I was really excited to see this film. While it is beautifully photographed (the sound mixing is also excellent), the overall narrative is a total mess. If the production quality weren't so high, my rating would've probably been a 2 or 3/10. The main issues are the following:
1. For such great footage, it's a real shame there wasn't more attention placed on story. They never set up the stakes for each of the athletes leading up to their event. Many of them have no conflict whatsoever and them winning the gold is basically a foregone conclusion. This is often fun to watch, but it's not dramatic at all. Shockingly enough for what should be an exciting sports film, it becomes really boring at times.
2. It takes on too many characters. Focusing on 12 characters is way too much and doesn't give the viewer adequate time to get to know any of them with any real detail. They would've been far better off focusing on 3, maybe 4 people max.
3. It profiles some sports and some athletes that just aren't interesting at all. Some of the personalities are a total dud and their segments should've been cut. And as for events...I'm sorry but olympic shooting is just not exciting. Standing still and firing a gun at a static target is about as unathletic as it gets, particularly when you're trying to capture the greatest global sporting event held across a 4 year period.
4. It's dramatically overscored. Wayyy too much music attempting to stylize the film. Why not just focus on telling a story and not have random pop music editorializing each and every emotion?
5. Interview subjects are not on camera 99% of the time. Their voices are merely heard underneath images, which never lets you get to know the people or feel any emotion for them. The entire film is edited together like a music video. In fact the interviews with the cast after the film before the credits start contains some of the best stuff. It's shocking how they chose to omit this.
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