Born to Race
2011, Drama/Action, 1h 39m0 Reviews 250+ Ratings
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Mar 21, 2014I only found out about this film after a fellow reviewer reviewed it. Did this even get a cinematic release? anyway I liked the poster and it seemed to centre around import racers so that's me in. Yep as you may have guessed after what I just typed, I'm a Jap car fan, so be weary that I will most definitely be biased in my review of the automobiles on display here (broad grin). OK so the plot...well lets just skip this shall we, I think we all know very well this type of film is not gonna have a deep plot. No one goes to see a film about boy racers expecting a solid story line, they go to see sweet super saloons melting tarmac. But if you really must know, a young tearaway teen who just happens to own a super turbo charged Subaru Impreza WRX STi, goes to live with his divorced dad because his mum can't handle his dangerous driving antics. He must content with a new school, new bullies, new temptations and his poor relationship with his father. So naturally he ends up getting into more trouble racing and causing much friction, but at the end of the day he overcomes all adversities with an all round happy ending. Yep its the standard 'Karate Kid' plot with cars. OK I won't linger on the story much but the one thing that always makes me laugh with these car racer flicks is the fact the characters have easy access to these super cars. In the Fast n Furious franchise there is literately a never ending stream of them, here the main character is 17 years old and still goes to school!. How the hell can he afford to run a Subaru with no job??. The fact he's a whiz kid with mechanics helps of course because he can mod his own car but he still needs money to pay for equipment and parts. The other thing that kinda surprised me was the fact his high school has a high performance car modification class? and a fully equipped garage to host it? is this an American thing?. Oh and this class encourages pupils to take part in a highly dangerous drag racing competition?...wut?! do they need permission slips from their parents for this death ride?. This leads me to the fact that the main character (a really sulky po-faced ugly little creep) is trying to get his life on track and stay away from dangerous driving. His father, mother and teachers are trying to help him, yet one teacher wants him to race in this competition. Doesn't that present a conflict of interests? surely getting the kid involved in a drag race competition will surely get him more involved in street racing or taking risks, the temptation will be high no?. Moving on...the cars, the competition, the street racing...it does the job well. Yes believe it or not this film is solid in terms of actual racing just like the first and third Fast n Furious films. The visuals aren't quite as slick as said franchise, you can tell the cars aren't going at genuine speeds in some sequences and the actors aren't really driving. But the cars on show are lovely and they do get shown off well. The finale competition is also quite well done, again expect the typical 'Karate Kid' scenario I'm afraid, no surprises here, you know who's gonna win. That aside the cars get good cam time and you get a really nice range of models. The film is basically import vs American muscle which I find amusing really. The race commentator refers to the Subaru as 'the little Subaru', just like they referred to the VW Beetle in the Herbie franchise, because its the underdog of the competition. Dear oh dear they have no clue. Half of the American cars on show are old battle-axes in my opinion, they look like they just rolled off the set of Happy Days. Most of these cars look like bricks and probably handle like it too, all show and no go, noise before power, in my humble opinion any properly modded 370Z, Skyline or Evo would kill all of them quite easily...let alone the Subaru. There's even one race where the young protagonist must race a flippin' pickup truck! looks like some hick hay bale carrier, laughable. So basically if you like fast cars, slutty bitchy cheerleader types, a good stereotypical asshole bully and a good stereotypical brooding hero...or if you just wanna see fast cars, then you will like this. I think its holds its own against the Fast n Furious brand because its more grounded and a little more believable, kinda. 'FnF' has lost its way recently and become a comicbook superhero flick in my eyes, its no longer about the cars. Yes this story is unbelievably predictable, unbelievably cliched and generally piss poor, but it does what it sets out to do which is provide good racing action with a nice explosive final crash stunt at the end. No big stars and not many big flashy show off stunts or effects, its basic racing and it works pretty well.Phil H Super Reviewer
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