High Speed (2002)
For young Raf, who lives in a shabby suburb of London with his unemployed and permanently drunk father Mario, motorbike riding is everything. Raf uses every free minute he gets to tinker with his bike - a prototype he wants to win the world championship with one day! And Raf is quite convinced that he will. His best friend Ruben is crazy about bikes too, but he lacks Raf's obsession with them - possibly because fate seems to have been kinder to Ruben. He comes from a reasonably well-to-do background, and also has the prettiest girl in the gang as his girlfriend - Savannah, with whom Raf is secretly in love. While Mario does his best to get his son Raf to forget about bike riding and technical school so he can earn enough money for both of them with a full-time job, and even resorts to violence to get his own way, Ruben's father Tommy employs subtler means to turn his son into a respectable adult: he gives Ruben a smart sports car as a present. The attraction of speed on two wheels beats four, however. That same night Raf and Ruben race their bikes, and the risky venture is interrupted by the police. Raf is arrested, but Ruben bails him out - a last service as a friend, because it is now clear that the two young men are drifting apart. When Ruben accepts an office job, thereby betraying their joint dreams in Raf's eyes, the split is final. Mario has serious gambling debts, and one day he is brutally beaten up by a petty criminal named Morris. Raf sincerely loves his father, despite their conflicts, and wants to help him repay what he owes. Morris passes him on to the unscrupulous Silverstone, who runs the illegal racing scene, and he makes a deal with Raf: if he comes second in a forthcoming race then Silverstone's betting income will be secured and the father's debts will be forgotten about. Raf's bike is still unserviceable, and so he "borrows" Ruben's bike for the race without telling him. The racecourse is highly dangerous and a mass collision occurs. Raf is a really talented rider, however, and wins the race - whereupon Silverstone loses a great deal of money. And Silverstone is a powerful man! He not only has Raf beaten up but also forces him to steal cars for him. Raf has now ended up where he never wanted to be - right at the very bottom. Lukas, a formerly successful racer who now works as a talent scout for the renowned AXO team, was among the spectators at the illegal race. He doesn't know the name of the winner, however, only his bike. This leads Lukas to Ruben who, instead of making any effort to clear up the misunderstanding, grabs the unique opportunity. Without hesitation he accepts Lukas's offer to take part in the Axo training. Ruben performs excellently on the course and is selected for the next professional race. Yet Lukas still isn't all that satisfied with his choice. Ruben lacks the special combination that turns excellent riders into true champions: instinct, and the indomitable will to win at all costs. Meanwhile the attractive Savannah devotes her attention entirely to Ruben, expecting him to give her the sense of security her life has lacked until now. But then she finds out about the way he tricked Raf - and senses yet again just how attracted she is by Raf's wildness and temperament. She knows that Raf is ready to put his life at risk to beat Ruben, and that she cannot stop him: the two former friends have now become implacable rivals! Raf manages to win over the bike freak Stick and his gang. They build the prototype bike together and win "sponsors" in the neighborhood - and even Mario helps wherever he can. He's proud of his son, who now only has one objective: to enter the qualifiers for the professional race and to win them. This is not lost on Savannah, who is now trying to see as much of Raf as she can, and she starts getting very worried about him. She implores Ruben not to participate in the race - after all, he only got his place in it by means of a trick. But Ruben has scented blood now too, and all that concerns him now is: which of them is the better rider? Everything goes really well for Raf: despite all kinds of difficulties. he makes it through the time qualifiers. At this point Lukas realizes that Ruben tricked him. He goes to see Raf in the pits and is delighted by his powerful personality. Lukas offers Raf a job as a mechanic, but he proudly refuses, saying he is a rider and he intends to win! Silverstone is furious, however: he considers Raf as one of his own, and will not tolerate any clever ideas: the night before the race he has Raf's bike destroyed. The dream is over before it even began! Raf hands back his starter number in resignation. Savannah's distant attitude is not the only thing making it quite clear to Ruben that he behaved wrongly. But when he offers Raf his own starter number, Raf coolly rejects it, saying the race is between the two of them - and only one of them will win. Utterly determined, Raf tells Lukas to give him a bike, and starts the race as an Axo guest rider. Breathlessly, Lukas, Savannah and the others look on as the two former friends battle it out on the track. Leaving the competition far behind, they continue racing incredibly fiercely. But Raf's willpower is stronger. He wins just before the finishing line, and leaves his first professional race as the victor. Raf is triumphant # now he has the whole world at his feet!- Written by Anonymous
Rafael Sorvino and Ruben Thomas have been life long friends as well as team mates on the Aprilia World Superbike racing team. Raf's father/manager has a gambling problem and owes $100k. Raf discovers this and tells his father to bet everything on him to win the next race, then, he's fired. During the race, Ruben crashes right in front of Rafael. Could he avoid him? He runs him over and goes on to win the race. Ruben is paralyzed from the waist down and Rafael is suspended pending an investigation. Ruben's girlfiend Savannah once harbored a secret love for Rafael, now she'll never leave Ruben. Rafael must come to grips with his best friend's paralysis and reevaluate his life. Ruben moves on with his life, becomming a journalist for a motorsport magazine and Rafael must decide if he'll ever get back on a bike and rejoin the racing team and whether to reveal his love for Savannah.- Written by Biff Rockman
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