One of the unfortunate responses to the emergence of a successful movie is the appearance of copycat films. When Gladiator won the Academy Award for Best Picture, all these sword and sandal flicks went into production. Now we have epics such as Troy, Kingdom of Heaven and Alexander to show for it. Sometimes, the backlash is even worse when the hit film is a bit of a surprise hit. Such was the case with The Fast and the Furious. Now, I really enjoyed Furious, but I knew on the…front end of my viewing experience that I was not in for a serious filmgoing experience. The point of the movie was hot cars, over-the-top action and plenty cool shots of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker doing stuff in slow motion. My expectations were met, it was a fun popcorn flick, and I went home happy. When The Fast and the Furious 2 came along, it was a much worse film, but just as the trailer suggested, the film was both faster and furious-er.
Then even more copycat flicks began popping up. I was hoping that this trend had hit rock bottom with the release of Torque, but Steve Boyum (whose only notable films up until this point were Meet the Deedles and Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice) has somehow managed to find a level somewhere below the lowest common denominator with Supercross. Anyone with half a brain could churn out this plot in moments. A reckless kid and his “play it safe” brother work hard, but only one of them makes it to the big time in supercross racing. Once he gets there, he looses sight of what is really important, and he has to find his way back to his brother, and what they loved about the sport in the first place, thus making their deceased father happy… wherever he is.
If this plot sounds familiar, it should… it has also been the plot of countless other films. Films that are much, much better than this one. The lame dialog here could very well have been compiled from the “Hollywood Cliché Phrase Book”. What it all boils down to is that this is a film that tries way, way too hard to be cool, and fails miserably. Ironically, the same can be said about the sport of motorcross itself.
The audio on this disc is mostly poor, but there are a couple of high spots. First, the down side. The main problem that I came across here is that the film is in desperate need of a trip to the mastering studio. Some scenes are whisper quiet, but others are painfully loud. While I appreciate the need for the racing scenes to be loud, everything should be in proportion, and here it is most definitely not. On the good side, there is lots of powerful low end when it counts, and none where it does not belong. Also, the surrounds are used well, without being overbearing.
This transfer has all the earmarks of a full-screen master formated to fit into a widescreen look. The images are blurry and have that wonderful “pan and scan” feel to them. Of course, if you have a standard definition display, you might as well go for the full lo-fi experience and flip the disc over to the full screen side. For those that dare elect to view the widescreen side of the disc, plenty of grain and fuzz are headed your way. As an added bonus, viewers will also be treated to color temperatures that skew heavily to the warm side, making every actor’s face red and every sky brown.
There are a surprising number of extras on this disc. First up is a director’s commentary that is somehow even worse than the film itself. The director is either completely silent or explaining the complex plot to the viewer throughout this length of track. It’s bad enough that the film insults the viewer by presenting such a basic story. It is even worse that the director dares to explain the “action” as it unfolds.
There are also several featurettes here, including Fox Movie Channel’s Casting Session, which is easily the best of the bunch. This is essentially an Electronic Press Kit for the film, focusing solely on the casting, which is funny to me, since the biggest names in the film are Robert Patrick and Aaron Carter. There are five more mini-featurettes on the full screen side of this disc, including “The Stunts”, “The Stunt Doubles”, “The Industry”, “The Cast and Crew” and “The Story”. These segments are just as they sound, and while not being particularly entertaining, are much better than the actual film itself. Finally, there is the token non-anamorphic theatrical trailer, for those gluttons for punishment out there.
A couple years ago, a little film named Blue Crush came out. The plot of that film was essentially the same as this one, but it was much more entertaining. It was certainly not a great film, but it was fun, it knew its place and it was well made. This Supercross business, however, is just a tragedy from start to finish. There are a few decent extras here for those that might actually enjoy the film, but I honestly can’t see any reason why anyone would want to buy this disc, unless they were just a huge Aaron Carter fan. Of course, if you are a huge Aaron Carter fan, liking a bad movie may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your problems.
Special Features List
- Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session
- “The Stunts”
- “The Stunt Doubles”
- “The Industry”
- “The Cast and Crew”
- “The Story”
- Theatrical Trailer