While it's not a bad film it is rather uninspired and boring.
The story is of the Madison Indiana boat racing team. Their boat, The Miss Madison is the laughing stock of the hydroplane racing world, but the guys who work on it put more effort into their boat than anyone else. Madison is suddenly given the chance to host the prestigious Gold Cup championship. The leader of The Miss Madison team, Jim McCormick, accepts. They must raise 50,000 dollars to host the event. Also, The Miss Madison is without a driver. Jim used to drive hydroplanes, until an accident forced him from the game. Now it is up to him the race for the team, and the town.
Jim Caviezel stars as Jim McCormick. The movie was shot before the Passion of the Christ, but released after. It was shelved from 2001 to 2005. It really is a shame that Passion of the Christ kind of torpedoed Caviezel's career for a few years. He is a exceptional actor, and it's good to see him getting more projects lined up lately. Bruce Dern plays Harry Volpi, an old time mechanic who helps Jim and the team. It is a decent performance, nothing really of note. Mary McCormack plays Jim's wife Bonnie. She is actually very good, and she has some chemistry with Caviezel. Jake Lloyd, aka little Anakin Skywalker, plays Jim's son Mike. Wow, is he a bad actor. Maybe if he acted in the silent movie days, when over-the-top expressions where required, he would be good.
Overall, it's all in the execution. The actual scenes of racing were well done. The acting was solid. But the story is completely formula. Still enjoyable.
"Were in it to win it. Just like everybody else." 7/10
Independent film about the small town of Madison, Indiana and it's obsession during hydroplaning season.
It's shot well and offers some fine actors like Jim Caviezel and Paul Dooley, but it manages to fall into the same old sports film routine. Given it is an indie, I would have hoped that it would have been a less Hollywoodish production.
I am from an Ohio River town in Indiana not far from Madison, and have been there many times. But I really haven?t watched the speed boat races much so don?t know about the details. I think a lot of the criticism is nit-picking though; they certainly got the major parts right at some trouble and expense. Beyond that, you might as well complain that Shakespeare didn?t get all the details of the Battle of Agincourt right in Henry V. A movie is a work of art, which is an abstraction from reality. That is the whole point. You can like it or not, but I loved it.
The casting people should be complimented for hiring some local talent. You won?t find ?Louisville? pronounced that way outside the area; you have to be born to it. And I heard a good Kentucky accent, not uncommon in Southern Indiana but seldom heard in the movies. And the cinematography was outstanding. The beauty of the river, with Madison nestled on the shore at the foot of the hills, was breathtaking. You can?t see it any other way.
I was graduating from university in 1971 when the movie was set, and recall that the economy was not the greatest. Maybe Madison was affected more than most at that time. But river traffic has boomed since, due mainly to exports of coal, grain, cement and other bulk cargo, for which water transport is by far the cheapest method. A real river is one that has barge traffic, as God intended.
Maybe it was just as well that this movie did not achieve a general release. I am not fond of the idea of people from other parts of the country descending on the Midwest. Let them live in their ignorance is my motto. But I will stop in to Madison again on my next trip home.
What other movie was made in Madison?
Answer: Some Came Running, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Frank hated the time spent in a small Ohio River town, but Dean Martin loved it, since he was from a similar river town, Steubenville Ohio.
Why was the Clifty Creek power plant, shown in the opening scene of the movie built?
Answer: To supply the large electrical power needs of the Atomic Energy Commission?s uranium enrichment plant in Portsmouth, Ohio. That is now closed, and so the power now goes for civilian use.
What species is being restored near Madison?
Answer: Bald eagles are nesting again in the cliffs above the river.
What are fiddlers?
What is a gar?
You will have to research those yourself.
If you do go to Madison, be sure to allow a couple of hours to visit the Lanier Mansion, and spend the rest of the day walking around the whole historic district. You won?t do better.