Parody of historical epics that focuses on real-life Australian explorers William John Wills and Robert O'Hara Burkes, who tragically tried to cross the Australian continent from the south, to the north, a distance of 3,250 km.
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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.
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