The World’s Fastest Indian
Rated PG-13; Directed by Roger Donaldson; Starring Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Cauffiel, Aaron Murphy, Christopher Lawford, Saginaw Grant
“The World’s Fastest Indian” is a sweet-hearted film about somebody I had never heard of; Burt Munro. After watching Burt, a New Zealander who attempted to win the speed record on his old motorcycle, the 1920 Indian Scout, I wanted to know more about the real person. As a character in a film, you can’t help but like the man. It sure doesn’t hurt that Anthony Hopkins plays Burt.
The film tells the story about Burt’s adventures in his drive to make it to the Bonneville, Utah salt flats where speed records are attempted. The thing is, Burt is just some old guy with a heart condition who has one old motorcycle that he has tinkered with most of his life. Burt has only one dream – to take his Indian to Bonneville and see how fast she can go.
An endearing story that sometimes meanders, it’s hard not to like it. Burt faces obstacle after obstacle and manages to keep going; He’s helped along the way by various friendly characters. Throughout, the movie belongs to Hopkins. He manages to become this sweetly optimistic man who can befriend anyone. Anthony Hopkins so often plays the serious and staid upper class type that you can tell that he’s enjoying playing someone who is wound a little less tightly. He plays unflappable Burt with a twinkle in his eye, yet can bring tears to our eyes as he first sees Bonneville. It’s a wonderful performance.
The film lags here and there, but overall, it’s a pleasant experience. Sweet, funny, and not too hokey in its inspirational way, it’s a movie worth seeing.