Free Style William Dear

Free Style William Dear
I can't think of any justifiable reason for Free Style to exist, but funnily enough, I don't think the filmmakers could either. I'll bet you anything that upon being assigned to helm this star vehicle for Corbin Bleu (of High School Musical semi-fame), director William Dear was informed that the movie was either a money laundering scheme or a potential tax write-off. Flat cinematography, weirdly abbreviated scenes and a musical score that sounds like it was composed on a mid-'90s Casio keyboard mark this pathetic little film in which Bleu plays a high school motocross racer who dreams of making it to the big leagues. The 94-minute movie finds time to put Bleu through every cliché it can muster - confronting his runaway father; paying for his mother's medical bills after a car accident; having his girlfriend walk in on him in an embrace with an ex; making a nemesis out of a cocky rival racer, etc. - but gives none of its plot strands enough screen time to generate interest, and changes tones as abruptly and awkwardly as a bad Bollywood movie. Bleu, who maybe thought his surplus of big emotional speeches would be catnip for the Academy, is a stiff leading man, while William Dear's direction is so pedestrian it makes his work on Angels in the Outfield look Oscar-worthy, and the entire enterprise is just a lazy, pointless waste of time. Fun fact: when Free Style was unceremoniously dumped into 260 theatres last October, it earned a Delgo-like per-screen average of $376. Folks, the distributors are sending a clear message, and that message is "Beware." Anyone hoping for "Burden of Dreams: The Making of Free Style" should start praying for a Criterion reissue, as there are no extras. Well, aside from a trailer for Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts, that is. (Fox)