Race the Sun

Bomb Rating: 

You can always tell how bad a film like this one will be by how big the fat kid is. In "Bad News Bears," the catcher was moderately chubby. In "The Mighty Ducks," the goalie was a little bigger. In "Stand and Deliver," on the other hand, I'm not sure there was a fat kid at all. Thus, the "fat kid index" proves to be a consistent indicator of quality. So suffice it to say that Gilbert, the Hawaiian fat kid in this "let's build a solar car and prove that we're okay people too" movie, is gargantuan.

There is also a direct relationship between how long it takes the fat kid to do something significant and how predictable the end of the film will be. In "Race the Sun" Gilbert doesn't do a damn thing during most of the movie except act fat and pathetic. When the kids get to Australia after winning the American solar competition, the filmmakers have the gall to mention that there is a big downhill stretch just before the finish line. Boy, was I shocked when Gilbert was the last driver left and had to race the car to the finish line as it was running out of battery power.

I thought for sure that Gilbert was going to die of heat stroke. In fact, I rooted for heat stroke. Then, just like in "Alive," the rest of the Hawaiian teenagers would have been forced to eat Gilbert to finish the race (plus, they could have used Gilbert's picked-over carcass as the extra weight needed to make it to the finish line). With those changes, this film could have been a full-fledged cult classic.

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