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The Film


View Count: 1
Last Viewed:2006.06.14
First/Last Reviewed:2006.06.17/2006.06.19

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Sometimes, all you need a well done feel-good movie , even if it is done without great surprises. The story of the eccentric man overcoming the odds and winning everybody's hearts at the end has been done countless times. It's often dull, but here, there is something that makes this film fun and enjoyable in spite of its predictable outcome and clockwork confection.

New Zealander Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) is an old man with a heart condition and a dream: to set the record for land speed in his rinkydink-looking 1920 Indian motorcycle which he has lovingly rebuilt pretty much from the ground up over several decades. He sets out for America to join Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats contest in 1967 where he wins the grand prize and sets a record that still stands today.

Unsurprisingly, Anthony Hopkins has a ball throughout the film. He is a joy to watch and one can see he really invested himself into that role. He is tender, fun, strong, daring and every bit as eccentric as the real man was supposed to be. The film is classically constructed for the genre, with a few setbacks here and there and the final grand victory at the end. The supporting cast is very good. The art direction is superb, recreating the feel of 60's America well, and all those strange vehicles all constructed for speed.

This is a standard feel-good movie, with a predictable unfolding, but it's so well done that it turns out to be a real pleaser. The film suffered from terrible marketing and barely managed $5.1M at the US box office, but you don't have to ignore it on DVD. Rent it out and have a great family afternoon. The PG-13 rating is really overdone and most mature 6 year old will be able to really enjoy this film if they can sit through its 127 minutes.

- Laurent Hasson