February 13, 2006 12:00 PM

Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd



More than 30 years ago, Australian-born writer-director Roger Donaldson (The Recruit) made a documentary about Burt Munro, a New Zealand man who, at the advanced age of 67, blazed a new world speed record in 1967—it still stands today—on his beat-up vintage Indian Scout motorcycle in the Utah desert. Now Donaldson has turned Munro’s inspirational story into a relaxed charmer of a feature film, with the redoubtable Hopkins having a jolly good time portraying the cantankerous codger. The World’s Fastest Indian (surely someone could have come up with a better title) follows Munro as he travels to the U.S., where he encounters various types—including a lusty widow, appealingly portrayed by Ladd—on his journey to Utah. Indian’s story is slight and the stakes minor, but the performances are solid, and Donaldson gives the story vroom to breathe. (PG-13)

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