This is a movie with great subject matter and no so great execution. While I was deeply enthralled in the story, I wasn't as pleased with the way it was presented and it made it hard to approach and easy to get up and ignore.
Terry Hitchcock was your average guy. He had a wife, three kids, and a successful job. But then after his wife develops breast cancer and dies, he becomes a single parent without a job. He does his best at raising them and at the age of 56 realizes that he needs to do something to help other single parents out there. So he decides to run from MN to Atlanta for the Olympics. And he's going to do it at a marathon distance each day. All translated, that's 75 marathons in 75 days.
Terry is an admirable guy. He's old, a little beaten up, yet still tries to push himself to his limits. It makes me feel a little guilty for not running today because of severe sunburn. I feel like a wimp. But having a cause to run for usually helps and Terry had one that was near and dear to his heart. His children we don't see as much of, except for the one that sticks with him through his whole run. But the movie was mostly about Terry, and not the people around him.
I think that a movie about running has the potential to be interesting or boring depending on how it is presented. This one was an interview documentary and it just didn't bring that excitement and sense of fulfillment that another style could have brought. We see Terry running a bit, but the majority was of people talking about him and his struggles. That has his place, but considering he was running for single parents, I expected to find out a little more about what he experienced as a single parent if they were going to do interviews. But that was a very small part of the movie so I didn't feel as if I realized why he was running for that cause.
The actually film itself was split between the modern day interviews and the footage that was shot during Terry's run. I found the older footage more interesting, even if it was of poor quality because of the time it was shot. It actually showed what was going on though, rather than someone just talking about it. With interviews, it was more like reading a book, which I would have rather done for that part of the story. When it comes to a movie, I'd rather actually watch something happening. There also were odd bursts of music, that while they were good songs, they were actually kind of scary because they were so unexpected. Loud and just out there at random points, they made the movie a bit disjointed. And Billy Bob Thorn narrating? Since there was interviews going on I wasn't sure what they needed a narrator or why Terry just didn't narrate.
I think that what Terry did was fantastic. It's definitely an admirable feat of human endurance. I just wish that the movie would have showcased it a little better.
Review by M. Reynard 2013