I am just back from the theatre, where we saw The World's Fastest Indian. In the film Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Burt Munro. After a lifetime perfecting his classic 1920 Indian motorcycle, Burt sets off from New Zealand to test his motorbike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
With all odds against him, he wins support from unusual allies in his quest to set a new land speed record (183.586 mph or 295.39 km/h). Burt Munro's 1967 world record remains unbroken.
According to the book "Burt Munro Indian Legend of Speed" Burt was an extremely eccentric man and a driven one, but with tons of natural charm. His escapades on and off two wheels makes a good story. Just when you think you have seen everything, he does something even more outrageous.
The movie certainly shows us this. It tells the story of Burt going from Invercargill, New Zealand, to Bonneville, USA to try and set a land speed record - which he does. He actually visited the nine times after the first record. The most incredible part is to find out that his 1967 speed record was set when he was turning 68 years old!
The movie shows his sweet talk, kiwi ingenuity and sometimes naivete. But it is a cool story, and in true geek style he plays with his toy - the Indian motorcycle - tweaking it from a standard 55mph until it reaches the world record for land speed.
The world premiere for "The World's Fastest Indian" was 13 October 2005 in Invercargill, the southernmost city of New Zealand (and at the time of story shouthernmost city of the British Empire). People outside New Zealand will probably not notice Tim Shadbolt (Invercargill mayor) cameo, but it was laugh when he showed up in the movie - of course everyone here in New Zealand knows him, such a character...
There's a trailer available from xtra.co.nz (broadband option).