It sounded like a good idea and I was appealed by the images on the poster, but as it turns out the good idea was a little lackluster.
The set of the movie tells me that somewhere out there exist an actual contest in which people with cool vans meet to show them off, but I do feel the movie’s portrait of this does not fully comply. The contest seems to be all about how pretty the van in possibly inside and out, but the plot of the movie is about a mechanic who makes the prettiest van only to get it demolished and has to replace it with a high tech solar powered van of the future (In that movie’s future we have way better vans). It’s a cool looking van, but it’s real bread and butter is it’s performance, yet noting about the movie tells me that’s what the contest is about. the movie does a bad job of really explaining what the contest is about.
Scratch that. the contest is all about young kids getting together, smoking pot, drinking beer spilling cold buckets of water on girls with tight white Ts, and just having a good old time. All of this was choppily intercut with the two weak plots of a road trip to get the SuperVan to the contest and the Romeo and Juliet style romance between the driver of the van, the mecinaic and a woman he’s picks up who happens to be the daughter of the rich dude who sponsored the contest. A stranger plot is that technically the SuperVan that looks cool in a diffrent way than all the other vans and performs on a diffrent level than those vans was built by a dude who works for the company sponsoring the contest which should automatically disqualify it but because it’s the protagonist whose trying to sneak that fact past the contest rules, it’s ok for him to cheat.
I’m nitpicking the whole thing here. It’s a good movie if you are into PG-13 movies about young adults drinking, smoking and fucking. I knew going into this that I would not get the hard R I would expect from a 1977 picture like this, but after seeing it, I needed it. Then again, the film also lacks in the van contest. The footage does nothing to show you how cool the paintings on the side of the vans are or even how cool the inside ot the vans are, and it does not help that the SuperVan itself was not that impressive for me. Maybe because by 2020 standards there is nothing, absoleutely nothing, super about that van.
Not a bad movie just not really worth it.