Timely athletics tale is right on track
FAST GIRLS (12A) Drama/Romance
DIRECTOR Regan Hall puts cinema audiences under starter's orders for the 2012 Olympic Games with this unabashedly feel-good drama of sporting ambition against the odds.
We're jogging in familiar territory here, following a talented 200m sprinter from the wrong side of the tracks, whose raw talent propels her into the British relay squad where she clashes with the team's privileged golden girl.
Shot on location in London, Fast Girls injects bursts of pace within the sprightly 90-minute running time and puts the female cast through their paces with coaching from British female Olympians Jeanette Kwakye and Shani Anderson.
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The script, co-written by Noel Clarke (Adulthood), Jay Basu and Roy Williams, passes the baton from one cliche to the next – forbidden romance, enmity mellowing into sisterly solidarity – culminating in a championship showdown that leaves a patriotic lump in the throat.
Fast Girls is a thoroughly engrossing slice of home-grown entertainment that swiftly tethers our affections to Shania so we root for the underdog in a world of corporate sponsorship and shameless nepotism.
Race sequences are slickly edited to create the illusion of bodies in motion, straining at speed for the finishing line.
If Britain's talented athletes at the 2012 Games wear their hearts on their sleeves and risk everything like the characters in Hall's undemanding film, it could be a gloriously golden summer.