Free Style

Film
1 out of 5 stars
Free Style

Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars

The one good thing you can say about this youth-culture-run-amok cringefest is that it does, in fact, have the most exciting motocross race to ever hit the big screen (and we don’t grant that honor lightly). Otherwise, the story of Cale Bryant (Bleu) growing up in the Pacific Northwest shames the legacy of extreme-sports classics like Thrashin’ and Rad, even as it awkwardly tries to tackle some serious racial issues. The upstanding son of a white mother and an absentee black father, Cale faces many obstacles in his predominantly affluent and white-bread community—including a rich white friend who just doesn’t “get it” and a ruthless nemesis who will stop at nothing to win both on and off the track.

Amid all of these distractions, Cale must take care of his family and forge a future for himself. All bets are off when he meets Alex (Echeverria), the warmhearted Latina girl with the winning smile. The core demographic behind High School Musical’s pop-cultural coup will surely go gaga for Bleu (still, who don’t tween females go gaga for? Henry Kissinger?), but anyone over the legal voting age will have to suffer through “valuable” life lessons to get to the sick two-wheel aerials. Nothing ever comes for free.—Drew Toal

Opens Fri.

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