Asphalt Burning (2020) Review

Oh wow, the entire premise for this one was a bit of a mess to be honest, and the execution was not that better.  My poor eyes.

Certificate: 12

Director: Hallvard Bræin

Screenwriter: Christopher Grøndahl, Kjetil Indregard

Starring: Ruby O. Fee, Alexandra Maria Lara, Kostja Ullmann

Genre: Action, Comedy

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

After losing a crazy race where he had to get to the top of a mountain first to prove he was worthy to marry the woman of his dreams, Roy manages to arrange a rematch at the Nürburgring in Germany, where he will race against Robin a second time and hope to win back his lady love.  So begins a wacky road trip with his daughter and a slew of supposedly funny encounters.

If you have seen one road trip comedy, I am pretty sure that you have seen them all.  There is always a really pressing reason they have to get to the other end, and they come across about a million odd characters along the way and run into about a thousand obstacles.  Each more crazy and unbelievable than the rest, and everything could probably be solved if two people would just sit down and have a conversation like adults.

But that is my main problem with this film.  The main characters young daughter is probably the most mature character in the whole film, being the one making all the smart decisions.  The actual adults in this film are all just…the worst.  Who decides who they marry by the outcome of a race to the top of a mountain?  And then they continue to make so many terrible and impulsive decisions that actual, real life adults would never really make.

As ensemble comedies go, the chemistry between characters is little flat, even between those who are supposed to be in love.  Sylia actually has better chemistry with Robin then she does with Roy.  The acting is competent, but nothing particular special, most lives are delivered a little flat and even the emotional scenes lack any real emotion.  The less said about the weird musical number about twenty five minutes in the better, that was like something from a fever dream.

And we are also going to ignore the James Bond Style opening titles, featuring slow, sexy shots of a dismantled car while a powerful ballad plays in the background.  It wasn’t necessary, and it wasn’t funny.  It seemed like it took itself too seriously to be a joke, but to too blatant of a knock-off to not be a gag.

Points are awarded for some stunning scenery shots, and some actually fairly decent racing sequences and driving stunts. but that’s about all this film has going for it. The films ends as predictably as you would imagine for a rom-com and I was thoroughly bored throughout.  Do yourself a favour and skip this one.

‘Asphalt Burning’ is streaming on Netflix now.

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