|Index||7 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I got this DVD from my public library for my visiting grandkids, 10 and
13. We all watched it together, and were well entertained. I especially
thought Randy Quaid was a great pick to play Vic Davies, middle aged
father, engine builder, single father, and former champion Kart racer.
His son Watts (Will Rothhaar ) is a good kid, but keeps getting into
trouble. Minor stuff, but in the opening scenes we see him street
racing his cart against a dual sport motorcycle, and ending up in
someone's swimming pool.
SPOILERS. Dad and son do not have a good relationship, turns out mom died in an accident 4 years earlier, both of them have trouble moving on. The break comes when dad decides to teach son how to be a good racer, using the indoor track grandpa had made for dad in the shop many years earlier. Dad also designed and built a Kart, there is some drama during the qualifying race, when right before a rain postponement, their Rotax motor breaks. So they take one that dad and mom had made 4 years earlier, install it, and Watts ends up coming from behind to win the race.
It was a good movie. A little heavy on the accents but it had a thrilling story. The beginning is a little boring, but it has a solid ending. IT has a fun and competitive liveliness to it. It is enjoyable. It is good for kids under the age of 15.
The other day, this was on one of the TV networks. I had completely
forgotten about this!! Soon, I recalled the characters, the racing
sequences, the storyline of a troubled kid and his dad struggling to
connect. The dad, Vic Davies (Randy Quaid), is a former kart racing
champ and a top NASCAR mechanic, who wants to forget his racing past.
He's an auto mechanic raising his son, Watts (Will Rothhaar) alone,
after his wife had passed away. Watts hears about the local kart
championship race, which he's dying to enter.
Watts has an intense rivalry with local "bad guy racer" Rodney Wells (Joe Dinicol). Rodney stops at nothing to make Watts look bad; and he and his crew are not above getting Watts arrested (more on that later). A little later, after more trouble, Watts sadly watches as Rodney and his dad buys the kart that he had set his eyes upon. At the same time, Watts develops a friendship (romance?) with Dahlia Stone (Amanda De Martinis), a graffiti artist who is probably as troubled as Watts himself. Could she help Watts to share his feelings and follow his heart?
In an effort to bond with Watts, Vic begins to train him in the fine art of kart racing, in which Watts proves to be a natural. With Vic's help and training, and a newly built kart, Watts enters the race. Watts meets his karting idol, champion racer Scott McKenna (David Gallagher), who it turns out, is very familiar with Vic's legendary karting past. During the race, Rodney plays dirty: he openly bumps and runs other drivers off the course. He runs Watts off the course, and Watts' engine is broken in the process.
During the rain delay, Vic and Watts ponder that may have to drop out, but then Scott saves the day by giving him a new engine. When the race resumes, Rodney tries one final time to take Watts out. He manages to take himself out (karma!). Scott pulls beside Watts and asks "How did you learn to drive like that?" "My dad taught me," Watts said. "He's the best of the best!" Our hero Watts then takes the win!
I don't really understand why Watts has never admitted to Vic, or to the cops, the main reason he keeps getting in trouble: his rivalry with Rodney. (Rodney's catchphrase: "the rules are there ain't no rules!") After all, Rodney was the one who ran Watts off into the pool at the beginning; and it was he and his crew, not Watts, that set off the sprinkler in the arcade bathroom! Later on, during the race, Rodney gains position by openly pushing others off the course. Why hasn't he been disqualified?
Also, the kart racing sequences during the race seemed a little bit exaggerated; I guess it's for the dramatic effect. Nevertheless, it's a pretty good story, with great kart racing action that kids (and kids at heart) would love. True, guys like Michael Schumacher, Jeff Gordon or Juan Pablo Montoya-- auto racing heroes who have cut their teeth on kart racing-- may not approve the racing portrayal. Who knows, maybe even racing pros like them may appreciate Kart Racer for what it is: pure entertainment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is cute but it is nothing like real Go Kart racing. At national events they would never let you go out on the track without a neckbrace. NEVER! Also Watts drives a Rotax well Rotax's do not shift and in the movie you can hear it shift. Lastly his enemy is out on the track with him and he is pushing karts off the track and making karts crash. In real life they do not stand for any sort of pushing or bumping you would be Disqualifed in a matter of seconds. There are plenty more things wrong with this movie but these are the three that stand out the most. The movie isn't horrible but it could have been more realistic. Anyone who knows anything about go karting or racing can tell that it is all wrong.
Kart racing isn't so easy, of course. And a goof I noticed: after the
"Davies Comet" engine is installed, there is still footage of Watts
racing with the Rotax Max. Also, kids that age do not race with MaxSr
The indoor lapping in the shop was a bit nuts.
The racing sounds were overdubbed with car engines or something, because I drive a rotax kart and I have never heard it sound like that. These are two-cycle engines, and I rarely heard the noises I associate with these engines during any of the racing/driving footage.
Also, these karts--RotaxMax--do not make 105mph top speed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You have to wonder just how much Randy Quaid hates Russel Crowe. Here's
Randy Quaid pasting a career together with a few vaguely memorable
moments in good movies like The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon and
Midnight Express. And then making us laugh with his wackiness in
Freaked, Caddyshack 2 and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. No
Innerspace or Right Stuff but at least he has his brother or more
importantly, his ex-wife Meg Ryan. With a little money coming in from
parts Dennis' name gets him, Innerspace royalties and Meg carrying them
both, the Quaid boys could drink away their days as Hollywood's poor
man's Sheens, Carradines, Penns or Howards.
Meg Ryan had to go and make a little movie called Proof of Life and fall in lust with her bloated Australian co-star, Russel Crowe. She leaves her alcoholic husband behind, and at the epicenter of that divorce is Randy Quaid and his career. Dennis goes on to make a few disaster movies but can't really seem to get his older brother Randy, who had more early success as an actor, anything better than Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure which most definitely went straight to thrift store shelves across the country.
Which is essentially where I found Kart Racer.
We never really find out what happens to his wife, why he suddenly decides to support his son's interest in kart racing or how long he's had a secret kart track in his garage but we watch it to the end. He doesn't look like he's starving in the movie but he also doesn't look like he's acting past a huge guttural laugh that doesn't seem to be a part of the scene or sympathetic to his son's kart racing plight.
At least he's working. Kart Racer may not be the best way to get back at at Russel Crowe but maybe two cents of that three dollars I spent on the movie will find it's way to Randy Quaid, bringing him one step closer to revenge on The Gladiator.
I don't know what's sadder, the fact that this movie exists, or the
fact that people are complaining that its not realistic.
Racing movies are all the same, it doesn't matter what happens in the first 80 minutes, because the hero will just pull ahead at the last minute anyways. And the way they glamourized this sport was hilarious. I mean, this is the same crap people are racing at theme parks and carnivals, and they expect us to believe that it would draw crowds like that? Hey I know, let's make a movie about how some underdog unicyclist has to reconnect with his father and then perceiver to win the Unicycle Cup. At the last second he'll put it all on the line, pull ahead, and win it all.
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