Crossing the Line – 1989 / Director: Gary Graver

Dear me, this is dreary guff. Imagine The Karate Kid for Motor-Cross enthusiasts and you’ve pretty much got  Crossing the Line  – a bland as beige curtains, daytime TV drama that sees “troubled” teen Ricky Kagan (C. Thomas Howell lookalike, Rick Hearst) wander onto the wrong side of the tracks, much to the chagrin of his long suffering father, John Saxon.

When his reckless behaviour leads to his best buddy Josh laid out in a coma, Ricky invokes the ire of Josh’s bullish brother Zack (Tom Sizemore lookalike, Jon Stafford). Zack, understandably wants to beat the shit out of Ricky, but all Ricky wants to do is ride his dirt bike around the faintly paedo Mr Sinclair’s, er, dirt track. Cue plenty of dust-ups outside the local biker bar, the redundant intervention of town sheriff Cameron Mitchell in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, crap 80s power ballads, wheelies and a romantic sub-plot with blonde cutey-pie, Colleen Morris.

Graver’s film is about as much fun as doing the ironing. Problem child Ricky predictably triumphs against all odds, makes amends with his dad (who loves him really) and enters the Tri-County Motor Cross finals where, guess what? He only goes and wins the fucking thing!

It’s difficult to work out what John Saxon saw in the script to convince him to sign on. Besides the paycheck, I suppose. Maybe he wanted to put in a new conservatory or something? Maybe he was bored? Or lonely?

His performance is perfectly adequate and you might even say his character, a philandering Steel Magnate, is the only likeable aspect of a remarkably unlikeable enterprise. But only if you can summon up the energy to say it in the first place. Because this is truly a low point in Saxon’s filmography. Lending the term “dismal” to a film made in the same year as nonsense like Aftershock, My Mom’s A Werewolf and Nightmare Beach might seem like a moot point, but Jesus! John! What were you thinking in 1989?!