You know the drill: Guys named Trip and Rowdy. Slo-mo close-ups of chicks in bikini tops. Weird jargon like keep it torque-y and you chopped your nuts. Gallons and gallons of Mountain Dew. And wheelies tons of wheelies. Thats right, its time for yet another entry in that most-dreaded of genres: The XXXTREME Sports Movie.
To be fair, Supercross isnt any better or worse than any other boys-with-toys sports movie to come down the pike in recent years. The dirt-bike epic is what it is, and occupies the screen so timidly, its a wonder the film didnt just skip the theater altogether and premiere directly on ESPN2. Packed with bitchin bikes, boring bar brawls and bad dialogue, its a standard-issue wish-fulfillment fantasy for 13-year-olds or any other guy whose brain hasnt developed past that stage.
Our heroes are the bickering Carlyle brothers, the levelheaded K.C. (Steve Howey) and the hotheaded Trip (Mike Vogel). Living in a shack and cleaning pools, they sure dont seem like two dudes living life on the edge, as the voice-over insists, but before long we learn their true talent: launching bikes off dirt ramps and hilly tracks. K.C.s skills and nice-guy demeanor have earned him a place on a well-sponsored but arrogant motorcross team, while Trip continues to undermine his potential with his goofball freestyle antics. It all culminates in a showdown at (surprise!) the Supercross finals in Las Vegas, an event that just happens to be sponsored by the movies co-producers, Clear Channel Motor Sports.
Howey makes for a dull star; he looks and acts a little like a Chasing Amy-era Ben Affleck, and thats not a good thing. Vogel makes a stronger impression itd be hard not to in the more flamboyant part. Both spend plenty of time shirtless, whether theyre wrestling with each other or fixing motorcycle engines; let it not be said that this movie doesnt provide equal-opportunity ogling. But the real entertainment value may come from watching Revenge of the Nerds dorky Robert Carradine play the bad-guy race promoter Clay, or Terminator 2s evil cyborg Robert Patrick play the nice-guy father figure Earl. When Earl leans over and gives Trip a big, unironic bear hug, youre not sure if its a tender moment, a joke or an unexpected detour into horror-flick territory. For all the would-be thrilling action on the track, its the only suspenseful moment in the movie.
Michael Hastings writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].