Borg vs McEnroe Review: A Thrilling, Thought-Provoking Biopic

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Fandango

Two legends with different personas clash in one of the most talked about tennis matches in the world.

Chris Beauchamp, Entertainment Editor

In 1980, the historic Wimbledon Championships happened and pit Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe against each other in a nail-biting tennis match, which will go down as one of the most famous tennis matches ever heard of. Now, in 2018, a biopic about the match and the players themselves has been released for fans of movies and sports to watch and enjoy. The film stars Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, and Stellan Skarsgard. So, how was the film? Let’s talk about it.

For those who don’t know the story, rising American star John McEnroe sets his sights to dethrone the reigning tennis champion: Bjorn Borg. McEnroe is best known for his ferocious energy and his rage-fueled tantrums on the court. Opposite to him, Borg is well known for his great composure, elegant style of play and his huge amounts of popularity. With two legends about to face off, who will walk away victorious? The composed or the tempered?

The film succeeds greatly by providing a thought provoking story and great performances from the main cast. Even though the film is about the legendary match, it also details the lives of both of the players and how they got to the championship. It shows how both of the players’ lives were very similar to each other. Both had to deal with fame and the dealings of anxiety when playing their respected matches. When we get to the actual tennis match, it is absolutely thrilling and exciting to watch. You feel like you are actually there watching the match play out.

Shia LaBeouf delivers one of the best performances of his career and possibly of this year so far. He embodied the anger and rage of John McEnroe while also making the audience feel and care for him at the same time.

In terms of what didn’t work, Sverrir Gudnason’s performance as Bjorn Borg was lacking in emotion. He is very well developed and looks exactly like the player, but didn’t bring enough emotional depth to make the audience truly care for his character.

Other than that, “Borg vs McEnroe” greatly exceeded all expectations. It provides an excellent story, great performances, and immersive, exciting matches to go with it. If you’re a fan of sports movies or tennis in general, this is one you need to watch.

“Borg vs McEnroe” Overall Score: 9.2/10=92%
Letter Grade: A-