The World's Fastest Indian

Even a nice chianti couldn't help you wash down this lump of tear-jerking twaddle. Thank the gods that Anthony Hopkins is around to play Burt Munro, a New Zealander in his seventies who dreams of racing his 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. Naturally, his dream comes true, or there wouldn't be a movie. But did the movie, which features an exciting climactic race in which Burt sets a world record, have to include so many numbing and heartwarming encounters between Burt (he died in 1978) and a transvestite motel clerk (Chris Williams), Burt and a randy widow (Diane Ladd), Burt and -- oh, I can't go on. Writer-director Roger Donaldson (The Bounty) can't seem to resist the obvious. Luckily, Hopkins can. He finds the humor and grit in this deaf geezer who overcomes his bad ticker and swollen prostate to beat the odds.

From The Archives Issue 993: February 9, 2006