Can you take another feel-good movie about a racehorse who overcomes the odds to become a champion on the track? Is it too early for a nostalgia feature about a race that took place just four years ago?
The film stars Skeet Ulrich as trainer Chip Woolley. You remember Ulrich from the first Scream movie, or perhaps Law and Order LA, if you prefer your pop culture references to be from this century. Christian Kane plays the horse’s owner Mark Allen. You probably don’t remember Kane from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel, but I do because I watched the entire series on Netflix last year. Don’t judge.
Calvin Borel, the jockey who piloted Mine That Bird to his Derby victory, plays himself as far as I can tell. So maybe that Louisiana accent won’t be so contrived after all.
My immediate and decidedly negative reaction to this movie may have something to do with the fact that it’s a rainy Monday after a weekend rendered an hour short by the start of Daylight Saving Time. On the other hand, I can’t think of a single horse movie that I could whole-heartedly rate two thumbs up, which I guess is why I tend to greet all new ones with cynicism.
To be fair, even horse people who are more forgiving than I tend to judge horse movies with a critical eye. For an example of this, get a group of your horse-loving friends together, mention the cartoon film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and see how long it takes for someone to mention the horses’ eyebrows. I predict 30 seconds, tops. I doubt non-horse people even noticed that anatomical inaccuracy.
But even without nitpicking on the creative license Hollywood takes with the horses themselves, horse movies just never seem like good, quality films. The plotlines are trite, the acting is overwrought, there’s a 30-year age difference between the romantic leads… I just can’t seem to find a horse movie that I’d ever want to sit through more than once.
We have a popular article here on HorseChannel listing some of the most beloved horse films of all time (up until 2006, that is, since that’s when the article was written.) I have to admit, I haven’t seen most of them. So maybe there is a horse movie out there for me. I just haven’t found it yet.
Click “Submit a Comment” below and tell me which horse movies you think are worth watching, and I’ll give them a shot. Or if there aren’t any out there that you can endorse, what horse do you think should get the Hollywood spotlight next?
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