One of the rare positive and compelling portrayals of idealistic Christianity in cinema and a knockout at every turn. The performances are flawless, the story is engaging and exalting, the characters are admirable and true. Will remain in my top 10 if not my top 5 for all time.
"God made me for a purpose. For China. But he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure."
This is a solid and inspirational sports film that pulls out all the stops like racial intolerance and class bias to bring the right amount of conflict but for the most part it felt stale to me but make no mistake about this is the benchmark for sports films that center around overcoming adversity.
A number of good scenes are strung together by a paper thin, boring plot. The conflict is barely there. The score by Vangelis lives up to the hype though. Even if it's kind of shallow, I still got swept up in the emotion of the film by its end. Not a bad film, but not a great one either.
Thoroughly decent on all levels, which although not quite damnation by faint praise, points to its rather hidebound middlebrow sensibilities and timorously safe approach to notions of competition, nationhood and duty. Nevertheless a well modulated square meal of a film, despite the often incongruous score.
Can't really say: there are a lot of interesting elements - as the whole atmosphere, the costumes, the rightfully well-known soundtrack - but those all are not strictly related to the story, which seems to me too much elliptical and in some passages kind of dismissing.
I still had no idea why this movie won a Best Picture in Oscar. I didn't say that CHARIOTS OF FIRE is a bad movie. But it isn't great either. I must say that CHARIOTS OF FIRE has a good premise. Unfortunately, I didn't feel any emotions in this movie. CHARIOTS OF FIRE just went - flat. It didn't feel engaging for a movie like this. Three stars for its storyline. One more star for Vangelis' iconic, yet engaging score.
7/10. Grows strong in the last 45 min., after they've reached the Paris Olympics. Not too thrilling before that, but then the film is more about placing multiple characters in a lavish "heritage" setting. Highlights include: cricket sweaters, 1920s ladies' wear, English three-piece wool suits, a breathtaking Alice Krige, the stadium. The dated synth score is sometimes gruelling. The religiosity isn't simply affirmed.
Its strong performances and famous score aren't nearly enough to compensate for the soporific, self-righteous and preachy message, nor for the surprisingly meager character development; inexcusable given the film's tremendously slow pace and its nature as a historical drama, and especially egregious considering its unabashed moralizing intent.