Short Track (DVD Review)7 Sep, 2008 By: Dan Bennett
Prebook 9/8/08; Street 9/30/08
Rated 'PG' for mild thematic elements and some suggestive humor.
Stars Pepper Sweeney, Barbara Niven, Joshua Snyder, Ann Bratton.
Even those who don't quite understand the appeal of auto racing must recognize its mass popularity. Promotional material for the family film Short Track informs us that racing is the No. 2-rated spectator sport in the country, one in three adult Americans is a racing fan and the average household income for NASCAR fans is more than $68,000. Also, it says 41% of racing fans are women.
Those stats are good news for the makers of Short Track, who have created a mostly entertaining and certainly easy-to-follow family story about a racing clan challenged by obstacles, but willing to go the extra lap — or whatever racing metaphor you prefer.
Blake Beckett, played by Pepper Sweeney, is a proven winner on the short-track racing circuit, but has never moved up to race on the long track with the big boys, and his time may be running out. He and his crew are tutoring a talented newcomer from California, the aptly nicknamed Indy, a young man who also takes a romantic interest in Blake's beautiful daughter. Perhaps, though, this is finally Blake's time to live in the sun and earn accolades.
Short Track is a family story that is loaded with racing action, lingering and loving long shots of cars racing laps and gunning for the finish. It's also full of elements presumably designed to keep its demographic happy and interested, including country music performed by Blake's beautiful and talented daughter Abby, played by Ann Bratton.
Infusing high energy with high octane, Short Track offers an amiable story that is also an ode to the sport it clearly adores.