The Bicycle

In this loose remake of Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief (1948), a teacher (Cinque Northern) helps his future stepdaughter (ten-year-old Stormi Smith) look for her bike after it’s stolen by a bully. Their search leads them to the edges of their Queens neighborhood, testing their dysfunctional relationship along the way; the narrowly constrained plot and setting kept reminding me of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). Writer-director James Richards retains the working-class sympathies and parent-child dynamic of the De Sica original, but his story devolves into a clichéd and predictable after-school special about children coping with divorce.