Film review: Fast GirlsBy Elena Cresci
October 10, 2012
IF this summer of sport has proved anything, it’s that there are few things more engaging and thrilling than athletics. The highs and lows of London 2012’s track held enough drama for its own feature film.
So you’d imagine the same could be said of Fast Girls, the tale of a group of young, female athletes competing in the competition of their lives. One thing’s for sure, it’s certainly not lacking in drama.
Being Human star Lenora Crichlow plays Shania Andrews, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who has risen to local sporting glory in the 200 metre sprint after training in dilapidated conditions with her shopkeeper coach.
When she qualifies for a place in the World Championships, Shania clashes with the privileged and talented Lisa Temple, played by Surrey actress Lily James, who is the girl with everything: talent, beauty and a rich daddy pushing her every step of the way.
Sparks fly when coach Tommy, played by Noel Clarke, recruits her for Team GB’s relay race. The girls may be the fastest sprinters on the track, but their animosity puts the team’s medal hopes in serious jeopardy.
Despite having had to battle against London 2012 branding, the Fast Girls writers have succeeded in creating a fun and energetic film centred around some seriously strong-willed and feisty athletes.
Unfortunately, while a lot of fun is at face value, the film lacks the kind of depth seen in other sporting dramas like Bend it Like Beckham and it barely scratches the surface of the varied tales and personalities of the rest of the relay team.
Even when it comes to the film’s two golden girls, story development is sorely lacking. There’s a bit too much going on, with a half-baked romance between Shania and physiotherapist Carl, played by Merlin’s Bradley James, chucked in almost as an afterthought.
Pre-Olympics, when it was released on the big screen, Fast Girls worked well to build excitement for London 2012. But post-Games, a jerky storyline means it fails to quite match up to the real thing.
However, if you’re clamouring for more athletic drama and in desperate need of an Olympic-style fix, then Fast Girls is sure to provide it.