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Few plotlines to tangle up the bikes

'Supercross' is strictly for motocross devotees. Even if you are one, bring earplugs.

August 17, 2005|John Anderson | Newsday

Vroom. Vroom vroom. Vrrroooooomvrrrroooooommm. VRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOM. Hey, keep it down, willya? I can't hear the heavy-metal music.

Imagine a motorcycle movie scored by Vivaldi. Now erase it from your mind. The motorcycle movie, needless to say, is a package deal: screaming engines, shredded guitars, super-slo-mo action and kidney-jarring landings. And, in the case of "Supercross," a cast made up almost entirely of sitcom stars.

Which is OK, because no one else could have done much with this stuff either, and the movie is essentially an ad for Supercross, a sort of Xtreme form of dirt bike racing in which the bikes fly through the air and a rider occasionally lands on his face.

Plotlines? "Supercross" has a few, none of which have much tread: Brothers K.C. and Trip Carlyle (Steve Howey and Mike Vogel, of TV's "Reba" and "Grounded for Life," respectively) are following in their father's tire tracks.

"Motocross is our life," Trip narrates, using the sport's generic term. "It was our father's dream; now it's ours." Trip is the "crazy" one; K.C. is the more reasonable older brother who gets drafted by the factory team of Clay Sparks (Robert Carradine), whose son Rowdy (Channing Tatum) is the company star. K.C.'s job is to run interference while Rowdy wins races. This does not sit well with the brothers Carlyle. The brothers may be underdogs, but -- as sports movies, motorized or otherwise, always insist -- their heart, courage and devotion to the game will help them do a wheelie over any obstacle.

"Supercross" is mildly reminiscent of, among other things, the surfing documentary "Riding Giants," in that the filmmakers seem to have an inferiority complex: You're told so often and so insistently how cool the sport is that you begin to wonder why the movie is so defensive. "Supercross" also adopts a documentary style a la "Woodstock," especially during the scenes at the various competitions, which provide ample opportunity to focus the camera on the well-developed backsides of female racing fans. Supercross isn't just for boys, girls. You, too, can be a track groupie. Or, like Piper (Cameron Richardson of TV's "Point Pleasant"), actually race, never be in contention and fall in love with Trip.

Howey and Vogel are pros; they just don't have a lot to do. Vogel gets off a good laugh line when they give him one, but it's rare. Sophia Bush ("One Tree Hill") plays Zoe, the filthy rich law student whose pool the brothers clean during their day job and is the movie's class-unconscious, conflict-free example of the kind of woman attracted to dirt bikers. It could happen. And Hondas will sprout wings.

Ultimately, "Supercross" is an example of how too much of anything will get annoying -- including VVRRRROOOOOOOMMM and flying bikes.


`Supercross: The Movie'

MPAA rating: PG-13 for language and some sexuality

Times guidelines: Adult content

A Twentieth Century Fox release. Director Steve Boyum. Producers Steve Austin, J. Todd Harris. Executive producers Richard Gabai, Marc Toberoff, Jonathan Bogner, David Borg. Screenplay by Ken Solarz and Bart Baker, story by Baker and Keith Alan Bernstein. Director of photography William Wages. Editors Alan Cody, Brett Hedlund. Costume designer Elaine Montalvo. Music Jasper Randall. Production designer Max Biscoe. Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

In general release.

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