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Review Born to Race (2011): Adequate racing drama!

genre: drama, racing, action

Whenever a film comes around that features street car racing it gets compared to The Fast and The Furious. While this is not exactly fair it is inevitable. That movie while hardly innovative apparently has been so revolutionary that it has set such high standards later movies are having trouble coming close or even top that film. Car purists will disagree since of course The Fast and The Furious is mostly fantasy. On a cinematic level though that film struck a cord with many film lovers since it did more right than it did wrong. Born to Race is nothing like The Fast and The Furious. If anything it does away with all the flash and style and tries to be a little more realistic. So how does it fare?

Born to Race tells the story about Danny Krueger (played by Joseph Cross) who is a bit of a bad boy. After a stunt go wrong he gets sent to live with his estranged father (John Pyper-Ferguson) by his mother hoping he will clean up his act there. Naturally it takes a while for Danny to sort his issues out. Biggest problem however is that actor Joseph Cross does not know how to play a charming bad boy convincingly. His interactions with people aren't that explosive as they should have been. They lack attitude and energy. Since a lot of the excitement is focused on the personal struggles of Danny it gets in the way what they were going for. And that is to tell a tale about the hardships of a father and son reconnecting through their passion for racing cars. If you are going to do something like this then you better bring some depth to it with a better narrative or acting. Now I do get that the film has nothing but good intentions so I was willing to overlook this. Some of the cast do make up for the lack of intensity. John Pyper even when doing  very little remains interesting to watch but wait there is the return of Doakes (Erik King from Dexter). It was nice to see him even if he did not have that much to do. 

Which brings me to the action. The racing action is more than adequate. But you have to keep in mind that it does not have the bells and whistles The Fast and The Furious provided. Highlight is the finale with the drag racing that almost makes up for all the poor written characters and story. For a low budget film Born to Race delivers just enough to make it well worth your time. Sometimes that is all I ask for.

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