A fearless teen leans into the rush of high-speed go-kart racing, backed by good friends — and a surly ex-driver who becomes his coach.
Director: Owen Trevor
Starring: William Lodder, Anastasia Bampos, Darius Amarfio-Jefferson, Richard Roxburgh, Frances O’Connor, Dan Wyllie, Cooper van Grootel, Damian de Montemas, Adam T. Perkins
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80241136
“Go Karts” (or simply “Go!” as it was called for its Australian cinema release) is an Australian film that follows Jack (William Lodder) and his single mum Christie (Frances O’Connor) as they move from Sydney to a small town on the West coast. Aiming to start a fresh new life Christie opens up a grocery shop in their new town and on the first day there Jack gets invited to a local birthday party. The birthday party is at a local, but somewhat dilapidated, go kart track. Here we meet a new friend, a new love interest and the local bully – to be honest, it’s all a bit “Karate Kid”.
The new friend is Colin (Darius Amarfio-Jefferson), the love interest is birthday-girl Mandy (Anastasia Bampos) and the bully is Dean (Cooper van Grootel) who is constantly tailed by his two little helpers. For his first ever go kart race Jack actually does pretty well and is ‘bitten by the racing bug’, so to speak – and this is where his story really begins.
The film is full of very dry comedy but is, at times, quite predictable – it does follow the “Karate Kid” method of: boy moves to new town, boy meets girl, boy gets beaten up by bully, boy trains, boy tries to defeat bully and win the girl. So you already have an idea of how the story will progress but don’t let that put you off. It is certainly still its own film and the writers clearly acknowledge the format with a couple of nods toward the aforementioned martial arts flick.
As the story progresses we see Jack getting trained by the go kart track’s owner Patrick (Richard Roxburgh) who is, in my opinion, the highlight of the film’s cast. Jack creates a new go kart team with his new friends with the goal of winning the Nationals and finally defeating his nemesis, Dean, once and for all. As with most comedy films there’s a more serious underlying story. The three main characters (Jack, Mandy and Dean) all have their own issues to overcome and this is one of the things I really liked about “Go Karts”. While the main story was about Jack and his racing, both Mandy’s story and Patrick’s story were equally as important and equally well written.
Visually, “Go Karts” looks good with nice, vivid colours throughout and the occasional ‘split screen’ effect during some of the races. GoPro’s were heavily used for a more ‘first-person’ perspective on some parts but it certainly isn’t over used. The soundtrack was also very well put together and really adds to the story telling.
We don’t do spoilers here at New on Netflix so it’s hard to really say much more about the story without giving too much away. However, as I have already mentioned, “Go Karts” is fairly predictable so you may have already worked out the ending – but the interesting part is how they get there. It’s a nice story; it’s well written; the cast, while a little wooden at times, do a good job; and… well, it’s a fun and enjoyable film overall. Oh, and keep an eye out for the space hopper and the yoga guy.
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