Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Australia, 1983. Nilsen Premiere. Screenplay by Patrick Edgeworth, based on a screenplay by Russell Hagg. Cinematography by John Seale. Produced by Tom Broadbridge, Paul F. Davies. Music by Colin Stead, Frank Strangio. Production Design by Ross Major. Costume Design by Lesley McLennan. Film Editing by Alan Lake.
This adorable, kid-friendly adventure has become something of a cult classic and, with its bright colours, innocent charm and shameless promotion of a very popular brand of bicycles for youngsters, deserves it. Nicole Kidman (in only her second film at the age of 16), wants to go riding with her two guy friends but needs cash to buy the bike to match their rad vehicles. She loses her job at a local grocery store thanks to the boys’ antics, but things look up when they come across a box of stolen walkie-talkies that are the property of some very angry bank robbers. They get into trouble with the bad guys after fencing the goods, inspiring a series of chases, hostage situations and the ire of police officers who can’t be bothered with what they think are pranks; have no fear, though, because there are plenty of kids on BMX bikes ready to throw bags of flour at anyone who would mess with our young heroes. The expert photography by future Oscar winner John Seale captures the blazing blue sky of Australia’s Manly Beach against the scorching neon colours of the kids’ clothes and bikes, making for a visual treat whose plot shifts, often lapsing in logic in the stars’ favour, are totally forgiveable.