Movie Review: GO!

Chanel Seven’s Sunrise described it as Karate Kid meets Days of Thunder – and it almost is!

The new Aussie film GO! was released in cinemas nationally yesterday.

Filmed in WA in 2018 (see previous news posts HERE and HERE), GO! is about a teenage boy (Jack) who’s got natural talent but must learn to control his recklessness.

With the help of aspiring engineer Mandy, wise-cracking best mate Colin and an old man with a secret past as mentor, the group strive to overcome the odds and defeat an arrogant and ruthless rich boy to win the Nationals.

SPOILER ALERT – we’re going to tell you how it ends, but you’ve probably guessed that by now anyway…

Of course, by the time the credits roll, the boy gets the girl, the trophy and everyone is happy. A bit too Herbie: Fully Loaded for my liking, but I guess it is a family film and they can’t upset the kiddies.

Despite the predictable plot, and awkward delivery of a few lines, there was plenty to do with racing to keep the interest up.

Jack starts out on the dirt track at Bussellton (and the pier!), and with the help of his mentor and friends, places at the regional finals (Wundowie), crashes at the State Titles (Wanneroo), but still gets to the Nationals (Cockburn).

The movie’s not all about Jack. Mandy has ambitions to be an F1 engineer. With ties to her family’s team, she initially works on Jack’s kart in secret before tempers boil over.

Then there’s the local cop and Jack’s mum. But that’s got nothing to do with racing, so let’s leave that sub-plot alone.

There are lots of real-life karting people, brands, teams and names to be seen on screen and mentioned in the credits – Bd Soutar-Dawson was a Motorsport Consultant for the film; Flat Out Karts and Arise Racing feature prominently.

L to R – Jack (Will Lodder), Colin (Darius Amarfio Jefferson) and Mandy (Anastasia Bampos) with their rebuilt Arrow/J-banger.

People who know karting will spot continuity issues and a bunch of errors and omissions. But that’s inevitable when presenting an overly complex sport in a manner the casual viewer can understand.

With this in mind, I think they did a decent job. Let’s just gloss over how a Yamaha J engine turned into a KA100, or how Jack never ran p-plates, and how they fitted new tyres after qualifying – it’s fictional entertainment, not a documentary.

Will it be good for karting? Yes. Especially so if clubs embrace it and milk the opportunity at the cinema (as several are already doing).

If you haven’t seen GO!, I suggest you do. More importantly, take some non-karters with you. The kids will love it.

Chop, chop!

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