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Fast Girls

Fast Girls

Released 15 June 2012
Director Regan Hall

Rupert Graves, Bradley James, Philip Davis, Noel Clarke, Lenora Crichlow, Santi Scinelli. Lily James, Lorraine Burroughs

Jay Basu, Noel Clarke, Jon Croker, Roy Williams
Producer(s) Damien Jones
Origin United Kingdom
Running Time 91 minutes
Genre Drama, sport
Rating 12A

Olympic spirit.

It's to be expected that people will try to cash in on the 2012 London Olympics in any way possible. The chance of a film about female British sprinters making any headway in any other year is about as likely as their real-life sprinters claiming any medals this summer. In that sense, the overall premise of this story isn't exactly true to reality, yet Fast Girls does serve its more realistic purpose of getting people buoyed up for the upcoming Games.

Shania Andrews (Lenora Crichlow) and Lisa Temple (Lily James) may be equally talented at the 200m dash but their lives could not be any more different. Working class Andrews has grown up in the high-rise inner-city flats of London alone while Temple has enjoyed the luxury of being the golden girl of British athletics, following in the footsteps of her golden father – the pompous Lord Sebastian Coe of the movie. Despite their differences and the obvious animosity between each other, the pair must find a way to work together, along with the rest of the sprint team, in an effort to fight for gold in the 4x100m relay – their last hope of success at the World Championship.

Set in London, this sporting drama does offer an interesting, if a little stagnant, insight into the various upbringings and heritage that can ultimately lead one another to a similar path, or destiny. A little oddly billed as “A Feel-Good Summer Hit”, I guess you can't really argue with that because it does exactly what it sets out to achieve. It'll whet the appetite and get you in the Olympic spirit.

The performances by the home-grown talent are strong throughout with the on-screen relationships, rivalries and camaraderie all believable while the cinematography, at times, is very impressive. Having said that, the use of replacement real athletes during the wide shots of races is tediously obvious.

The main flaw is, as the team's coach played by writer Noel Clarke would say, the transition from one phase to the next lacks that effortless silky motion for it to be an out and out winner. For what it is, though, Fast Girls is enjoyable and well worth a look before the real thing comes around in July.

- David Caulfield