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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 11.46%
Pretty Bad: 2.08%
Total Crap: 15.63%

2 reviews, 84 user ratings

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BMX Bandits
[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Nicole Kidman is all red"
4 stars

Presumably made to please Australian kiddies during matinee hours, “BMX Bandits” has grown to become a considerable cult hit in a few film geek circles, made famous for its attention to hot wheels and for employing Nicole Kidman at her fuzziest, here in her very first feature film role. While it’s best approached as an irresistible time capsule, the picture remains a consistently engaging adventure film, with colorful bikes and a bright cast eager to maintain a high-flying spirit of citywide Sydney pursuit.

P.J. (Angelo D’Angelo) and Goose (James Lugton) are a pair of wisecracking BMX riders who accidentally smash their bikes into a row of shopping carts, corralled by frustrated store employee (and BMX daydreamer), Judy (Nicole Kidman). Eager to land new rides, the trio set out to make money, only to stumble across a case filled with powerful walkie-talkies. Selling the radios all over town for big bucks, the gang comes to realize they’ve crossed into dangerous territory when a pair of goons, Whitey (David Argue) and Moustache (John Ley), show up to reclaim their property for criminal mastermind, The Boss (Bryan Marshall). Now on the run, P.J., Goose, and Judy tear off into the city, hoping to evade capture using their youthful cleverness and the sheer pedal power of their brand new bikes.

Directed by Ozploitation legend Brian Trenchard-Smith (“Stunt Rock,” “Turkey Shoot”), “BMX Bandits” is a harmless offering of trend-snatching fluff, kept alive through sharp performances, stunning locations, and the inherent coolness of badass BMX stunt action. Trenchard-Smith doesn’t hide his intentions in the least, happily serving up the slapstick and near misses as our teen heroes look to evade trouble at every turn. The picture is breezy, action-packed, and rich with Aussie humor, keeping to a simple routine of rolling shenanigans that never bores, thanks to a directional effort concentrated on the necessities of B-movie entertainment.

Trenchard-Smith doesn’t need much in the way of a budget to create exciting cinema. Just hand the man explosives, an anamorphic lens, and a game cast, and he’ll whip up something appealing, preferably with a saucy Aussie wink.

Unexpectedly, hardcore BMX action doesn’t actually enter the picture until the second half, with much of the early going devoted to bonding scenes with the three main characters and an extended chase sequence set inside a cemetery. That’s all well and good, with a few satisfactorily staged suspense moments, but the real draw here are the bikes. It’s that sensation of youthful agility that makes “BMX Bandits” such a charmer, with Trenchard-Smith giving viewers an admirable run of tricks and stunts (most goosed with lightning synth stings), while also using his locations masterfully, following the gang as they ride through malls and spin around beaches, even making use of local water slides to creatively ditch the baddies. The picture has a winning momentum and a welcome juvenile authority, while offering insanely clear cinematography from John Seale to provide maximum naturalistic eye candy. Most directors would likely dread the “BMX Bandits” filmmaking assignment, but Trenchard-Smith takes the challenge seriously, making a mild cartoon with absolute care, clearly relishing his time arranging bouncy bike action and broad comedy.

As for Kidman, it’s awfully strange to see the superstar smack dab in the middle of her adolescence, before her maturation into serious work. Before her access to hair straighteners. She remains a feisty, commanding screen presence, contributing some heft in the acting department along with her young co-stars. Working with a script that treasures one-liners and primary colored urgency, the cast brings charisma and a swell sense of timing to the picture, with Lugton stealing scenes as the sarcastic Goose. Curiosity about Kidman’s work here will undoubtedly draw viewers, but the ensemble proves to be a potent weapon in the director’s arsenal, giving the picture startling personality before it’s back on the chase, pedaling around the sheer splendor of Sydney.

I find it hard to dislike a film that opens with a bank robbery executed by men in pig masks and concludes with a triumphant foam fight straight out of a silent film. All “BMX Bandits” aims to do is please, and the production accomplishes its goal effortlessly, providing a refreshing sense of artistic concentration and a retro blast of childhood innocence, when the whole world was something to roll on through, ideally on the coolest two wheels money could buy.

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originally posted: 03/12/11 06:28:28
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User Comments

3/17/11 porfle No nostalgic appeal for me, but it was pretty good. 3 stars
9/22/07 opera i love this film so much, great memorys to childhood 5 stars
10/20/06 Latasha L I loved this movie I have been looking for it for years. 5 stars
9/29/06 Chris Deburg My Bro is still a BMX butt Bandit 5 stars
7/31/05 ron noting else if you flying 5 stars
10/12/04 Craig Covic My Brother is a bmx BANDIT 4 stars
7/22/04 xc xc 5 stars
6/12/04 Paul M last time I seen it was when I was about 8,I havent seen it since :( I would love to watch 5 stars
1/31/04 Stinker Used to watch it upto twoce a day - best ever (Goose to PJ) 5 stars
1/23/04 Todd Seligman Dumb and great. A BMX movie before all others. 4 stars
8/24/03 Otto Great Movie-have seen it 1000 times as a child. 5 stars
8/19/03 Adrian Covich Loved the Early 80's Warringah Mall 5 stars
7/18/03 mark hicks good 5 stars
7/12/03 Jessy Fuchs the first movie i rent in my life, i was 8, and it's still the best movies in the world... 5 stars
6/12/03 Todd Seligman BMX Banditos rules 5 stars
6/02/03 Pique Montana A bad movie that just too much fun. See it and get goofy! 5 stars
5/29/03 linsey owens watched every day when i was a kid 5 stars
5/27/03 paul (wildstyle) dimech A real Aussie must see.classic pea brain thugs,80's style Manly.BMX is a winner. 4 stars
5/02/03 jack jones best film in the world 5 stars
5/01/03 Gareth An institution, it's criminal to have not seen it!! 5 stars
4/24/03 freddie wood an all time fantastic classic, fuck you paul! 5 stars
4/13/03 mitch groovy moovy 5 stars
4/03/03 cam chunner its the wasome vid and u should suk my cok 5 stars
3/24/03 h. caufield shithouse a real hunk of crap don't bother 1 stars
3/20/03 Paul Coleman Absolutely horrendous! Probably the WORST FILM ever made!! 1 stars
2/14/03 james kick a$$ 5 stars
2/13/03 Stuart Moffat LOVE the FILM - I NEED THE SOUNDTRACK! 5 stars
2/01/03 neil steer f-n great 5 stars
1/18/03 Raws Leg-end 5 stars
1/16/03 jodie its ace! 5 stars
1/10/03 Maverick The best ever film. You gotta see it. 5 stars
1/04/03 Tara Loved when I was a kid--haven't seen it in YEARS. Gotta get it again. 4 stars
11/01/02 Kel Absolutely loved it as a kid. haven't seen it since! 5 stars
10/02/02 Michael Edwards I thought this movie sucked. Rad was the best one. Rad is still a cool movie. 2 stars
10/01/02 as if i would tell u my name great movie but the acting is crap 5 stars
9/18/02 McFly Absolute drivel in the radical sense 5 stars
8/22/02 Nick Dubs The theme song is fantastaclysmic! 5 stars
8/01/02 josh campbell it was rad 13 years ago i loved it 5 stars
7/18/02 Marlowe  GREAT MPVIE! I LOVE IT! Also desperately seeking the soundtrack!! 5 stars
7/06/02 NoRm NotnOe classic...better than expected!! back then the tricks were 4 stars
5/18/02 nick kirkman its rad 5 stars
5/14/02 Gryphon Have always been a Nicole Kidman film and this was the first movie I saw her in. 4 stars
4/24/02 sebowicz yay. oldschool. 5 stars
4/10/02 Volker Koschel Good story, great bikes, good actors 5 stars
3/14/02 Aysha Ley I love this film cos get to see my dad was in it as moustache 5 stars
2/01/02 ryan barton I'd love to see it again 5 stars
11/14/01 jonathan good 5 stars
11/08/01 scott mitchell mathew stephens this movie was the best 5 stars
11/04/01 Ryan James Lorch It's pretty crap, & I LOVE IT!!!! 5 stars
10/16/01 long john pretty basic bike riding 1 stars
10/16/01 didubringabongalong the movie was good but im better 3 stars
9/28/01 jhon all right 1 stars
8/17/01 RAgeFUry Absolute classic that I can't find on DVD. Arrrah POO!!! 50 BUCKS!!! Goose, PJ, Powder Puff 5 stars
8/11/01 pedelswright allyearslaterstilllovenicole 5 stars
6/23/01 Ian Barr Funny as Hell 4 stars
6/13/01 this site has no moves 2 stars
5/21/01 John Khount Not since "The Ten Commandments" has the world seen such a magnificent masterpiece of art 5 stars
5/19/01 Claire Langdon I think this was a classic 5 stars
5/14/01 Steven Palmer it was the best movie i have ever seen. i have it on video and watch it almost every week 5 stars
4/23/01 Joyce Anne Ajero very very bad 1 stars
4/19/01 tyh rtyw 1 stars
4/10/01 scott it can't compete with "RAD" 4 stars
4/02/01 jaiman tyrrell it was sweet 5 stars
3/28/01 ARSEHOLE This Movie is the shitteist movie ever 1 stars
3/27/01 fuck gfmgdnbnmsdfskadfgsdfdfffsdfhfjhsdjfmnvubffh 3 stars
3/13/01 you suck it is really crap 1 stars
2/18/01 POOT really really old school stuff ,brings back memorys when i started 4 stars
1/31/01 poop it was fucked up 1 stars
1/11/01 tom cruise stunts were amazing 5 stars
12/08/00 dickhead fucked in the head 1 stars
11/21/00 Tom Hallifax-Ballinger it sucks man 1 stars
10/09/00 Joe Blow Pretty Sucky 1 stars
10/06/00 nathan dtrews dont bouther 1 stars
9/20/00 CASSE Memories! Who didn't watch it 1MILLION times and wish they could carve a BMX like them?? 5 stars
9/07/00 prudence moloney frank the crapest movie ever prefered hi5 1 stars
9/06/00 deadman walking it's zombie man 5 stars
8/31/00 KYLE IT WAS GOOD 5 stars
8/26/00 jeff hillier very good 5 stars
8/26/00 Cameron Sawyer please write again 5 stars
8/23/00 SHANMAN (THE GATE KEEPER) Freestyle woz good-big names from the 80s "OK" 4 stars
8/19/00 JAMES ZIRKZEE GREAT 5 stars
4/22/00 Adam Richards Cool movie. You could tell Nicole was gonna be really hot later.. and the theme song too 3 stars
10/14/99 the Grinch I'm not Aussie, but watched it 500 times on HBO in the 80's.Your talkies have gone walkies! 3 stars
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  01-Jan-1983 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2011


  01-Jan-1983 (G)

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