Hard Miles

Hard Miles

Hard Miles

Hard Miles
Stars: Matthew Modine, Cynthia McWilliams, Kahking Guillory, Leslie David Baker, Sean Astin, Jackson Kelly, Damien Diaz, Zach Roberts, Jaxon Goldenberg and Judah Mackery
Director: R.J. David Hanna
Scriptwriters: R. J. David Hanna and Christian Sander
Composer: Andrew Johnson
Cinematography: Mark Fisher
Pense Productions/Blue Fox Entertainment

Twice a year or so, a movie comes around using physical strength and will power in order for the participants to succeed.  We have had hockey, baseball, football, basketball, swimming, rowing and now comes bicycling.  Director R. J. David Hanna and Christian Sander give the audience the true story of a group of young men with dubious futures, the chance to do something spectacular. Bike from their location to the Grand Canyon, a distance of over 760 miles through desert terrain that crosses three states. Besides learning how to survive, they learn comradeship and the ability to overcome. Actor Matthew Modine, himself a bicyclist, leads the cast.

Based on a true story, Matthew Modine plays Greg Townsend, who is a social worker at a correctional institute for troubled youth. He decides to take four boys on a bicycle trip, several hundred miles to the Grand Canyon.  The purpose is one of achievement, and also, because the school is in danger of losing funds. This effort may bring needed funding.  Before this begins, though, the boys must learn how to steer a bicycle.  .Haddie (Cynthia McWilliams) is there as support, but thinks this is a lost cause. Sean Astin plays Speedy, who has a bike shop and helps sponsor the event. Greg is warned that the kids could rob him and run, but he thinks otherwise. Oh, what a long road this is, and the desert is not friendly, nor is that hot sun. There are mild scrapes, accidents, temper flare-ups, and the phrase from one of the boys, “…you think it is easy being us?” The Grand Canyon looms, but can they make it?

Watching this film can make anyone physically tired, Your legs are the first to ache as you watch the boys work their way up steep roads in the hot sun. Yet, this is what makes someone strong, both physically, and mentally. Do it…do it…you can do it.   Mack Fisher’s cinematography gives a good viewpoint to the film so the audience can see what kind of desert country this is, while Andrew Johnson’s music adds to the mix. This gives the word “accomplishment” new meaning.

Families who regularly bike as an outing will view this film like something they have done.  If you are just beginning to cycle, you find out what is on the road ahead of you, both physically and mentally. It does take stamina.  Do be aware of some choice words  when the boys are frustrated. They are not a team yet. Bicycle lanes are clearly marked in cities now, with people using them to avoid air pollution and to get physical exercise.

Copyright 2024 Marie Asner

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