So a ’67 Boss 302 Mustang, a Porsche 991 GTS Turbo, a Toyota GT86 and an ’80 Pace Car Corvette cut loose on the Nürburgring…
Did I lose you? Fine. Go over and read the reviews of “Asphalt Burning” typed by the never-drove-a-stickshift Nancys. I see a couple have posted already.
“Asphalt,” titled “Børning 3” in the Old Country because our Norwegian gearhead (girhode) friends have made three of these things, is a goof — a girhode car comedy more on the order of “Cannonball Run” than “Fast and Furious” or “Rask og Rasende” to the herring eaters.
Dumb? Sure. Funny? Sometimes it is. Cars? Fords and Chevys and Toyotas and Porsches and Lincolns, souped-up, rat-rodded or simply restored, and chased in this case by German cops in a gullwing BMW i8.
The plot is patently ridiculous. Norske street racing “legend” Roy Gundersen (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) is finally, three films in, ready to remarry. He’s had a baby with Sylvia (Kathrine Thorborg Johansen) and has the approval of his grown gearhead daughter Nina (Ida Husøy). Let’s get the gang together for a little fjordside cookout/carfest, finishing with a mock “race” to the mountaintop where Sylvia and the preacher await.
“First one to the top gets the bride!”
But there’s a German minx in the mix. Robyn (Alexandra Maria Lara) is a racecar driver from Deutschland who flirts with Roy, gets a kiss out of him, and then races her Porsche to the front of the wedding party pack to claim Sylvia at the top.
“This is not the man for you!” she barks, as she rats out the smooch and we find out that she and Sylvia have history.
The stupid script has this incident wreck the wedding, with only a proper “rematch” deciding who gets the bride, who is quite irked at Roy’s indiscretion.
The earlier films in this series were Norwegian street and road race tales. But this time, they’ll convoy through Sweden, Denmark and Germany. And then they’ll go car to car/”pink slip for pink slip” in Valhalla for Gearheads, the Nürburgring.
Many mishaps and misadventures are sure to happen along the way.
You don’t have to have seen the earlier films to pick up on the “types” on Roy’s “team.” There’s TT (Trond Halbo) who is into vintage Toyotas, for instance. My favorite is the guy they basically cast because he looks like a Norwegian version of “Top Gear” alumnus Jeremy Clarkson — grizzled “Trollhunter” veteran Otto Jespersen. He’s Nybakken, the Big Block Whisperer, a wizard with engines but a tad hapless at life.
The gags that kind of work include using a souped-up Cadillac hearse, which is mistaken for the real thing by some clueless Swedes, and adding a “Swedish Roy” and “German Roy” — both car guys — into the mix to confuse poor, unforgiving Sylvia.
The German cops bicker over F-1 drivers and take speeding down there damned seriously.
“Nobody messes with my Autobahn!” is funniest in the original German.
Lemmy Müller (Henning Baum) calls himself “The Mustang Killer of Hamburg.” You can’t pass through Germany without racing him on the docks, and yeah, he looks just like Lemmy from Motörhead.
Running gags from the earlier films (their nemesis/cop is now driving a tour bus) don’t amount to much, and you can say the same for the film.
But there are some cute bits. Norwegian 1960s pop-star turned actress Wenche Myhre gets Nybakken’s romantic attention via a song and dance number.
The funniest thing about it all is the mere fact that it exists, this silly nothing of a comedy film series built around European “AmCar” nuts, fans of American muscle back from way back when.
No, it’s not much of a movie. But if any of those conceits tickles your clutch-pedal foot, it’s good for a laugh or three. It’s for “girhodes” only.
MPA Rating: TV-14, profanity, the odd punch is thrown
Cast: Anders Baasmo Christiansen , Alexandra Maria Lara, Shelby Young, Kathrine Thorborg Johansen, Trond Halbo and Otto Jespersen
Credits: Directed by Hallvard Bræin, script by Christopher Grøndahl and Kjetil Indregard. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:40