Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: Secretariat

Grade: D

Penny Chenery was a typical housewife and mother living in Denver with her family when one day her mother died. She went to her parent’s horse breeding farm and decided to take over operations as her dad was very sick and unable to do any of the work anymore. Originally, she was just going to sell off all the horses until she figured out that one of the new horses about to be born would probably make a great race horse. With the help of legendary trainer Lucien Laurin, they raise the horse to become one of the most famous race horses of all time and ultimately go on to be the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown.

I am going to say this upfront because it may be skewing my opinion of the movie, but I really don’t care about horse racing. I still think though that despite that, this was just an extremely boring movie. On top of that I felt the story and characters lack any depth. The impression that I got from the trailer was that the family, the whole family, was in dire times and if they didn’t get one of their horses to start winning some races they were going to lose everything. Not the case at all, Penny and her husband are very well off living in Denver. Penny decides to help out around the farm after her mother dies because her father is no longer mentally capable of doing any of the work. She has a fondness of horses and decides to take a chance on a newly born horse. She is determined and lucks out with the help of some other people who really do all the work with the horse while she reaps the benefits of the horse’s winnings. I never once felt anything for any of the characters and I never felt the need to cheer them on, simply another story of the rich get richer, in my eyes. On top of that, the race sequences drag on far too long. For instance, at one point the horse is racing at the Kentucky Derby, which tends to last around only 45 seconds, but in the movie the race goes on for more than 5 minutes.

Diane Lane (Hollywoodland, Unfaithful) plays the role of Penny Chenery. Lane did a good job with her performance, it’s not her fault that her character was uninteresting. John Malkovich (Burn After Reading, Con Air) plays the role of Lucien Laurin, the famous horse trainer. Malkovich was by far the best part of this movie and if it weren’t for his performance in this movie I probably would have fallen asleep. The movie also features Scott Glenn, James Cromwell, Dylan Walsh, Margo Martindale, Kevin Connelly, Nestor Serrano, Dylan Baker and more.

Secretariat is, in my opinion, a very boring movie full of unsympathetic characters. It is also very cheesy with the ways that it tries to be inspirational, which really only comes off as laughable. If you have interests in horse racing, maybe you will like it, but I just didn’t care about a rich upper class family getting even richer by paying people to do all the work with the horse but getting all the fame and recognition for the horse winning.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for reviewing! DISNEY always knows to do a great films! i want to take my all family to watch this movie and after review like this i definitely do it! thnx...