Monday, December 13, 2010

A Decade of Dreck #38: Supercross

Charge Shot!!! is celebrating the end of the decade in the most masochistic way we know how - by watching and writing about the 100 worst movies of the last ten years as defined by film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Click here to see RT's complete list, click here for more information about the Decade of Dreck project, and click here to see all of the movies we've done so far.

My fellow MSTies (fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, duh) will remember show #202 "The Sidehackers", wherein Joel and the 'Bots riffed on a dumb late-60's movie about motorcycle racers, clearly produced to try and cash-in/possibly jump start a "sidehacking" craze that I imagine never really took off. Upon watching today's movie, I had Sidehackers flashbacks: another stupid melodrama about motorcycle-riding idiots. Future MST3K bait?

As was mentioned before, Supercross (or "Supercross: the Movie" as it's sometimes referred to) pretty much exists only to try and get those crazy kids to get into motorcycle racing and buy Nami bikes and Mountain Dew. We the unfortunate viewers are introduced to brothers KC and Trip Carlyle (before we go any further, those are both stupid names), two supercrossers who "ride old school" and "live on the edge", respectively. The movie follows their trials and tribulations as they try and work their ways up the racing circuit and fall in love...with girls, not with each other! Why would you think that, ugh?

On its own, the bare bones plot of Supercross is fine; pedestrian, but fine. It's like any other sports melodrama that's ever existed before: characters have love of sport, conflict arises over competition, conflict resolved through working together to win said sport. The brothers end up coming to blows over KC's signing up with a major corporate sponsor while Trip stays a "privateer". The problem is that KC is being asked to play second banana to the team owner's son (Channing Tatum) and can't live up to his full potential. Agghh! Supercross (and therefore life) is hard!

The sheer volume of product placement coupled with "x-treme" "attitude" is downright stomach-turning.  For instance, a scene where Trip, having been beaten by his own brother in an important race, goes to a local biker bar to drown his sorrows. What does he order? "Heineken. Heineken, Heineken, Heineken. What I need right now is Heineken." Heineken, really? You do realize you're at a biker bar, Trip, and by this I mean a capital b Biker bar. I think they kick your ass for drinking pussy European beer. It's not like Supercross' corporate sponsor is acknowledged as some sort of nectar of the working man.

Speaking of capital b Bikers, an unusually distubing moment occurs when Trip espies his love interest Piper's tattoo. More specifically, it's a tramp stamp of her father, the T1000's "motorcycle club" logo. Now, I can understand paying tribute to one's father's shared love of motorcycles by getting a tattoo of his club's insignia, but is it smart for a young woman to get the symbol of her dad's drunk roughneck buddies on her lower back? That sends all sorts of creepy messages.

And speaking of psychosexual terror, maybe it's the film buff in me, or maybe it's just repressed homosexuality (what's the difference?) but I think for this entire movie KC and Trip wanted to do each other. Which is weird, cuz, you know, they're brothers. During the film's opening, when the bros are depcited in the economic squalor that is their pool boy day jobs, Trip has a "rebellious" "screw this" moment where he takes off his shirt, puts on some rap music, jumps into the pool and begins splashing his brother and beckoning him to come in and engage in some horseplay. While I suppose it was meant to establish that the two are close (in a totally fraternal non-gay way) and fun-loving (in a totally fraternal non-gay way) it only came off as subtext that this movie was less about riding motorcycles, and more about riding...never mind.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Supercross is ranked #82 on the Rotten Tomatoes Worst 100 list with 6% freshness. Its RT page can be found here.