McLaren Reviewed by Glenn from NZ Entertainment Podcast


The Premise
The story of Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of motor racing and win

The Review
From Hollywood back to New Zealand, Rodger Donaldson, shows to a have a close heart for telling New Zealand stories about great Kiwi blokes, ordinary guys who make it big from little – humble beginnings, from the garden shed to taking on the world.

Bruce McLaren is a true legend in motor racing, the guy accomplished so much before his untimely death at the young age at thirty-two. It’s awe-inspiring how McLaren changed the map in car racing, the documentary does a great job covering all his triumphant moments.

McLaren ticks all the right boxes, interviews from those close to him, covering all the accomplishments this great man made, and how he was able to make those around him, believe in his vision and follow in his dreams. The documentary is glossy and polished, a mix of styles. Reconstructed scenes with actors, which I noticed, interestingly do not show faces, which was slightly distracting at times. Animation is used, but only in one instance, and when it did felt oddly out of place.

A documentary is a visual medium so there also needs to be inventive ways to show things visually, that’s the challenge this film faces, making a movie without it being stale or inert. There’s plenty of archive footage, with interviews mixed with panache, that helps the film move along at a fluid pace.

My only gripe is, McLaren lacks the clever design and intrigue of Senna, the documentary film of famed Brazilian F1 race driver, which I feel is a more rounded film. I bring this up, as it brings me to a point where I felt something was missing.  McLaren, that is the personal side of Bruce McLaren, the behind scene stuff that no one talks about, the rascal, the dirt. It would have been nice to see that side of the man.

The Verdict
This is a film very worthy of watching, there is enough to take in and absorb. I just wanted more of the private side of Bruce McLaren, not just his amazing and incredible achievements.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 1st June 2017
Rating: G
Duration: 93 minutes 
Genre:  Documentary
Starring: Bruce McLaren, Dwayne Cameron
Director: Roger Donaldson (The World’s Fastest Indian)

The Legacy
The team Bruce McLaren founded in 1963 would continue on after his death and win 8 Constructors' Championships and 12 Drivers' Championships in Formula One.
Bruce McLaren Intermediate School in West Auckland was named after him shortly after his death. It was originally going to be called Henderson South Intermediate. The school is on Bruce McLaren Road, in the suburb of McLaren Park.
In 2015 the Taupo Motorsport Park in New Zealand was renamed Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park.

In 2000, Motorsport NZ and the Prodrive Trust created the Bruce McLaren Scholarship to help up-and-coming New Zealand racing drivers.

Inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995.

The Bruce McLaren Trust, based in Auckland, New Zealand, perpetuates his memory and runs a small museum from the flat where Bruce grew up (above a petrol station in Remuera).

On 20 January 2007, at New Zealand's round of the A1 Grand Prix series, it was announced that a movie was to be made about Bruce McLaren.

On February 21, 2017 it was announced that Roger Donaldson would be making a movie called McLaren

The University of Auckland Formula SAE team use Bruce's racing number 47 as their car number in memory of Bruce.