Movie Review – Pegasus (Fei Chi Ren Sheng, 飞驰人生)

TL;DR – An exploration of what it means to come back from nothing, good at times, but always held back a little bit from being great    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Pegasus (Fei Chi Ren Sheng, 飞驰人生). Image Credit: CMC Pictures.

Review

I am and always will be a sucker for a good redemption story, where someone comes back from nothing only to triumph. Today we get to explore this idea through the lens of professional racing. Which is always good because at the very least you will get some good car scenes throughout. However, while Pegasus is an interesting film, it is always holding itself back just that little bit more than it should have.

So to set the scene, Zhang Chi (Shen Teng) was one of if not the best rally car driver in all of China. However, one day he decided to take part in an illegal street race that was intercepted by the police. Five years later after serving a suspension, and having to sell everything to pay off his debts, he is a free man. He wants to get back behind the wheel and reclaim his championship for his son but in those five years the game has changed and there is a whole patch of new young drivers.  

Pegasus (Fei Chi Ren Sheng, 飞驰人生). Image Credit: CMC Pictures.
While the cast is there, it always feels like they are being held back but the story. Image Credit: CMC Pictures.

Pegasus is a film that is exploring a number of themes, all around redemption. The first is around the role of family and how families should stick it out for each other, though they rarely do. We see that in his relationship with his son and also his brother Hong Kuo (Yin Fang). We also see that with all the other people that should be there to help him but balk from doing what is right. Then there is also the theme of being replaced, in the five years since he has been gone there is a whole new batch of riders including Lin Zhendong (Johnny Huang). There is this tension about reasserting that he is the best, and also for Lin, for there to be an actual challenger for him. There is also the role of money in society, the David v Goliath underdog story and more. All of this is cased in the framework of an action-comedy where in this case the action is car racing, bar one scene at the start.

While the film is exploring some interesting themes, it is just lacking in places. While it is good to have the framework of an action-comedy I don’t know if that was the right tone. The comedic aspects don’t fit the serious tone it is going for and that undercuts a lot of the tension the film is trying to build. As well as this, while it was funny at first when things start going wrong in comedic ways. It turns into a really long slog before we get to that final race, where we know the film will get to so dragging it out just feels like padding. Finally, the ending just left me feeling lacklustre and that was even before the slightly odd Overwatch reference in the mid-credit scene. It feels like all the actors are putting their feet down on the accelerator but the story won’t let go of the hand brake. To add to this, they often filmed the cars from this really odd angle that really loses the impact of the speed and manoeuvrability that rally cars have to do, in favour for more remote of the top shots.        

Pegasus (Fei Chi Ren Sheng, 飞驰人生). Image Credit: CMC Pictures.
While there are moment that capture what it is like in a rally, a lot of the time odd camera angles lose the intensity of it. Image Credit: CMC Pictures.

In the end, do we recommend Pegasus? Well, look maybe. Overall, Pegasus is a perfectly fine film, there are moments which are really funny, moments that are quite poignant, and those which are technically really well put together. But I came away from it feeling like it was really lacking in substance, which was a pity because it was almost there.  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Pegasus?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Pegasus
Directed by
– Han Han
Written by – Han Han
Music by – Kwong Wing Chan
Cinematography by – Yuxia Bai
Edited by – Yuxia Bai & Yukun Tan
Production/Distribution Companies – Alibaba Pictures, Bona Film Group, CMC Pictures & Netflix
Starring
– Teng Shen, Johnny Huang, Zheng Yin, Benyu Zhang, Fang Yin, Yu Tian, Xiang Wei, Shaofeng Feng, Winston Chao & Tengger
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: PG;

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