Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

Watch Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

"Lyle Swann is a champion off-road racer. But to the people of 1877, he's something very, very different..."
  • PG
  • 1983
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 5.4  (2,469)

In 1982's Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, we follow the story of Lyle Swann, a motocross racer who accidentally time travels from 1982 to 1877 while on a desert race in California. Eager to return to his own time, Swann must navigate through the Wild West, encountering bandits and sheriffs alike, while also befriending a tribe of Native Americans.

Starring Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, the film offers a unique blend of science fiction and Western genres. Ward's portrayal of Swann is both endearing and humorous, with his fish-out-of-water antics leading to some of the film's most entertaining moments. Meanwhile, Belinda Bauer plays Claire, Swann's contemporary girlfriend who becomes involved in his time-traveling ordeal. While her character doesn't get as much screen time as one might hope, Bauer brings a spunky energy to Claire that makes her a memorable presence.

Peter Coyote plays Porter Reese, the enigmatic inventor of the time traveling motorcycle that inadvertently sends Swann to the past. Coyote brings a gravitas to his role as Reese, with his mysterious persona adding an air of intrigue to the story. However, Reese's motivations are never made entirely clear, leaving the audience to wonder about his true intentions.

The film's setting in California's desert landscape adds to the movie's unique vibe. While it's not uncommon for Westerns to take place in such settings, the juxtaposition of the time-traveling motorcycle against the dusty, rugged terrain creates a memorable visual experience. The film's action scenes, particularly those featuring Swann's motocross skills, are also a highlight, with the fast-paced racing providing a thrilling energy to the proceedings.

One of the most memorable aspects of Timerider is its portrayal of the Native American characters. While Hollywood has a fraught history of mistreating this demographic in film, Timerider takes a more respectful approach, depicting the Native Americans as complex characters with their own motivations and alliances. While it's not a perfect representation, it's a refreshing change from the one-dimensional depictions that were more prevalent at the time.

The film's ending is bittersweet, with various characters meeting their fates in unexpected ways. Swann's journey back to the present is both exhilarating and heart-wrenching, with the audience unsure of what the outcome will be until the final moments. Without giving too much away, Timerider's ending leaves the audience with a lot to ponder, making it a movie that lingers in the mind long after the credits have finished rolling.

Overall, Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann is a unique and entertaining film that stands out in the pantheon of '80s science fiction. With its blend of genres, memorable characters, and impressive action scenes, it's a movie that manages to surprise and delight at every turn. While it's not a perfect film, it's certainly a memorable one, and one that fans of science fiction, Westerns, and action movies will enjoy.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (2,469)