Enter the Asylum: Street Racer

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Since the first Fast & Furious came out, even before it revitalized itself as crazy action/heist franchise of choice, there were tons of knock offs, from motorcycle based ones like Biker Boyz to ones that destroyed million dollar cars like Redline.  Even though it came it out to capitalize on Speed Racer hitting theaters in 2008, we all know who The Asylum was really trying to copy.

So no B or C list celebrity wanted to street race?:  Apparently not, as it’s mostly returning Asylum actors.  Clint Brownring plays Johnny Wayne (yes, really), the hero who’s kind of just a city boy, possibly born and raised in South Detroit.  After an accident, he goes to jail for 5 years and then gets trapped into racing again by corrupt parole officer, Briggs (Michael Cider). (Whose office has possibly the best set decoration in movie history)

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He divides his time between working in an auto shop run by the grizzled old racer, Red (Robert Pike Daniel) and a physical therapy clinic that, by sheer coincidence, is where the boy Johnny paralyzed in the accident goes to.

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Let me guess, he becomes friend’s with the kid he paralyzed: Of course, and also holds off telling the family he was the cause of the accident until the dad somehow recognizes him, punches him in the face and then disappears from the movie.  Johnny also falls for the kid, Daniel’s, sister.  If they toned down just the language, this could easily be a Disney Original movie, it’s that bland and non-threatening.

But there’s Street Racing right?:  Yes, but they do it out on abandoned roads or in the safest, nicest abandoned warehouse district ever where you can bring the family out to experience the excitement.  The bikers in Biker Boyz were more threatening, and they had a goddamn charity bike wash to fight illiteracy.

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It also looks like they stole their mom’s cars:  Yeah, if you’ve been trained on the exotic, high end cars of the Fast & Furious movies, it’s a little weird to see someone racing in like a Hyundai or Scion and acting like they are the greatest things on the street.  For the final race, Johnny does build a souped up Suburu, so that’s something.

So how does this all play out?: Well, after training with Red, who is basically the driving version of Mick from the Rocky movies, Johnny challenges his former friend turned rival, Mickey Stiles, to a winner takes all race on a street circuit, not a drag race.  Briggs, the evil PO, has been threatening Johnny and his friends and taking Johnny’s winnings but now wants Johnny to throw this race because he’s betting big on Mickey.  Going with his gut, Johnny wins the race and Briggs gets HIT BY ANOTHER CAR during the next race while walking over to Johnny and the group threateningly with a gun.  It’s implied police arrive but there’s 0 resolution and it picks up 5 months later with Johnny taking Daniel to the go kart track to learn how to drive like he did.  Oh yeah, Johnny learned to street race by driving go-karts, like you do.

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Also, he instantly gains the respect and friendship of all the street racers and lives happily ever after.  It literally is like the end of a Disney movie.  Oh, just another bizarre note about the ending, for some unknown reason, two stoned surfer dudes somehow have a helicopter and are commentating on the entire race.

Is it worth watching?:  It’s not bad necessarily but it’s not good either.  It’s almost as if Ned Flanders made a street racing movie.  I would watch any and/or all of the F&F movies before watching this and even some of the knock offs like Torque are way more crazy and fun than this.

Next up:  C. Thomas Howell is back to fight off more Martians in War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave

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