Ever since the mainstream success of 2001's "The Fast and the Furious", street racing movies have been a recurring subject for big and small film studios alike. Despite the relative popularity of movies in this vein, they tend to draw the ire of "gearheads" (or petrolheads, for those across the pond) due to their questionable representation of cars, car culture, racing, and automotive technology. Whether it be nonsensical techno-babble, or impossible-to-reconcile vehicle physics, there tends to be a deluge of blind idiot errors or silly oversights that annoy those of us whose hearts pump synthetic oil rather than blood.
No movie is wholly immune to such things, but thankfully, "Born to Race" averts the aforementioned TFATF-esque ludicrousness. The research has clearly been done when it comes to the techno-babble strewn throughout the film. Moreover, car culture and drag racing is more or less accurately represented where other movies fall flat. The American muscle cars shown aren't the typical triumvirate of Mustang, Camaro, and Charger/Challenger (though these are certainly featured within). A Buick Grand National plays a significant role in the film, and is a recurring sight throughout, and there are scenes exhibiting an Oldsmobile 442, Chevrolet Bel Air and Nova, and even the Lil' Red Express 1979 Dodge D150 drag truck. In summation, the cars, car jargon, and car culture has a greater, more accurate representation than most Hollywood racer films.
The other large failing of many street racing-genre films is the catastrophically canned acting the leads and support dole out. While the script is nothing short of generic high school hero stuff, the acting is of an unusually high caliber. Lead Joseph Cross, of "Running With Scissors" fame, delivers a solid, if slightly weedy performance, and the big bad bully, played by Brando Eaton, does well with what he's given to work with. My personal favorite character, the father of the protagonist, played by veteran John Pyper-Ferguson, puts forth an excellent effort, managing to be lovable, despicable, and humorous all at once.
Where other street racer movies are a complete mess of poor acting and Wikipedia knowledge, Born to Race manages a solid cinema experience for a fraction of the cost of the big boys. I would recommend this film to any street racing/drag racing aficionados, as well as anyone who likes a decent high school hero drama-type story.
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