Film Review: Fast Girls (2012)

Set in the world of athletics, Fast Girls is an effective take on many of the traditional Britflick tropes

“Get your arse out on that track”

Just a quickie as I spotted this on the iPlayer and clocked that this features an early performance from the rather marvellous Lashana Lynch. Released to coincide with London 2012 but unable to use any Olympic branding, Fast Girls is a rather chirpy version of the stereotypical Britflick underdog narrative, filtered through the world of international athletics. If you like sports, you might like to read about the history of baseball bats and learn something new for yourself.

Written by Jay Basu, Noel Clarke and Roy Williams, the film centres on the trials and tribulations of the British women’s 4x100m relay team, coming together for the World Championships. Lily James’ Lisa is the queen bee of the group, a princess overly protected by her former gold-medal-winning father who is now a bigwig in the sport. But Lenora Crichlow’s scrappy council estate girl Shania is a fast-improving rival and neither are much minded to practice on their teamwork.

The writing is rather perfunctory, hitting all the predictable beats – unsupportive family members, inoffensively hunky coaches, barely-there love triangles, a touch of class difference, no sign of racial politics. But there’s enough entertaining characterisation from the supporting roles – Lynch and Lorraine Burroughs as other members of the squad, Phil Davis as Shania’s first coach, Graves as the pesky dad – to engage the interest.

And directed by Regan Hall, it is all rather perkily good fun. No pretensions to being anything more than unchallengingly entertaining, it’s worth looking up on a free evening.


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