Race the Sun (1996) Poster


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Another chance to see Halle Berry
lastliberal14 April 2007
OK, not the greatest movie in the world, and the outcome is fairly predictable, but it was another opportunity to see Halle Berry, and I cannot pass that up. Besides that, I am trying to get my teaching certificate, so I watch teacher movies, no matter how silly.

I understand that it is also based upon a true story.

In addition, it also featured Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Tru Calling), Casey Affleck (brother of Ben), and James Belushi.

It wasn't memorable, but it was cute and not a total waste of time. Also, it was written by Barry Morrow, a member of the Association of Retarded Citizens, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Austism Society of America - a lifelong advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. That puts him solidly in my camp as I am also a member of NASW and work with the developmentally disabled. Morrow won an Oscar for writing Rain Man.
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Very entertaining and funny
israelyang30 June 2003
The funnest line in the movie I think is when Steve Zahn says There is a God, then... Well to me it's not really predictable and many times I thought that's yes something new happens, so it never ran out of surprise. I had fun watching it. And my, Gilbert's character is such a whooly-wooly.(meaning, herlarious)
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Nice Little Film
aimless-4621 May 2007
For curious movie buffs, "Race the Sun" is a blend of "Breaking Away", "Walkabout", and "Summer School"; making it quite unique and considerably better than its rating. It's neither ambitious nor technically brilliant; in fact the cinematography somehow manages to NOT capture the inherent scenic beauty of a series of Hawaiian and Australian locations. But the casting and directing are solid and the story has so much charm that you don't mind it being corny and predictable.

Halle Berry and James Belushi play teachers at a Hawaiian technical high school who reluctantly sponsor a team of students building a solar-powered car. "Race the Sun" was inspired by a group of Hawaiian students who actually entered the World Solar Challenge in 1980. The film would have been better if the cartoonish corporate villain had been replaced by some actual scientific explanations and a bit of background on the race itself. Speaking of cartoons, the solar cars look like something out of "Wacky Races" but there is no sign of Penelope Pitstop in this entertaining race.

The school is in Hawaii, which makes for some interesting cultural details (as does the race's Austrialian setting), but for viewer identification purposes the settings could be anywhere.

Thankfully the film avoids a couple of obvious traps. Berry and Belushi end up liking and respecting each other but there are no obligatory romantic sparks between them. Likewise for Casey Affleck and Elisha Dushku-who plays his step-sister.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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Fine, for what it is
Boyo-226 February 2001
The theme for this movie is as old as the sun itself, but that does not prevent the viewer from caring about the outcome. The movie is harmless (think "Rocky" on wheels) and has a great cast, all of whom give it their all.

I wouldn't run out and buy a copy but you get to see some great young actors and some nice Australian scenery.
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Would have liked it better without the added predictable formula add-ins.
rogerlovlie17 August 2012
Would have liked it better without the added predictable formula add-ins. Loosely based on the Konawaena high school team. In 1989, the High School formed a team of students, faculty and community advisers. Using a grant from the State of Hawaii, the team built a final vehicle that won a three and a half day state race against five other schools. As a result of the victory, the State of Hawaii funded the team for the 1990 World Solar Challenge, a 2000 mile race from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia. The team placed 18th overall winning the World Champion high school division. The first high school to officially finish the World Solar Challenge. I give it a 5 only because they added enough non-factual elements to make many viewers unaware of the true story behind it.
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Meh, delivers expectations...
insomniac_rod25 November 2007
What else could you expect about a movie with such a silly plot like this?. Well the truth is that you can expect light entertainment filled with predictable situations, not-so likable characters (except Halle Berry as the charming teacher, and the sexy Eliza Dushku), and silly situations.

Keep in mind that this movie was made for children so it's only directed for a younger audience.

I caught this one out some years ago on cable and I had mindless fun. I didn't expect much as it aired at morning so nothing else was available. Still, it isn't that bad. Watch it if you like Halle Berry or Eliza Dushku or if you want some silly entertainment.
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Nice - if that's a compliment
bob the moo1 August 2001
I only watched this cause I noticed Halle Berry in it. However it was a "nice " film, with a "nice" story and a "nice" moral....it's just so nice! It's not great and it's all been done before but it's reasonably enjoyable while it's on. You'll forget it after an hour though
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Not so much Halle's movie
Musiq_One19 April 2004
The opening begins with Halle as Sandra Beecher fleeing from a broken marriage and setting up new in a working class section of Hawaii.

The English teacher takes a job as a Science teacher and at this point I'm thinking "Dangerous Minds: Hawaiian Style." The classroom is similar a working class neighbourhood, run down school and disruptive kids. But Ms Beecher, who takes the lead in the first quarter of the movie tries to inspire the kids and butts heads with James Belushi's Frank Machi. The experienced engineering teacher.

The rest of the movie really belongs to the kids. After a clash between a rich school at a science fair Ms Beecher makes the kids go to they are inspired to build a solar power car to race in and earn their school a better rep. Leading this pack is outcasted, because he's white, ambitious Daniel Webster superbly played by Casey Affleck and the heartwarming, Gilbert a standout character played by J. Moki Cho (who unfortunatley does not have much of a filmography at this point). Roped in is the troubled sister of Daniel, Cindy with a solid peformance by Eliza Dushku and a whole host of other characters each one memorable and stand out. Together they build their hopes, learn from each other and not too sound cheesy but they really do race the sun.

This would have been a great family film had it not been for the language. But if that doesn't put you off then I would suggest watching it with them. It really is a a good solid movie. I watched it over a week ago at 3am because i couldn't sleep but it still has stuck with me.
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A sweet little flick
dushkufan8 February 2003
I thought that Race the Sun was a cute little movie; ironically I've read on-line that it's how poor Eliza Dushku became addicted to cigarettes at age 15! Anyways, the Australian outback is portrayed well (duh,' twas filmed in Sydney I also heard!) Race the Sun is a timeless family movie; based loosley around the true story of a group of under-achieving haawian school-kids who set out to win a solar car race in Australia
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Better than I expected
skeetsmiller2 July 2001
I do have to admit that the only reason I rented Race the Sun was because Sara Tanaka( Margaret Yang from "Rushmore")was in it. Rushmore is one of my favorite movies, but I especially think that Sara Tanaka was good in it. Well anyway, back to the review, I heard quite a lot of negative things about the movies, but I decided to check it out anyway. I was quite surprised. The story about a group of poor students from Hawaii competing in a solar-car race in Australia was well-acted, interesting, and fun. I was kind of disappointed that Sara Tanaka wasn't given enough screentime, but it was still quite an entertaining movie, and Sara Tanaka gave another good performance.
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