Is Fifty: The Movie inspiring? Yes. Is it visually stunning? Yes. Is it worth watching more than once? It’s probably a bit too early to tell.
Malcolm Law is no stranger to endurance events. In 2009 he first completed the 7 in 7 challenge, running all of New Zealand’s great walks in just one week. This event required a completely different kind of physical and mental toughness, one far beyond the capabilities of most weekend warriors.
In Fifty: The Movie we join him on his attempt to run fifty mountain marathons in fifty days. Alongside him are a committed support crew (lead by his wife Sally) and groups of enthusiastic runners who join him along the way. The feat also doubles as a fundraising drive for the Mental Health Foundation.
Very early into the challenge, Malcolm injured his knee and was very often reduced to a hobbling walk up many of the mountains.
Credit to him though, he never gave up, and as he gained momentum, so did the fundraising target.
Visually, there is some breath-taking scenery from wide angle helicopter shots which illustrate just how lucky New Zealand is to have some of best outdoor spots in the world.
The editing is one part where I have a bone to pick. The first half dragged on much more than the second half, which really flew by. It may be a reflection of the surging momentum Malcolm gained as his knee started to get better. Although I’m also a keen runner and movie watcher, some parts were, well … boring.
It would also have been nice to hear more of the support runner stories and what inspired them to join Malcolm, aside from the token ones which appear. The emotional and poignant element which I think everyone was hoping for just flickers in and out.
All in all though, runners and non-runners alike will be inspired to push themselves that little bit harder in life. The sheer fact Malcolm finished is remarkable. In 50 days he covered 1,659km and achieved 81,779m in elevation. His initial fundraising target was reached before he’d even set off and by the end, it was more than $505,050. Good endings do happen folks.