|Index||4 reviews in total|
This story about former NASCAR driver Joe Joe Quilico and his quest of
making it big in European Grand Prix and Le Mans racing, and pursue a
love life at the same time ought to evoke comparisons to two epic
racing movies, Grand Prix and Le Mans. One good thing is the footage of
exciting racing, which ought to please many fans of that era's Formula
One and sports car prototype racing. It's interesting that we have a
NASCAR driver making the switch to F1 (nowadays, it's the other way
around-- Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Speed come to mind), and Fabian
does a great job in his role as an American racer adjusting to life on
the European racing circuit.
Now for the dislike. The editing! The Wild Racers makes use of too many quick cuts and the film's flow is generally "jerky" and the scenes cut too quickly into the next; it is not smooth at all, making it hard to follow the story at times. Compared to its contemporaries, Le Mans and Grand Prix-- the editing in those movies was much more tastefully done and served better in conveying a sense of emotion, or action, where it was needed. I never felt that I lost the storyline in those movies.
I agree with the other review that this story written by Max House is excellent. The storyline is great, no doubt-- but the execution simply didn't convey that, in my opinion. I still enjoyed the racing sequences, though. The Wild Racers could, and should, have been up there as one of the great racing movies of all time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this movie when I was eleven years old. I was watching TV
hoping to find some escape from the grief of losing a relative, and on
that level it delivered adequately. But beyond that it meant nothing,
because ultimately it's not about anything.
There are two characters in this movie: Fabian's JoeJoe and the scenery of Western Europe. Yes, there are more cast members but they are only scenery to JoeJoe. Dancers to dance with, women to bed with, other drivers to run against, team coaches to argue with and so on...but none of these are really characters anywhere near JoeJoe's level. Still, he's pretty shallow and superficial, and he even admits it. In the Madrid Bullfight arena/Jarama racetrack sequence, he calls the bull "dumb" but ultimately invites the audience to compare JoeJoe's pursuit of the Checkered Flag to the bull's pursuit of the Matador's cape. Is JoeJoe's girlfriend dumb for not making the comparison herself, or wise for making the comparison internally but not telling JoeJoe what she thinks?
I wonder if Robert Redford drew from this or likable movies when he made DOWNHILL RACER years later.
Visually, this is fabulous stuff. The race scenes are genuinely well cut and the travelogue scenes of European cities and landscapes are well worth the effort. But unlike Steve McQueen's LE MANS four years later, or Paul Newman's WINNING two years after this movie, none of this visual art is thrown in service of a plot line. This movie is a traffic circle; it ends how it begins. Neither JoeJoe nor anything else really changes that we don't expect.
The music is interesting stuff, a mix of California surf rock and Continental go-go pop for the incidentals, with some French-language pop love songs thrown in for make-out ambiance. Modern audiences would probably find the latter stuff tiresome, but don't worry about it; the two paradigms shift snappily from one to the other and back.
It's not said which racing circuit the filmmakers used for this feature, but a little research let me determine that this was Formula 2, which later became Formula 3000 and is to F1 what IndyLights is to IRL and the Nationwide Grand Nationals is to NASCAR. It looks like Fabian did his own driving in some of the scenes and I didn't notice any process shots like were common at that time. The car he has on the track is a Brabham with a Cosworth engine; it belonged to a real F2 team that won five Championship season races that year.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For a low budget imitation of a great classic film, this movie has a
certain visual beauty that hints as the physical loveliness of the
Formal 1 racing circuit. The women wear exquisite outfits, the montages
work as travel log. Fabian looks like a classic Grand Prix driver from
the time. Missy Farmer is lovely looking as is Talia Shire.
What I saw was dubbed it seems. The dialogue sounds unreal. The music seems to be an imitation of French romantic films.
The film does not work. The story does not engage me. I do not care about the narrative and somehow the montage lacks crispness and cohesion. Still, it almost works in a way. It almost seem an undertone or overtone to "Grand Prix" This is like a memory of a dream and that is a compliment.
This movie will BLOW YOUR MIND! I cant believe this movie is seen by
very few people it is easily one of the best i have seen in my
lifetime. The plot is full of heartwarming love and fast action. The
only thing that triumphs the directing is the WRITING! Max House is a
great writer and it is very sad that this is his only credit, might as
well quit when your at the top i guess. I really wish to see more of
Max House I hope he is still doing well and writing lot's! I will keep
this review short and brief but i can't say it enough SEE THIS
MASTERPIECE PLEASE AND SPREAD THE WORD.
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