Borg/McEnroe is a film about one of the world’s greatest icons Björn Borg and his biggest rival, the young and talented John McEnroe and their legendary duel during the 1980 Wimbledon tournament. It’s a story about two men who changed the face of tennis and who became legends, and the price they had to pay.
It may also go down as one of the great movies about sport.
Sverrir Gudnason is sensational as the “Ice-Borg”, Sweden’s tennis hero on the cusp of an historic fifth win at Wimbledon.
Shia LaBeouf inhabits the SuperBrat so well that the film plays almost like a documentary as we see flashbacks to both players childhoods and glimpses of what motivates them to want be the best in the world.
Despite not being a big sports fan, I was hooked within the opening minutes of the film and couldn’t wait to find out which player won Wimbledon. I resisted the temptation to google the result and was happy to let the film pay it off with a stunning display of endurance as the game (and film) builds to an epic conclusion.
I enjoyed Battle of the Sexes recently but that was more about personal relationships and not so much about tennis. This is very much about the rivalry between the two men (as well as their relationship to each other before, and after the game), and the win at all costs mentality required to become the number one tennis player in the world.
Borg was already in that position and desperate to hold onto his crown, while McEnroe was the hungry up-and-comer with his eyes on the prize.
This is one of those films that can fly under the radar, so do go see it while it is on the big screen.
4 Stars – “Smashing”