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    review by Tom Hagen                   Full Review List


It was hard not to be apprehensive going in to see Accelerator. A film about twelve joyriders racing from Belfast to Dublin is always going to run the risk of glorification. And while the lack of a clear cut 'joyriding is wrong' message at the end might find some people coming out against it I found that anyone with a bit of common sense will figure it out for themselves.

The film opens right in the middle of a car chase and we're introduced to Johnny T, fleeing paramilitaries intent on teaching him the error of his joyriding ways. Successfully escaping, he makes his way to his cousin's in Dublin from where he plans to fly to Barcelona.

However it's not so simple. With no money he's stuck in Ireland and it's only a matter of time before he'll be tracked down. However an opportunity arises when an old grudge flairs up in Dublin. Whacker, an illiterate borderline psychotic, challenges him to a race from Belfast to Dublin in order to settle who's the king of the roads once and for all. A cash prize means Johnny T can flee to Barcelona and start over.

Six joyriders from each city take part in the race, two to a car, and the story flits smoothly from one car to another as we follow the progress of each pair. Along the way there's comic relief, budding romance, shop-lifting, run-ins with the RUC, the British army, the Gardai and the Provos and of course lots and lots of fast driving.

Accelerator runs at a fast and furious pace and it features better car chases than you've ever seen in an Irish movie before. It doesn't gloss over its subject matter and yet still manages to get us on the side of the main characters, well most of them at least. If you've had your car stolen lately however you might want to give this one a miss.

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