Snake and Mongoose

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Jesse Williams, Richard Blake, Noah Wyle, Fred Dryer, Ashley Hinshaw, Kim Shaw. Racing bio/drama. Written by Alan Paradise, Wayne Holloway. Directed by Wayne Holloway.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s funny how films seem to come in twos. When I was a little boy, there were two biographical films made the same year about Jean Harlow, a platinum blonde whose movies were, even by then, relegated to the late, late show. Throughout the years, I’ve surmised that a movie concept floats above the hamlet of Hollywood and often settles upon more than one studio head office at the same time. Such is the case this year concerning stories of car racing. A month ago, we were treated to the testosterone-fueled Rush, about two Formula One competitors. And now, we get a reenactment of the legendary drag racers Don “the Snake” Predhomme and Tom “Mongoose” McEwen.

While the characters in Rush, as well as their cars, are good-looking and go fast, they don’t seem to get anywhere. The two male leads trade hostile barbs, treat their women like trophies, and their main goal in life is to be the first to see the checkered flags. In Snake and Mongoose, however, the film is ultimately a tip of the hat to American entrepreneurism. Oh, there’s competition and ego, but there’s also friendship, loyalty and a tribute to invention. In the land of opportunity, a guy looks at his interest, and studies it until he can figure a way to make money from it. Sometimes, a lot of money. That’s what happened with Prudhomme and McEwen, two friendly competitors who enticed a sought-after sponsor – Mattel’s Hot Wheels, and managed to generate sports interest by forming a mostly manufactured rivalry.

Jesse Williams (the Snake) and Richard Blake (Mongoose) humanize their characters, bringing humor, relevance and honor to the real-life heroes they portray. Director Wayne Holloway (also co-writer) keeps the action sequences intense, utilizing real footage of the glory years of drag racing during the 1960s and ‘70s, and moving his story skillfully through the decades. He also handles the dramatic scenes effectively, revealing his characters’ struggles and successes as well as their inner need to find purpose in life.

It’s a lot more than a racing movie. It showcases inventiveness and friendship.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Rocky Mountain Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Name calling

Obscene Language: The film is peppered with many mild expletives and a few obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: I caught one use of God’s name followed by a curse and two or three disrespectful uses of Christ’s name.

Violence: We see real footage of car crashes.

Sex: A couple of sexual situations are implied, but not shown.

Nudity: No nudity, just several women in short shorts; that said, the filmmaker doesn’t really exploit them – no lingering shots on behinds as they walk away; the filmmaker avoided such exploitation.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking and smoking, but it does not glorify their use.

Other: A child becomes sick and dies from leukemia.

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.