Heroes of Dirt Is Definitely Rad [Review]

heroes of dirt movie
 There are a ton of BMX videos on the market today. They are usually a half hour in length and consist mainly of riding and a few skits here and there. But those are just "riding videos", they are a very different beast from a feature film. Now anyone who grew up in the late 80's and 90's knows there is only one feature film that combined riding with a compelling story structure; RAD. The Holy Grail of feature film BMX.

RAD is the benchmark for riders and filmmakers alike. The movie came at a time when BMX was riding its first major wave of popularity and showed kids all around the world that if you try hard enough nothing is impossible. Thought the film didn't do well in theaters it became a cult classic on VHS for many a young riders (myself included). But BMX fell off for a little bit and so no one could see a reason to make another BMX. As the years past RAD only grew in popularity and when BMX came back in 1995, thanks to the X-Games, audiences were ready for another BMX film. The only problem was how do you make one as good as RAD?

That question has been the bane of every rider's existence. For twenty nine years we have waited for someone, anyone to step up and take a shot at making a new BMX film. Twenty nine years is a long time to wait, but finally someone has stepped up to the challenge; enter Eric Bugbee's Heroes of Dirt.

Phin Cooper (Joel Moody), wants nothing more in life than to be a pro BMX dirt Jumper. After missing out the Heroes of Dirt competition, he lands in jail for unpaid citations, he is court-ordered for community service and reluctantly mentors one of the boys, Blue Espinosa (Will Martinez) in the ways of the BMX. As luck would have it Phin gets a second chance to show his skills at Heroes of Dirt when another rider becomes injured.  But Blue's world of drug trafficking threatens Phin's ultimate dream when he is faced with a choice: help Blue or help himself.

Casting for the film is on point and very surprising in the quality of acting from everyone involved. Of course the major highlight here is Bill Allen, the one and only Cru Jones, playing the father of Phin. Even though his role is small, it was awesome to see him in a BMX film that wasn't a documentary about RAD. Joel Moody does a fantastic job as the lead and really sells the character as a up-and-coming dirt rider who just happens to get the short end of the stick. William Martinez gives a stellar performance as Blue, the kid who makes poor decisions but has tons of potential just beneath the surface.

The film does have some slow parts and maybe it could have used some ass-sliding but the story, as a whole, is pretty good. My only true gripe with the film is I would like to have seen more riding, but I understand this is a hard genre to crack so I'll be lenient on that.

Is Heroes of Dirt better than RAD, no but I don't think any BMX film will ever be, simply because it was the first. However, if RAD was George Washington then Heroes of Dirt is Abraham Lincoln and that's not a bad guy to be.

If you are a BMXer then you should see this film. If you just enjoy a good story then you too should see this film. My point, everyone should check this out at least once, because it would be a shame to have to wait another twenty nine years for another BMX film. My hats off to Eric Bugbee, you stepped up and took a chance when many others wouldn't, for that I salute you.

Rating: 7.5/10 Stars

Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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