It's quite obvious I'm far from a motor enthusiast, least of all here but the examples I've touched upon are mighty good films.
I've heard mention of this film for quite some years now and after finally seeing it I can safely say I'm very happy I saw it. The film centers on Burt Munro who travels from New Zealand to Utah to have his bike timed on the salt flats with the aspiration to go 200 mph as we follow his journey and trials getting there, it's a simple story yet endearing and has it's charm. I actually quite like how you can see three sections of the film as different genres in and of themselves. The first part kinda gave me Up vibes with eccentric old man having a friendship with a young boy as he starts taking the steps to make his big dream come true, then when he hits the States it becomes a road trip movie with Burt making many friends along the way cause he's just that swell of a guy, and the final third when he reaches the event it turns to a do or die final push like any true sports movie with thankfully no antagonist to be found. It's a good story and nearly the entire film hinges on the performance of our lead, and Anthony Hopkins does give it his all. He really fits the persona of Burt, very nice and laidback, affable with strangers, and gives some understated yet nevertheless good advice and insights to being older. The whole supporting cast is great, and while you only spend a bit of time with each you like every one of them. All the location shooting is great, and I of course always give praise to New Zealand even if it's more suburban scenery like in this film it just looks like a grand place to live, but the shooting around Los Angeles and along the way to Utah is shot really nice but the undisputed best shot is when he finally gets to the salt flats and the camera really shows off the expanse of the scenery. And you get a healthy dose of motorcycling, and it does build up quite nicely to the final run which to my knowledge has still to this day, 54 years later hasn't been beaten which is pretty remarkable. It's a simple, quaint, yet really charming and just plain nice film that doesn't waste any time and gives you something worth watching. 4 stars, 8/10, hello September and the wait has begun.