Fei chi ren sheng (2019)
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- 98 min.
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A car racing comedy out of China, I thought Pegasus would bring a little of that Shaolin magic to the racing sequences, à la Shaolin Soccer or Kung Fu Dunk, but it's a lot more grounded than that. It still manages to make a rally race, where competing cars take off at 5 minute intervals so they don't normally interact with one another on a dangerous mountain course (it's real and it's insane), through funky editing and effects. Where the film finds its extremes is in the comedy. The story of a disgraced racer trying to make a comeback and reclaim his passion and honor has a lot of heart, but there is a point in the second act where you may well ask yourself if we'll ever see any racing at all. His comic humiliations make it seem less and less likely as the narrative unfolds. More extremes are to be found in the film's lyricism, which asks you to forget about the plot on occasion to focus on its poetry. Overall, while Pegasus is a sentimental piece by a director who did some car racing himself, its characters are sympathetic and work well together. There are no true villains. It really is about following one's passion to the end, and respecting that trait in one's opponents as well.
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