Fantasia Festival: Børning [Review]

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It’s a shame now that any film about cars gets lumped in with Fast & Furious (even of their own accord, and via a play on words) rather than Bullit or Cannonball Run, but for the purposes of selling the movie to the general public I can see why they have done it.

In this movie we don’t have a bunch of thieves, an oiled up ex-wrestler for a cop, or a man obsessed with adding people into his ‘family’ who later become inevitable casualties; Børning comes across as a humble, understated, hugely fictionalised Top Gear episode, minus the debatable racism and collection of men laughing at their own jokes.

Anders Baasmo Christiansen stars as Roy, a man who loves his Vintage Yellow Mustang more than anything but ends up the wrong side of the law. Fast forward a few years and once free from jail, he is challenged to a race the entire length of Norway by TT (Trond Halbo), an odd-looking tweaker who loves Japanese cars (Note: This is not a rip off of Need for Speed). Roy has family to think of, namely his daughter who he has been forced to look after on this particular weekend, and it falls into a standard state of selfishness vs self-discovery.

Nevertheless, it does not lose sight of what this film is about; Great scenery, fast cars and a lot of fun. Initially building up to the excitement (or putting you into a state of boredom depending on which way you look at it) by keeping the first part of the race in the dark, as soon as sunlight is unleashed onto the breathtaking Norwegian countryside this action-comedy kicks into gear.

Much like Fast & Furious and any car film for that matter, the cars are largely impervious to damage, gear changes are emphasised and leaps from things onto other moving things requiring you to suspend all logic are encouraged. Much of the humour comes from the dry dialogue from Roy’s friends who have decided to take on the race with them. A crew thrown together for their love of cars, supporting a lifelong friend and dragged through a comedy of errors along the way. With the car-race hating cop hot on their heels, the race turns into a chase, and the comedy piles on further as every car does what they can to evade the determined copper.

This blockbuster smash in Norway is light-hearted fun for car lovers, with beautiful scenery and an ending that still makes me laugh now. Slow to start, but contains a second half that made it all worth while, Børning is everything I expected it to be.

 

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