DIRECTOR: Roger Donaldson
I watched this film and had high expectations. In 2005 the film came out and New Zealand the country where Burt Munro originates, the media and critics hyped this film as a masterpiece of NZ ingenuity and kiwiana.
The film begins in Invercargill, New Zealand where Burt Munro (Hopkins) is a sixty year old on a mission. That mission is to do up his Indian motorbike. He’s known in the neighbourhood as the guy that wakes neighbours up at 6am because he’s in the garage working mechanics.
Roger Donaldson as director tries his hardest to make the film rise to a level where the audience wants to cheer on Burt Munro as he hits the walls he needs to jump over. The film follows Munro do his bike up, travel to Utah to race the bike but gets shot down by not registering or needing help in other areas but the loner Munro doesn’t have the networks or friends to empathise with his scenario.
Race Mechanic: I said, what happened to the tread?
Burt Munro: Well, I cut it off. That’s what happened to the tread, I cut it off with a carving knife, otherwise it won’t be a high-speed tyre, would it?
There’s a certain amount of watchable humour whether it’s Hopkins himself portraying Munro or scenarios of the race world that sets him back.
The film does not lift, it is stuck in third gear and when you want an ultimatum or resolution, we see it coming but not soon enough. The film treads lightly but is still respectable.
Supporting characters do a decent job in helping Munro with the racing world as the NZ man wants to break a world record.
Munro must have been a character to know in his time and Hopkins plays him well. You get the feeling that it was an easy performance for Hopkins.
Munro’s story teaches one that individualism and ingenuity will take you places but even more profound a film script shows you that if its flat then the production and actors can rise up to help an average film.
Anthony Hopkins as Burt Munro
Christopher Lawford as Jim Moffet
Dianne Ladd as Ada