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Fast Girls


Stars: Lenora Crichlow, Lily James, Noel Clarke, Rupert Graves, Bradley James, Phil Davis, Lorraine Burroughs, Lashana Lynch, Dominique Tipper, Emma Fielding, Tiana Benjamin

Director: Regan Hall

I regret to say that for me this low-budget, lower aspiration Chariots of Fire wannabe failed on two counts. The first was that the chariot of the screenplay was missing one dramatic wheel. Only a complete cinema virgin could have failed to guess the patently predictable ending. The second is that the soggy tsunami of clichés that results prevented the narrative from ever catching fire.

But to give first time feature film director Regan Hall, who cut his filmmaking teeth on commercials, his due, his patent professionalism gives the show a sheen that, while it never succeeds in disguising a storyline whose corn is far, far higher than an elephant’s eye, at least makes it look professional.

Three writers contrived the screenplay - Noel Clarke (who also doubles on screen playing an athletics coach), Jay Basu, Roy Williams – which casts Crichlow as a aspirant athlete from a tough London neighbourhood who, coached by Davis giving one of his now traditional performances, makes it into the female relay team in the World Athletics Championships despite intense rivalry from snobbish middle class James.

Nobody on either side of the camera is actually terrible. Nor is anyone that good either. Fast Girls comes across more like a TV movie than a feature film worth paying for, although one has to admire the producers for so brilliantly cashing in on the upcoming Olympics with this very average offering. And they deserve praise, too, for obtaining Lottery money to make it. That apart, why not wait for the television showing or, better still, for the DVD which will have the sublime advantage of a fast-forward button.

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 16 Jun 2012