There’s nothing really new or original in 4 Minute Mile but thanks to its winning cast, I doubt anyone will really mind.
It’s the story of a talented high school athlete, Drew (Kelly Blatz), who finds himself kicked off the track team. He’s got a dirtball drug dealer of a brother (Cam Gigandet) who practically forces him to run his drugs to the local drug supplier and a mother (Kim Basinger) who chooses to look away at what’s happening at the most convenient of times.
Realizing he needs a way out, he seeks the help of a former track coach (Richard Jenkins) who puts the hammer down and forces him to work hard for the first time in his life. Jenkins wants him to run the four minute mile. If he does, he says, he can get a scholarship to anywhere he wants to go. The two start to form a bond as the race that will hopefully get him a scholarship draws closer.
Jenkins, as usual, is wonderful as the demanding ‘ole track coach. He’s the Mr. Miyagi of the film (there’s even a joke about that at one point), spouting his wisdom to anyone who will listen. Jenkins just makes everything better.
I’d never seen Blatz in anything before this. His performance is really understated and flows nicely through the whole film. Acting alongside Jenkins will make anyone look talented but he’s got chops.
And I haven’t seen Analeigh Tipton since she was in Crazy, Stupid, Love. I really liked her in that and here she’s great also. It’s a pretty thankless role – she plays the love interest – but she gives the role more depth than probably what was written in the script.
Blatz’s Drew runs everywhere; he’s like an intelligent Forrest Gump.
I did wish that he stood up to his brother. Granted, if he does, then the whole ending wouldn’t happen – and we need tragedy! – but he’s such a sucker that it’s frustrating.
Directed by Charles-Oliver Michaud, this is a film we’ve seen this film before, yeah, but it’s well worth watching.