Being a famous blogger, novelist, singer and film director seemed not to be enough for Han Han, who at one point, also decided to become a rally driver, and then blog and write about his experience. Then he decided to shoot a movie about rally, which brings us to “Pegasus”, his third movie, 2 years after the very good “Duckweed”.
The hero of the film is Zhang Chi, a former rally champion who was banned from racing after taking part in an illegal race and resisting arrest after the police arrived in the parking lot the event took place. Now, as his 5 year ban is about to be lifted, he finds himself cooking fried rice on his stall, since sponsors and friends, and in essence, everyone around him except his little boy, have abandoned him. Despite his difficulties though, which also include some spare weight and a revoked driving license, he is set on becoming a champion again. In his effort, soon he finds help by his old teammates, after making amends with them, and particularly Sun Yugiang, his co-driver. Their struggles, however, that also include a number of embarrassing moments, as the one in a plea for money during a reality show, seem to lead them nowhere, at least until his rival, new champion Lin Zhengdong decides to help him start racing again. His reasons? To prove that he can win against the former champion and that his success is not just the outcome of his family’s money.
Han Han, this time, directs a movie that follows the rules of the mainstream film, focusing exclusively on entertainment, and leaving almost any kind of social commentary aside. This element, though, is not necessary bad, since the combination of (slapstick) comedy, impressive visuals including CGI, and the sharp editing by Yuxia Bai and Yukun Tan actually result in a very entertaining film that retains interest until the end, despite its somewhat clichéd narrative. Furthermore, the concept of the benevolent villain and the finale (until the credits at least) compensate for the lack of originality. Regarding the visual and in general, the technical aspect, the movie finds its apogee in the race in the end, which is bound to satisfy all fans of speed cars.
The casting for the film was excellent, with Sheng Teng as Zhang Chi embodying the poor devil archetype in the most hilarious fashion (his interactions with his son are probably the film’s best asset), while Jingyu Huang as Lin Zhengdong is equally convincing as the exact opposite.
“Pegasus” is not a great film, but is fast, good-looking, funny and definitely one that deserves to be watched on a big screen