Old Bike Australasia - - ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500 STEALTH -

Fea­ture film Run­ning time 1 hour 37 min­utes Di­rected by West Aus­tralian Jeremy Sims, who’s cred­its in­clude the film Last Cab to Dar­win, Wayne fol­lows the life of Aus­tralia’s first 500cc World Cham­pion Wayne Gard­ner from a poor child­hood in Wol­lon­gong to the high life fol­low­ing his 1987 suc­cess. The film uses footage from var­i­ous sources such as early GP tele­casts, Bri­tish Su­per­bikes in its in­fancy, fam­ily home movies and lots of stills, and there are bound to be gaps that need to be filled. Direc­tor Sims in­ex­pli­ca­bly chose to bridge this gap by cre­at­ing rather twee scenes in the Ja­panese Manga style – a com­puter an­i­ma­tion tech­nique that is char­ac­terised by cheru­bic faces with overly large eyes. To me, this is in marked con­trast to the rest of the film and sits rather badly. How­ever the bal­ance does an ad­mirable job of demon­strat­ing how Gard­ner, with con­sid­er­able help from his girl­friend and fu­ture wife Donna, over­came the strug­gles of carv­ing a ca­reer in a fe­ro­ciously com­pet­i­tive arena, home­sick­ness, and se­ri­ous lack of money. The film ba­si­cally con­cludes in 1989, fol­low­ing Wayne’s emo­tional vic­tory in the first Phillip Is­land Grand Prix and his mar­riage the fol­low­ing month. There is of course, a se­cond half to his ca­reer, con­tin­u­ing three more years in GPs (in­clud­ing the heroic 1990 Aus­tralian GP win) un­til switch­ing to cars, ini­tially in the ul­tra com­pet­i­tive Ja­panese Sports Car Cham­pi­onship where he was quite suc­cess­ful, and in Aus­tralian V8s, where he was less so. If I were in charge of the edit, I would in­clude less of the first part and at least some of the se­cond, which con­tin­ues with his son Remy in Moto2. Nev­er­the­less, Wayne rep­re­sents good en­ter­tain­ment and can only be ben­e­fi­cial to the masses as an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what it takes to reach the top in mo­tor­cy­cle sport. The film screens in cin­e­mas through­out Aus­tralia from Septem­ber 6th.

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