The Flying Scotsman – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Douglas MacKinnon

Cast

Jonny Lee Miller ………. Graeme Obree
Sean Brown ………. Young Graeme Obree
Brian Cox ………. Douglas Baxter
Ron Donachie ………. Scobie
Morven Christie ………. Katie
Billy Boyd ………. Malky
Laura Fraser ………. Anne Obree

The Movie

Cycling films don’t have a legacy of having any sort of mass appeal either domestically or abroad. The sport may have peaked with Lance Armstrong at the end of his Tour de France victories, and quickly sank into a blood-doping and drug-using quagmire, but cycling films just don’t translate to the cinematic world very well. So it’s interesting that a major motion picture of cyclist Graeme Obree would hit the big screen before one of the world’s most famous racer.

The Flying Scotsman, the title of his autobiography, features Jonny Lee Miller as the titular character. Obree set a world record in the one hour distance racing, building it from old bits of washing machines and yet later would have his innovative style of riding and his world title taken away. As he keeps winning, his unorthodox bike and riding style earn him the ire of the World Cycling Federation, whose treatment of him would cause him to spiral into a deep depression

It’s an interesting movie if you’re a cycling fan, but that’s the major extent of the film’s appeal. It’s good but has such a niche quality to it that bicycling enthusiasts will find enthralling but it limits itself by focusing more on the cycling as opposed to the human drama. It takes out a lot of the interest in the subject; if one isn’t a cycling fan a large majority of the film is rather boring.

Miller is surprisingly good in the role, but the film’s inherent problem is that it doesn’t give him as much to do in terms of character development. Graeme is an intriguing guy but the film doesn’t give us enough about him. At scarcely over 90 minutes, the film could easily gain an hour of film and give us a nuanced look at Obree. As it stands, the film is incomplete.

A/V QUALITY CONTROL

Presented in a widescreen format with a Dolby Digital sound, the film has a top notch transfer on both levels. The film looks and sounds good, though the film’s score tends to overpower the dialogue many times.

The Extras

Trailers for Rescue Dawn, Beyond the Gates and Death at a Funeral are the only extras provided.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Flying Scotsman
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

6.5
THE VIDEO

7.5
THE AUDIO

7.5
THE EXTRAS

1
REPLAY VALUE

5
OVERALL
4.0
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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