The World’s Fastest Indian

Anthony Hopkins plays Burt Munro, the purposeful, lovable coot whose dream was to bring his 1920 Indian Twin Scout motorcycle from New Zealand to Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats and break a land-speed record there. In 1967, he did it, throttling up to 201 mph. Writer-director Roger Donaldson’s fact-based tale moves much more slowly than that, preferring a comfortable cruise in the lower gears of feel-good. The movie offers next to nothing in the way of conflict (unless you count Burt’s unstable angina), but its sunny disposition, tempered with reticence, is mildly contagious. Hopkins makes Burt’s way of befriending everyone he meets seem inevitable, and the supporting cast makes them seem like good friends to have. Handsome production design and cinematography convey the filmmakers’ fondness for wide-open spaces; that there’s not much to it seems like the film’s idea of grace, and it may be on to something.