Monday, July 20, 2015

Børning (2014) Fantasia 2015

I've seen any number of films that have had dedications to the late great Hal Needham but very few actually could live up to the auto insanity that he could bring to the screen,  Børning does that.

Despite what critics may say about SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT or CANNONBALL RUN the films were fun. They were pure spectacle made simply to entertain. And they did in spades returning a mint at the box office. Eventually Needham fell out of favor but ultimately the damage was done and how the world viewed car chases films was changed forever.

Børning tells the story of Roy. A supreme gearhead Roy loves to race. When a race with his pregnant wife ends with him winning the race but upside down in a ditch, he ends up thrown in jail-but not before seeing his new born daughter in her mother's arms. Years later, on a rare long weekend with his daughter (Roy had long since separated from his wife) Roy is challenged to a race by his old rival TT. As the two choose a course it turns into a 1350 mile race across Norway. What was to be some time with his daughter becomes even more crowded as dozens of other cars join the race for a variety of reasons.

The Fantasia promotional material compares it to CANNONBALL RUN and it's that but it also riffs on any number of other films as well. Actually what the film really is is a character driven chase film. Yes there are race scenes but always there are characters. People are driving the cars and interacting, not in the wise ass Burt Reynolds sort of a way, but in the way you interact with your buddies.  In this film people are more important than the cars.

What I like about the film is that it is not a straight out balls to the wall  chase film. we're a half hour in before we're at the big race. On top of that its not all crazy speeding and jockeying for position. This is very much a race that friends who didn't want to get killed would have. Yea there are duels but largely this is something else.

Hallvard Bræin, the cinematographer  for TROLL HUNTER, has made a great looking film. Norway looks lovely, the chases are pulse pounding, and every now and again there are these really wicked shots that are just wicked cool (I love when TT comes to challenge Roy and TT's car and camera circle around Roy).

He is also to be applauded for making a film that is pretty much computer graphic free. Other than some shots at the very end I didn't notice anything that was obviously CGI. How nice to have a race film that obeys the laws of physics and has cars that have real weight.

I had a blast seeing this film. This is hunker down and watch it with a huge bowl of popcorn sort of film. I hope to hell this gets a US theatrical release because I want to see this on a HUGE screen with a great sound system.

One of the absolute joys of Fantasia.

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