I, Superbiker: The Showdown
- Director:Mark Sloper
- Cast:Shane Byrne, John Hopkins, Ryuichi Kiyonari
- Release Date:May 10, 2012
- Distributor:Omniverse Vision
- Running time:91 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
It’s informative and atmospheric, but fails to get to the heart of these sports stars and why they risk their lives competitively.
I, Superbiker presents the events surrounding the 2011 British Superbikes Season, which culminated in the ‘Showdown', a new regulation event for which six competitive riders qualified, each given an equal opportunity to win the overall prize. The six in question are Shane Byrne who was in the lead on points coming into the Showdown, John Hopkins from the US, local Sydney lad Josh Brookes, English underdog Tommy Hill, Japan's Ryuichi Riyonari and Michael Laverty from Northern Ireland.
The film opens with a montage of bike wrecks, pretty girls and a brief cameo from Keith Flint of The Prodigy. Quotes from participants such as, "I think I've got the best job in the world to be fair" and "It's motorcycle racing so anything can happen" further set the scene. Shane Byrne repeatedly notes his dissatisfaction with the new rules, annoyed that his lead coming in to the Showdown has been wiped out. Laverty comes across as a nice fellow given to too much self-criticism, whereas Riyonari makes wry comments such as, "Try to win championship. Always try."
Aussie Brookes comes in for especial criticism though from interviewees for his perceived dangerous method of racing. One significant shot has the film's subjects posing for a photo with a space between Brookes and the others. John Hopkins seems an early favourite to win, disappointing those hoping for an Englishman to take the title. National pride vies with the pull of race sponsors such as Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. It's an odd mix and one not dwelt on by the film.
Despite the interviews, we never really get to know these sportsmen who risk their lives competitively. While the joy of winning is infectious - one fellow hugs the film's camera man in celebration - the perspective of an outsider on this event would have been appreciated.