Sunday, 29 April 2012

American Flyers - Movie Review

After watching Chasing Legends and A Sunday in Hell (two great films by the way), I was recently inspired to find out what other cycling-related movies were out there. A few Google searches later, I found this blurb for American Flyers on the Bicycling Magazine website, in a list of the 9 greatest cycling movies of all time:

"Pre–Bull Durham Kevin Costner in a mustache is one thing, but Rae-Dawn Chong’s wheel change is the real stunner in this fun story of two brothers who tackle the Hell of the West through the Rockies. Some of the details are ludicrous—the way the Russian pros bob and weave as they attack—but as celebration of the 1980s American cycling scene, with appearances by the 7-Eleven Team and the gone-but-missed Coors Classic, it’s worth your time."

I was hooked. Kevin Costner with a moustache, need I say more?! So needless to say, I sought this out and after a hard day out on the mountain bike I sat down with a beer and re-kindled my love of 80’s cheese. And I wasn’t disappointed.

This movie had it all: moustaches, beautiful flowing 80’s healthy hair, a love story, sports rivalry, montages, a token black man, a lame fight scene, all-star cameo’s (Eddy Merckx no less!), family drama, a health tragedy, a bit of gratuitous nudity and most importantly – awesome 80’s cock-rock. There’s even a scene with that girl from Fame that played Baby! Whatever happened to her career?!

You can’t take this movie too seriously. The story line is a bit lame, and the cycling is questionable. But, if you go into it with an open mind and a satirical mood, you can have fun taking the piss out of the barrage of cringe-worthy one-liners and sudden unexplained plot changes.

As far as the cycling goes, it’s a look back at a bygone era, where the bikes were steel and helmets were for sissies (even the cool sausage helmets). The main character chooses a cowboy hat, rather than risk looking like a dork with a helmet – that look is solely set aside for the ‘evil’ Russian national team! There is some great footage of the old 7-Eleven team, and the fictional race at the centre of the story, the Hell of the West, is based on the epic Coors Classic, which I understand was a brilliant stage-race that drew pro’s from all over the world.   

Overall, it was a fun flick, best enjoyed with your better half. It satisfies you as a cycling tragic, and it’ll satisfy them as a rom/com/drama that provides moment of hilarity with the lame 80’s cliché’s.

I give this one 3 ½ awesome Kevin Costner Moustaches.

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