Too much of everything
Good movie but grossly overrated
By the time the dramatic fireworks start popping off, each one feels earned.
No childhood is complete without a fantastically expensive and frivolous fad, and the BMX bike was one such item - and one which I could even take part in (skateboarding was definitely not for me, as I was incapable of standing on one). Who would have thought that Australia, and the king of ozploitation cinema Brian Trenchard-Smith, would produce the movie to capture the zeitgeist of the colourful bicycles. I first saw this film in 1984 at a film club (basically a small room with a projector and screen, filled with us poor kids, whose parents wanted us out of the house).Three kids, Goose (James Lugton), P.J. (Angelo D'Angelo), and Judy (Nicole Kidman), spend their summer holidays riding around on their bikes, attempting to get into mischief. They stumble across a box containing walkie-talkies (that's massive pre-mobile phone, communication boxes), that belong to a gang of bank robbers. Once the criminals (crims to use the colloquial term) discover that these pesky kids have "stolen" the items, a hapless pair (Whitey (David Argue) and Moustache (John Ley)), chase the trio around the seaside town, with comic effect.Of course this is a silly film, it is completely unadulterated fun, and doesn't have the ubiquitous saccharine kids of an American "kids" film, and do not fall prey to the kind of posh-kids found in Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories. The young cast never become annoying, and hold the film together throughout. This is how us kids spent our summer holidays back in the day. Nowadays, children miss out on this sense of freedom, and completely lose out on creating mischief, as parents fear "stranger danger" which has been perpetuated by our "objective" media (thanks for that!). I'm going to end on an appeal: Parents out there, let your kids run free, let them get into trouble whilst cycling with friends in a summer sense of autonomy - if you don't believe me when I state that this will enrich your children, then watch this film and see what happens.www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
This movie should probably be given a 1 out of 10 by any conventional standards. The acting is terrible, the sound/picture quality is extraordinarily sub-par, and the music is torturous.The plot is very basic: These criminals decide they want to pull off a big robbery and have some elaborate plan all put together. For the plan to work, however, they need police-band radios so they can hear everything the police are doing. These BMX kids find and steal the radios and the criminals want them back. This is the point where the plot just steps out of the way for the real purpose of the movie: exhibiting "rad" BMX stunts (most of which are just jumping off conveniently placed ramps around the city).So, these criminals chase these three kids all over the city, basically destroying their own car in the process, to get these radios back; I guess it would be too much trouble to just buy new radios. They chase these kids through a water park, a mall, a soccer field, a warehouse, and a few other locations. This ends up being one of the longest chase scenes in cinematic history.With all that being said, the movie has great entertainment value because its just so damn cheesy. On top of that, you get to see Nicole Kidman before she knew anything about acting. She also has a stunt double which I'm pretty sure is a man. Oh, and she has one of the CREEPIEST kisses with a boy in an empty grave: I guess romance even strikes when you are sitting only feet away from a rotting corpse.
I'm sure that there have probably been a lot more adventure films centered around BMXing than just BMX Bandits or Rad, but those are all that I have seen as of this writing. And while I thought 'Rad' was far too embarrassingly cheesy and was initially skeptical when I picked up BMX Bandits, BMX Bandits blew 'Rad' right out the water as far as acting, story, humor, and even action sequences.BMX Bandits is something like an Australian version of the Hardy Boys (plus one girl) mystery on wheels. Three teens desperate for money to not only get new bikes, but also finally fulfill their ambitions for a neighborhood dirt course decide to try and make the cash on their own. Only, their brief, unsuccessful time as fishing entrepreneurs leads them instead to a boat with a mysterious box tied to it. So, they did what any honest citizen would: they cut the rope and claimed the abandoned treasure for themselves. A case full of sophisticated walkie talkies which yield not only a pretty penny as they sell them to the neighborhood kids, but also a lot of trouble as they are chased by their skilled, gangster owners who wish to retrieve their finds and punish the kids for taking them, as well as the cops who think something much more is going on when their radio frequencies are interrupted with the conversations of the three teens on their walkie talkies.Despite the family film theme, the movie lacks much of the corniness common to the genre, the decade, or the BMX theme. The filmmakers were willing to be a little more daring with the dialog and the story, probably trying to appeal to audiences older than just the pre-teen market and do so in an often humorous manner, thanks mostly to the witty retort of Goose (James Lugton), one of the three main teens. Although, at least for me, one of the drawbacks was a longer-than-necessary conclusion in which the teens and the gangsters duke it out more or less.Nonetheless, it is an old adventurous cult classic that is well worth checking out.
If I was on my deathbed, and my loved ones were gathering around me, and if they asked me if there was anything I wanted to do before I died... I would reply, "Show me BMX Bandits, one last time." Obviously, this will never happen, as I have no loved ones, and in fact will probably die alone. But enough about me.BMX Bandits is an unparalleled achievement in cinema history, ranking right up there with, "Out of the Body" and "Birth of a Nation." It basically features a nubile NIcole Kidman (in tight BMX pants ;-) ) and her band of mates, Goose, and P.J. Confused? That's because those names are BMX lingo. This film is jam-packed with BMX tomfoolery and other high speed things. Look for a wizend David Argue (remember his role in Gallipoli?) as the colorful crook, "Whitey." Watch as him and his partner-in-crime, John Ley (Mustache) are unable to kill three kids on bikes. Even with a muscle car. And a trunkful of guns. Thrills and chills ensue. Scary Graveyard Hide-and-go seek! Foam fertilizer! Male short shorts! Complicated movie-within-movie descriptions. And one extremely awkward kiss. This movie is not to be missed.