“Borg vs McEnroe” Review

24 September, 2017

Director: Janus Metz
Screenwriter: Ronnie Sandahl
Director of Photography: Niels Thastum
Cast: 
Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason, Stellan Skarsgård

Synopsis: An account of the infamous rivalry between tennis superstar Björn Borg and newcomer John McEnroe set during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships where the two faced off in an unforgettable display of skill and endurance.

Borg vs McEnroe Review:

A serendipitous little movie about the clashing of nationality and personality, “Borg vs McEnroe” showcases a battle of wills between world-class sportsmen, sharing its end goal with an iconic duo and recounting the birth of a friendship under the most stressful of conditions. Telling the same story from contrasting angles, the movie bottles Borg’s rage and unleashes McEnroe’s temper, capitalising on Shia LaBeouf’s almost comical irritability as his latest filmic pursuits land him a role as a world-renowned SuperBrat with a rocketfire temperament.

Yet another strange addition to LaBeouf’s already unpredictable filmography, “Borg vs McEnroe” feels like it could easily be another arthouse passion project from the “Nymphomaniac” star but the film’s allegiance lies across the Atlantic with Sweden’s SF Studios helming a sports movie with Scandinavian blood running through its veins. Ensuring that the movie’s true hero is the wonderful Sverrir Gudnason who looks the part in a film that’s more of a Björn Borg biopic than a John McEnroe sympathy piece, director Janus Metz tells an important story about rivalry, motivation, and sense of self in a movie that’s televisual in substance but breakneck in style.

Like an overly-ambitious Lifetime drama with enough fast edits to mask its performers’ lack of genuine tennis proficiency, “Borg vs McEnroe” finds tension in its creators’ inability to capture the true essence of a Wimbledon match, pursing a more cinematic take as a dramatisation of true events produces something with less subtlety yet more power. Uniting seeming opposites through flashbacks and parallel lives, “Borg vs McEnroe” uses and abuses creative license, appealing to newbies alongside the fans with its neatly structured take on racket sport history.

 

   

Summary
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Borg vs McEnroe
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