Speedway Junky (2002)
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Critic Reviews for Speedway Junky
It's exploitation at its most listless and uninspired.
Hard to watch -- not because of its unflinching realism, but rather for its mawkish reliance on every boy hooker flick from Midnight Cowboy to Johns.
A potent mixture of sentiment and grit, and it showcases the talents of its young principals.
Goes completely off track, falling apart in a welter of absurd twists, sentimental drivel and phony uplift.
It's My Own Private Idaho! Well, minus the story, the style and the smart script.
The film belongs to Jordan Brower, whose every appearance breaks one's heart, and makes some otherwise familiar material come alive.
Audience Reviews for Speedway Junky
I'll admit it, I only rented this DVD because Jonathan Taylor Thomas was in it, and I loved him when I was a kid. I couldn't picture him pulling off this role, and I expected a massive train wreck. Color me surprised! This is probably the best acting I've ever seen from him, and the movie as a whole is deep and emotional. I wish this film had gotten the attention it deserved.
My friend Dylan let us borrow this film. We had heard a few things about it, and were interested to see Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a street hustler. The problem with that is...well, his voice hasn't changed since he was Simba in [i]The Lion King[/i]. Even when he's swearing a stream, it sounds wholesome. The film follows Johnny's (Jesse Bradford playing 18 when he's WHAT? 30!!) quest to be a racecar driver. From the way this plot evolves, it seems that his only real experience with race cars involves video games, so I'm not sure where he thinks he's going to find practical experience with racing in Vegas. The only light in this bleak, poorly written, over-acted crapfest is Jordan Brower (Eric). He was the best thing in this film, and it should have been his story that we were listening to. He seemed to be the only interesting character in the entire film. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was only in the film briefly. I think he was only hired for the curiosity factor. I expected a lot more from a film exec produced by Gus Van Sant, but it is just a Tiger Beat version of [i]My Own Private Idaho[/i]. It's unfortunate that Gus had to get himself involved in this mess. The friendship between Johnny (straight) and Eric (gay) seems contrived. Jordan Brower does his best, but it's unbelievably that Johnny Homophobe all of a sudden is ok with his new gay friend. The movie could at least have the decency to be comfortable with its subject matter before it tries, unsuccessfully, to explain it to others. -Heather
I hate Jesse Bradford but the overall message and theme here is wonderous, not to mention it's great to see some actors that you grew up watching
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