, lack of anger is hardly a reason to see it.

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