Friday, December 26, 2008

World's Fastest Indian

Just watched this movie again - last saw it at the cinema when it was first released.
It disappoints. I can't say I enjoyed it much the first time round, but a second viewing only goes to prove that my first instincts were right. The thing is fairly lifeless: there's only one character in it and he's irritating; there's no action, no forward movement apart from the expected beating of the world record at the end - and we know how that's going to come out - and the American characters in the Bonneville sequence are nothing more than cyphers, feeding Anthony Hopkins a bunch of lines so he can explain for the dumbbells in the audience what's going on.
Everyone's too nice. Apart from a couple of slightly gruff coppers, and two officials who are turned from their anti-Burt Munro stance within a scene, everyone else seems to take Munro as he is and find him delightful.
Hopkins works hard to produce a credible Invercargill accent, he works hard to make Burt interesting, and to keep the thing moving, but he's fighting an uphill battle. The script is as dull as ditchwater, and the frequent repetition of lines because Munro is supposed to be slightly deaf doesn't work for the audience. You just wish they'd get on and say something interesting.
Munro must have been a true eccentric, a man driven by a certain passion. That's evident enough, and yet somehow we don't get enthused by his passion. And he's given some of the most trite dialogue yet to grace a movie, stuff that's intended to be philosophical but sounds more like the sort of thing the old neighbour over the road spouts year in and year out and which never enlightened you much in the first place.
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