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The World's Fastest Indian
DVD disk
Jun 30, 2006 By: Quigles
The World's Fastest Indian order
Director:
Roger Donaldson

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins
Saginaw Grant
Diane Ladd

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
60 year-old New Zealander Burt Munro travels to America with his 1920 Indian motorcycle in an attempt to beat the land speed record during Speed Week in Utah.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Firstly, I'd like to dismiss the question I know you all were wondering: Is or isn't this film a culturally confused version of the comic book, The Flash? Rather disappointingly, no, it isn't. Fortunately though, it's still a damn good movie. It's not exactly complex in its story (yet another one of those "Based on a True Story" breeds), and some of the pacing seems a little off (with a significant amount of lagging near the middle), but that isn't nearly enough to quell the greatness delivered by Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the movie's quirky characters.

While it would at first not seem like it, this picture really is a road movie. It takes a good 90 minutes for Hopkins' character to even make it to his desired destination, but within that time period, the movie does an excellent job of making you completely attached to this interestingly oddball human being. It was also rather captivating to watch the character find ways to overcome the many problems that he encountered on his trip. This movie is all about the journey, although the destination is just as amazing. By the time the big finale took place, I was so engrossed in the production that not even Jessica Alba's naked body could take my eyes off the screen (and in the unlikely case that that might actually happen, I'd just like to thank God for peripheral vision).

Anthony Hopkins is this movie - without him, it just wouldn't be the same. His character is mischievous, fun, endearing, amusing and, well, all sorts of other great characteristics. Watching him travel from his cozy little hometown in New Zealand to this strange and unfamiliar world - America (and in particular, Hollywood) - was very compelling, and at times a little disheartening (as when he gets conned out of money by a seemingly nice "flower lady"). I cared for this person, and wanted to see him succeed. And to say he did succeed is obvious (they don't make "true story" movies so you can see the person fail), but that didn't stop me from being on the edge of my seat with excitement when the risk of defeat was present. When the credits rolled, I had a big, stupid grin on my face, and with a "feel-good" movie, that's all I really ask for.
THE EXTRAS
There isn't a huge selection of extras, but in this case, that's not a bad thing at all. Everything that's here is of very high quality, and is definitely worth watching. I got all I could ask for with these special features.

Audio Commentary (with writer-director Roger Donaldson): A great audio track which explores various aspects of the production, and even more interestingly, Burt Munro himself. You can really sense Donaldson's investment into this movie, and I liked that a lot. Check it out.

Making of The World's Fastest Indian (45:23): This lengthy making-of featurette gives insight on everything from the movie's real-life story to the director's 25-year struggle to get the film made. Definitely worth watching.

Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed (27:28): An extremely interesting extra that shows the real-life Burt Munro, as well as his friends and family. This mini-documentary compliments the movie perfectly - make sure not to miss it.

Southland: Burt's Hometown of Invercargill (2:55): A neat extra that, truthfully, is nothing more than an advertisement for the cozy little town from New Zealand that was shown in the film.

Also included on this disc are 4 Deleted Scenes (4:06).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I feel like I've seen this type of movie so many times before, but the difference here is that movie doesn't falter at all (at least not in any ways that really bothered me). Even the most well-made heartfelt and uplifting "true story" movies tend to get a little tiresome after a while, whereas this one stays genuinely amusing and entertaining to watch all the way through... especially with Hopkin's wonderful performance following every step of the way. Just thinking about this movie is making me smile, and that's the type of thing that shows you when you really have a winner.
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