Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beaterblog Car Movie Review: Love The Beast

Love The Beast is somewhat of a documentary detailing the relationship that film star Eric Bana has with his first car, a 1974 Ford XB Falcon Coupe that he still owns. With the help of Dr. Phil McGraw and a more facetious Jeremy Clarkson, the movie dives into the psychological reasons why people get attached to cars in the first place and explores the therapeutic effect of the automobile.

The movie starts out with Eric giving some background information on where he was raised in Tullamarine, a suburb on Melbourne's west side, as well as providing a view of the Australian motoring landscape of the early 80's. Inspired by the 1975 1-2 Falcon finish at Bathurst, the first 1-2 finish in the history of the event, Eric purchased his 1974 Falcon at the age of 15 years old. Since then, he has seen the car through several iterations of period-correct modified form from 70's Weld wheels and stripes, to 80's BBS wheels, and finally present day Targa racer in which he competes in various road rallies, hill climbs, and track events with.

But then he wrecks the hell out of it.

Coming into a wet corner on the Targa New Zealand, he pushes it right off the road and into a gum tree. The rest of the movie is spent largely on the psychological and sentimental aspect of wrecking the car and debating the repair.

Overall, this is a must see film for the car lover and especially those obsessed with the Aussie muscle car. It was even somewhat inspiring and convinced me to never, ever sell my first car. However, it's not perfect. I have a feeling that the initial intention at the commissioning of the film was that the car's story would be told followed by the explanation of the near-death experience and wrapped up with a final teary reveal of a fully fixed and race-ready XB. Not the case. I got the feeling while the credits were rolling that the crash damage was so severe that the car could not be fixed quickly enough for a timely release of the film or that the car was wrecked so badly the Eric said "I'll get to it later" and stuffed it in the garage with good intentions.

If there is a sequel, I'll watch it in a heartbeat. If not, I'm going to send Eric letters until he fixes his damn car.

For a quick interview and the in-car footage of the wreck, check it out here. Check out the trailer here.

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