How ‘Chariots of Fire’ Nearly Ruined My Life

Posted in Epic Film Quest! on February 7th, 2013 by Nick

chariots-of-fire-dvd-cover-60To start out this here review of 1981’s British historical drama Chariots of Fire, I’d like to grade it first and discuss it second.

Grade: F

Ouch. And I don’t mean the grade. I mean the snoozefest about two athletes in the 1924 olympics. I can honestly say that I gained absolutely nothing from watching this movie, and instead, lost two quality hours of my life that could have been better spent watching Reality TV, eating peanut butter from the jar with my hands gorilla style, or video taping my cat being all cat-like.

As if “stuffy British film” was ever a trite term, take it from me people: Chariots of Fire is the definition. So Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams are both runners. One is a Scottish runner who runs for God’s glory or whatever, and the other is an English Jew running to overcome prejudice. (As if, “Holy shit, you won that race, and I fucking love Jews now!” would actually have happened and alleviated some asshole’s misconceptions). But they run. And run. And run some more. Even around their college once, attempting to beat some record. This is important because SPORTS.

If only I could look as cool when I run.

If only I could look as cool when I run.

Here is perhaps an area in which I am extremely biased. I enjoy playing sports, I enjoy watching winter Olympics, and I played like crazy as a youngster. But I don’t like the business of sports, and often claim that football, baseball, and insert-sport-name-here simply exist in our modern world in order to sell Miller Lite, and well hey, props to Miller Lite because beer is delicious. It’s just that sports and sports movies have a tendency of getting super preachy. And did I say stuffy yet?

Other thoughts:

If I was an actor, I’d probably look for roles that didn’t require running. Maybe running from a serial killer, or running to my car so I could be involved in some sickass chase scene, or maybe even running from the cops after my character’s involvement in a heist, but running just to run? I’d probably avoid that.

The most notable thing about this movie is its super-amazing score, which made me feel both incredibly stupid, yet also enlightened. It was the uber-“THAT’S WHERE THAT COMES FROM???” moment. Now, I’m 28 and not that young or old, but I think if I polled a sample of my peers, they wouldn’t really know the origin of this music either, so yeah, I guess I’m pretty OK with admitting my shock and amazement. Chariots of Fire’s score was done by Greek composer Vangelis, who won the Academy Award for it, naturally. Hear it below:

RIGHT!? Mind blown. I will feel even more moronic the next time I watch the decathlon scene from Old School. I’m sure I’ll gloat about knowing where the music comes from though, because hey, my horse is high. “You mean you don’t know?!” Look, I’m watching every single Best Picture winner in the history of forever. I’ve got to get props from somewhere, right? Even if it’s mostly from patting myself on the back.

In closing, I loathed this movie. More so than I loathed Out of Africa. That’s saying a lot, in my opinion.

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