The Worlds Fastest Indian is the story of someone who had a wild idea and simply decided to go and do it. try to imagine in your mind’s eye the holder of the land speed record for a motorcycle. What does that person look like? I’m guessing you didn’t picture a man in his late 70’s from a small town from the northernmost point of New Zealand who lives in a shack, wore a button-up shirt and linen slacks to the race and was riding a Indian motorcycle from the 1920’s that he built up from the frame himself. Well, this is the true story of that amazing old fart and it really is a true story.
Once Walter Bruno was getting on in age he was alone and living in a dingy garage. He decided he wanted to build the worlds fastest motorcycle. Seriously, he decided to take the frame of a 1920’s Indian Scout and tinker with it in his garage on the dream of turning it into the fastest bike on earth. To say this is far fetched is a gross understatement. Problem is, he wouldn’t quit. One day he thought he was ready, saved up money to travel to the Bonneville Salt Flats and make it official. He had so little money that he made his way there working odd jobs for transportation on cargo ships and car dealerships, all the while dragging an customized antique bike he’d only ridden once before.
Age, money, experience, isolation, family tragedy, nothing inhibited this guy. It’s such a great and uplifting story.
Now on a slightly negative note, the acting wasn’t the best and Hopkins’ accent was pretty awful, but outside of that, the movie plays well. There’s little drama here, but it’s not about the drama. It’s about a couple of very simple, but profound things. First, if you are good to others you will often get goodness in return and, two, that often the only thing that separates you from your dream accomplishments is a Herculean amount of effort.