What makes Usain Bolt run? Benjamin and Gabe Turner’s understandably awed survey of how the Jamaican sprinter got from there to here in record time benefits from tailing its subject over a period – between Beijing 2015 and Rio 2016 – when his supremacy faced unprecedented threats: nightclubbing injuries, a hunger diminishing in inverse proportion to his distractibility, and rivals new (Yohan Blake) and old (Justin Gatlin).
If Bolt’s talent continues to defy all explanation, the Turner brothers bring us close enough to it to witness bugs swarming over nerveless knuckles on the start line. They also spot how crucial coach Glen Mills is in reframing the training his charge loathes as the kind of play – partying at high speed, in straight lines – he might still lunge towards. Raised up on the big screen, the victories look even easier and more jaw-droppingly elemental: flashes of lightning, allowing us to share in the pleasure of watching a fellow human doing something simple preternaturally well.
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