“The Cycle” focuses on a single incident in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where a young girl leaves her bicycle out on the street and it is almost immediately stolen. The neighborhood then clashes over what to do, as the middle-class and lower class inhabitants come head-to-head. Can the neighborhood settle things before the cops do and get the bike back? Will the thief do the right thing, or risk being just another jail statistic?
There is nothing really wrong with Roy Clovis’s “The Cycle.” The story is a simple one, based on the idea of a community coming together over a small event, despite the community being fractured between what it was and what it is becoming. The acting is up to the task, with no one standing out as bad or great. The film looks really good, so… why am I having such a hard time figuring out my end opinion of it?
Honestly, if there was a checklist of what makes a good film, this would hit the majority of the points but, for me, I left it feeling very “eh.” While I’ve never lived in Bed-Stuy, I have lived in various cities around the world and… it doesn’t matter where you are, this story could happen. Hell, my wife had her scooter stolen in New Zealand because we left it in the driveway in clear sight of the road, and that’s the last place I would expect a crime like that to happen (everyone seemed too laid back to do anything criminal). Maybe that’s my issue, because I didn’t connect with the movie so much as a community grappling with its identity as I did a young girl not listening to her family and doing something stupid like leaving a really nice bike out on the sidewalk without any sort of chain or other form of protection. Because, again, it didn’t need to be Bed-Stuy. You do that in any city, and there’s a real good chance your bike will not be waiting for you when you come out.