September 30, 2013 at 11:33 am | Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ◊ ½

This film rose well above my expectations for one simple reason: cinematography.  I am a very visual person (that’s why I love movies, after all) but I don’t remember ever feeling that so much of a film’s worth rested on the skills of it’s cinematographer.  Anthony Dod Mantel (“127 hours,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) has a remarkable eye for what this movies needs to come alive. The story of rivals in a hyper-masculine field is hardly a new one in Hollywood and car films are a-dime-a-dozen. Likewise, Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers”) and Daniel Brühl (“Goodbye Lenin”) do fine jobs in the lead roles but are hardly outstanding; of course, roguish masculinity hardly requires great depths of acting.  The story moves along exactly as we know it must without ever missing a beat.  There are no real surprises here.  In plot, at least.  What did surprise me was how tense those racing scenes were.  They were all so beautifully shot that they were both stunning to watch and really effective at amping up the adrenaline.  I loved every minute those men were in their cars: the close ups, the camera angles at ground level on the edge of the track, the internal shots of the engines, the stunning scenes in the rain… I could go on.  I really really enjoyed this movie and it is entirely because of how it was shot.  Definitely see it on the big screen, if you can.  This was a thrilling and fun adventure and I’m glad I went along for the ride.


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