Genre: Biography/Sport
Director: Stefano Mordini
Cast: Riccardo Scamarcio, Volker Bruch, Haley Bennett, Daniel Brühl, Katie Clarkson-Hill
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 14 March 2024

Synopsis: RACE FOR GLORY is the incredible true story behind the 1983 World Rally Championship. In a real-life David vs Goliath story, we see how the plucky underdogs of Team Lancia, led by the charismatic Cesare Fiorio, took on the mighty Team Audi in one of the greatest rivalries in sporting history.

Movie Review:

The title implies an exciting rivalry between two car manufacturers at the 1983 World Rally Championship that is Germany’s Audi and Italy’s Lancia. You might assumed it’s yet another underdog story liked the hugely popular Ford V Ferrari. Alas it’s more of a sputtering car as a result of a mixture of faulty components.

Co-written, produced and starring Riccardo Scamarcio as Cesare Fiorio, the team manager of Italian auto manufacturer Lancia's racing team. Scamarcio is front and center of this rally racing drama despite the introduction of Audi’s manager, Roland Gumpert (Daniel Brühl), Fiorio’s main rival and Walter Röhrl (Volker Bruch), the difficult but star driver from Fiorio’s team.

Obviously, there’s never a focal point in the story of Race For Glory. The entire narrative is a more of a fleeting montage of the three main characters and several others which make not much of an impression other than a few minutes of onscreen interaction with Cesare Fiorio. Oddly, there’s a late inclusion of the team's nutritionist (Katie Clarkson-Hill) whose father supposedly died racing decades ago yet never brings much to the table given her haunted past with racing. And then there’s Haley Bennett appearing intermittently as a journalist interviewing Fiorio. Both characters unfortunately adding nothing substantial to the overall product.

At the very minimum, the movie paints Cesare Fiorio as a very persistent manager even though he admits in the beginning that the role of a team manager is relatively unknown. For Lancia, it’s the classic case of David versus Goliath. We see Fiorio struggling with his driver, design issues, weather conditions to funding. Is it his pride and ego that keeps him going against the tides? We as audiences never know as the narrative ends up paper thin and there’s never a clear indication of the man behind the obsession. Even a brief birthday party scene seems more obligatory than setting up Fiorio as a loving father.

Daniel Brühl on the other hand is totally wasted in the role of Fiorio’s rival. Brühl is never given the chance to shine and all he does is exchanging “intense” stares with Fiorio throughout. Pity he was such a standout in Rush, the Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama. Bruch does his very best in the role of an often exasperated, angry driver although there isn’t a clear reason why he is always so grouchy.

Likely due to budget constraints, there’s no fancy CGI in place or a luxurious production scope, the relatively grounded racing sequences are confined to a few Audi and Lancia vintage racing cars driving along some scenic, countryside routes despite the fact that there were more than two teams vying for the 1983 World Rally Championship in reality.

Race For Glory isn’t a particular interesting movie to represent the competitive world of rally racing. There’s no satisfying payoff and excitement even if our underdog finally won the race. All the characters are poorly defined and that includes our main character. Generally, it feels like an indie drama that happens to contain a racing theme. Race For Glory sadly never has the emotional stakes or enough adrenaline to reach the finishing line.

Movie Rating:




(So dull and poorly assembled, the only excitement is hearing the robust sound effects coming out from the vintage Audi and Lancia racing cars)

Review by Linus Tee


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