Sunday, August 28, 2011

Movie Sunday: Worlds Fastest Indian

Image from here

This funky little kiwi treat is a biographical story about Burt Munro, a New Zealander who was eccentric fifty years ago, and today would probably have a diagnosis and a prescription for Zoloft. Munro bought an Indian motorcycle as a young man and spent the rest of his life obsessed with trying to make it go faster. Seemingly oblivious to the wild inappropriateness of an elderly man trying to drive 200 miles per hour -- in street clothes -- on a 30 year old motorcycle, he did all he could on the beach at home and then set off for the Bonneville salt flats.

Condensing and simplifying Munro's story for the movie makes it palatable for a broader audience, if a little predictable. Anthony Hopkins does a creditable job in the lead, but the true star of this DVD is a short documentary featuring the real Burt Munro. As talented as he is, I don't think Hopkins -- or anyone with "Sir" in front of their name -- can really communicate the simple, single-minded obsession with metal and speed that seems to make up about 95% of Munro's personality. If the smell of oily metal or driving too fast to believe you are still alive makes up some part of your past, this story will likely resonate with you.

Don't expect big plot twists or Oscar-winning performances, but if you have a weakness for two-wheeled speed or welding, you might want to give World's Fastest Indian a go.


  1. my daughter has been harassing me for a couple years to see this film - ever since i bought my old beater honda motorcycle. suspect i should definitely give it a look... not that i'm obsessive or anything.

  2. This was a sweet little movie, I agree...

  3. I saw this movie also and quite liked it. I used to live rather close to the Bonneville Salt Flats when I lived in Utah.
    Kinda of an interesting place for sure.

    I'm glad you stopped by my blog to say hello