Pegasus 飞驰人生 (2019) - China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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The best parts of this inspiring sport drama is the likability of the characters that blends in 90s Hong Kong movies with Hollywood “Rocky” comeback charm to complete a rounded display of suitable emotions. Superstar blogger, car rally driver and filmmaker Han Han makes his third film and probably his most commercial yet. In turn we get a film that does not challenge conventions, but nor does it slip into the problematic patriotic category with a coming of age and against the odds sports drama in the good old fashioned way.
Headlining the fading former rally racing national champion played strongly by comedic actor Shen Teng. Teng manages to laugh, sing, joke, cry and struggle thru like the rest of us, with a tad of cockiness that makes him easily likeable hero to root for. His key rival in the film is not a villain (played with stoic pride by Huang Jingyu) and that’s provide the film’s cutting edge. Teng’s counterpart and key supporters in his route to comeback comes in the form of Zheng Yin, whose makes a memorable turn.
All in all, “Pegasus” manages to be an enjoyable ride all the way till the questionable finale. It’s the journey that counts and not the destination as director Han Han goes commercial rather than commentary. There are highlights of the social commentary when Shen Teng alludes to higher rise buildings soon to overshadow his old rooftop view. However, these are far and in between with the focus squarely on the come back story and with the “Rocky” in full force in the backdrop, “Pegasus” succeeds to the finish line.
I rated it 8/10