Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The World's Fastest Indian

The World's Fastest Indian (Director: Roger Donaldson)

Donaldson's most recognizable work is Species, for all the, um...I guess...wrong...reasons. Oh, what am I saying? Thanks to Species, we got to see a naked chick mate with and kill people for 2 hours and that kicked ass! Oh no, wait, it didn't. I'm so conflicted. His critical darling is Thirteen Days, the movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Other movies include Dante's Peak, the remake to The Getaway, and Cocktail, among others. His last movie was the Pacino/Farrell flick The Recruit.

Quietly, Anthony Hopkins appeared in two movies last year...and no one noticed. Well, you know what I mean. When Proof came out, all I heard was Gwyneth Paltrow was getting some early Oscar consideration--while Hopkins was doing some really good work of his own. And here, in his very own starring vehicle, he's such fun to watch, and I heard some murmurs about maybe a nomination or something, but nothing serious. Well, his performance is better than this year's supporting actor winner George Clooney's. How about that?

This is a perfect film for 2005, which was heavy with alternative sports all year. This one focuses on New Zealand's Burt Munro (Hopkins), who built a 1920 Indian motorcycle in order to break a land speed record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. His journey, of course, was met with a number of obstacles--building the bike, saving money to go to America, being naive about American customs, and when finally getting there, not realizing he had to register before entering the speed trials. It's a road movie without the tag-along annoying buddy.

It's a fun movie for many reasons. Hopkins's performance and his character are immensely likeable. And when the movie focuses on the speed of the Indian, it's quite a rush. Just enjoyable all around, not much bad to say about it. Very light entertainment, fun, and so on.


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