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Cycling, But not as we know it!
on 10 March 2009
This is a very eighties film. Which probably has something to do with the fact it was made then. It is a film that demonstrates just how badly we human beings can dress and that eighties gym wear is where bad taste peaked at Mount Everest proportions. Jennifer Grey from that iconic film of the eighties "Dirty Dancing" appears in the film to endorse this period feel.
"American Flyers"(85) is the story of two brothers Marcus Sommers and his younger brother David. Kevin Costner resplendent in a porn star moustache plays Marcus and David Grant plays his namesake. Due to family issues the two have become distant from each other. Unbeknown to David is the fact that Marcus has a terminal illness. The two embark on an epic bike ride called "The Hell of the West" which is more a quest for brotherly reconciliation than personal glory.
Professional cycling gets the Hollywood treatment. At times it bears more resemblance to Rollerball than cycling. An American cyclist called Muzzin tries to kill David by pushing him over a cliff. Now things can certainly get competitive in the Peloton but this might be stretching it a bit. Muzzin also informs a Soviet rider that he is going to "Whip his red ass". This would probably not endear the film to viewers in the former Soviet Union, if by some miracle it escaped their censors. A brief appearance by the legendary five times winner of the Tour de France Eddy Merckx at the start of the race, tries to give some authenticity to proceedings. This fails miserably and Eddy may have cringed at some of the on screen antics.
Despite all the inaccuracies and a rather phony story, the film is good innocent fun and not to be taken too seriously. I am a keen cyclist so it was nice to get a film about cycling. There have not been many! I am ashamed to say I enjoyed it and I ended up laughing for all the wrong reasons.