Roger Donaldson's The World's Fastest Indian, based on the real life of Kiwi biker Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins), puts a burst of warmth into that by-now too-familiar genre, the inspirational biopic. Both handmade and souped-up, it beautifully renders two types of camaraderie: the bonds among eccentrics and the fellowship of speed.
Laboring alone in Invercargill, New Zealand, Munro lets the tumult of the Sixties slip right by him as he customizes his 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle. He aims to test its limits at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The first part of the movie depicts an ornery individualist who develops a roughhewn grace as he accepts unexpected generosities from neighbors, lovers, rivals and friends.
The World's Fastest Indian (Magnolia Pictures) Starring Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Roger Donaldson. Rated R. Time 126 minutes.