As insidious as the lumbering behemoth that the summer action blockbuster has become, is the summer quality film. Last year it was The Road To Perdition that was bigged up as the well crafted summer movie that will sweep all the Oscars, this year it was Seabiscuit. And as cold and as calculating as most of the soulless summer effects laiden films, none are more cynical than this attempt to big up the little guy. Especially when that little guy is Americee.

The leaden delivery of the voiceover giving us needless history lessons epitomizes all that is wrong with this supposed tale of a plucky horse. Whose story is it? Is it Horse Whisperery mystic Chris Coopers end of the west story. Is it vomiting Tobey Maguire’s story, a depression era tragic of being physically unfit to do anything properly but still being allowed to do it. Is it Jeff Bridges, who now acts almost identically to Kermit the Frog, and his huckster entrepreneur. Is it the horses story? It is frankly difficult to say, the film starts twenty years before all the action, and continues for another year or so after the obvious climax.

The only really spectacular thing about Seabiscuit is the hair design. Chris Cooper is aged to look like Harvey Keitel with the hair of a brillo pad soaked in milk. And Tobey Maguire’s red head is about as convincing as someone with red paint on their bonce. They spent more time and money making up the horses than they did on the humans. Which is a pity cos this is an old nag.