Review: Randy King
Photos: Courtesy of Redcloud Productions
The new mountain bike film, The Potential Inside, premiered in Lynchburg, Virginia on March 10, 2011. Liberty University’s Tower Theater hosted the premier of this inspirational film, and several hundred attended the red carpet event and the showing.
The film is well produced, and shows off the Blue Ridge Mountains and Central Virginia’s trails and twisty mountain roads. For a local rider who built my riding skills in these hills, it was a joy to see how good The Potential Inside made this area look on the big screen.
The film has a strong faith-based message, and is a Christian film as much as it is a mountain bike film. Director Scotty Curlee, who also wrote the script and stars in the film, does a good job of showing (not telling), and the serious messages conveyed in the movie are not meted out with a heavy hand. I’d summarize it as being a movie about the challenges and ups and downs of both cycling and life, and how we can overcome.
Most who have spent a significant time aboard bikes know that there is a spiritual component to our pursuit – it’s one of the elements that warrant our obsession. The lessons learned striving for hard-to-achieve goals, suffering setbacks and overcoming trials mirror life and our spiritual journeys.
The Potential Inside is also a cycling film, and features mountain and road riding, with extensive race scenes and in-depth physical performance testing with Hunter Allen.
The dynamic between Jake (Michael Cuddire), who is not young although he is a racing rookie, and Chris (Scotty Curlee), the veteran who is at a loss in how to handle a deep personal loss, is what makes this film standout. As Chris shares from his expertise to help Jake realize his full potential as a mountain bike racer, Jake is able to help Chris come to terms with his deep loss and move forward with his life. Jake’s age – which almost made Chris refuse to coach him – is what makes him believable as someone who has experienced and overcome tragedy in his own life. The dynamic is a well-executed example of Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
I enjoyed watching The Potential Inside. While some of my enjoyment stemmed from seeing someone from my earliest days of mountain biking succeed in achieving their vision (Scotty Curlee was instrumental in LU’s mountain bike club when I attended), and from seeing the trails I know and love on the big screen, I also enjoyed The Potential Inside for its quality storytelling, production and mountain bike scenes. I’ll be picking up several copies of the film for those on my gift list when it goes on sale on April 19, 2011.
© 2011 Big Mountain Riding