Kart Racer is entertaining
The other day, this was on one of the TV networks. I had completelyforgotten about this!! Soon, I recalled the characters, the racingsequences, the storyline of a troubled kid and his dad struggling toconnect. The dad, Vic Davies (Randy Quaid), is a former kart racingchamp and a top NASCAR mechanic, who wants to forget his racing past.He's an auto mechanic raising his son, Watts (Will Rothhaar) alone,after his wife had passed away. Watts hears about the local kartchampionship race, which he's dying to enter.
Watts has an intense rivalry with local "bad guy racer" Rodney Wells(Joe Dinicol). Rodney stops at nothing to make Watts look bad; and heand his crew are not above getting Watts arrested (more on that later).A little later, after more trouble, Watts sadly watches as Rodney andhis dad buys the kart that he had set his eyes upon. At the same time,Watts develops a friendship (romance?) with Dahlia Stone (Amanda DeMartinis), a graffiti artist who is probably as troubled as Wattshimself. Could she help Watts to share his feelings and follow hisheart?
In an effort to bond with Watts, Vic begins to train him in the fineart of kart racing, in which Watts proves to be a natural. With Vic'shelp and training, and a newly built kart, Watts enters the race. Wattsmeets his karting idol, champion racer Scott McKenna (David Gallagher),who it turns out, is very familiar with Vic's legendary karting past.During the race, Rodney plays dirty: he openly bumps and runs otherdrivers off the course. He runs Watts off the course, and Watts' engineis broken in the process.
During the rain delay, Vic and Watts ponder that may have to drop out,but then Scott saves the day by giving him a new engine. When the raceresumes, Rodney tries one final time to take Watts out. He manages totake himself out (karma!). Scott pulls beside Watts and asks "How didyou learn to drive like that?" "My dad taught me," Watts said. "He'sthe best of the best!" Our hero Watts then takes the win!
I don't really understand why Watts has never admitted to Vic, or tothe cops, the main reason he keeps getting in trouble: his rivalry withRodney. (Rodney's catchphrase: "the rules are there ain't no rules!")After all, Rodney was the one who ran Watts off into the pool at thebeginning; and it was he and his crew, not Watts, that set off thesprinkler in the arcade bathroom! Later on, during the race, Rodneygains position by openly pushing others off the course. Why hasn't hebeen disqualified?
Also, the kart racing sequences during the race seemed a little bitexaggerated; I guess it's for the dramatic effect. Nevertheless, it's apretty good story, with great kart racing action that kids (and kids atheart) would love. True, guys like Michael Schumacher, Jeff Gordon orJuan Pablo Montoya-- auto racing heroes who have cut their teeth onkart racing-- may not approve the racing portrayal. Who knows, maybeeven racing pros like them may appreciate Kart Racer for what it is:pure entertainment.