October 8 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 23  

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Thirteen-year-olds make-out in Kart Racer

By Ash Wittig
Gazette Writer

Kart Racer
Starring: Randy Quaid, Will Rothhaar, Joe Dinicol, Jennifer Wigmore
Directed by: Stuart Gillard

Alliance Atlantis/2003
WE ARE THE TOUGH KART RACING PUNKS. If you have a thing for kids making out, check out the kids on go-karts film Kart Racer. Maybe you'll see some tongue.

From the director of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 comes yet another priceless gem, Kart Racer. This movie is for the "tween" demographic, so unless you happen to fit in that age group, it would be wise to steer clear of this film.

Kart Racer starts with a super-cheesy go-kart/dirt bike race through town, scandalizing the grown-ups and ending in disaster. The main character, Watts Davies (Rothhaar), fits the standard good-kid-getting-himself-into-bad-situations stereotype. He finds out about a huge go-kart race coming to town and decides to compete for the title his father once held. His dad, played by Quaid, doesn't want to help him with the race because when his wife died, he stopped racing go-karts. Struggles ensue, touching Full House-esque music comes on and of course there's the inevitable big race.

To the film's credit, the suspense-building is effective and Rothhaar's portrayal of a frustrated young teen is believable.

Overall, however, the movie is just not strong enough. Too many characters pop up out of nowhere and the plot is far too predictable. Halfway through the movie, you'll know exactly what's going to happen at the end, right down to the last detail.

In addition, certain elements of the film are highly confusing. First of all, the 13-year-old boy's love interest spends much of her time spray-painting walls in back alleys in the middle of the night. Where are her parents and why the hell are there no repercussions for her vandalism?

Second, the only time school enters the picture is when the kids race through it on a go-kart. There's no explanation as to why the kids never went to school.

Not to mention, the 13-year-old make-out scenes are something we could do without.

In short, watching a hamster run on its wheel for an hour and a half would be a more entertaining way to spend an evening than watching Kart Racer.



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