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'Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones' is a missed opportunity

'Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones' is a missed opportunity
The poster image for the film "Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones."

The documentary "Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones" recounts the former midget-car racer's traumatic brain injury sustained in a 1994 racetrack accident at age 22 and the long road of rehabilitation to regain brain and body functions.

Rich Sloan, a family friend, captured much of the progress of Jones, son of Parnelli Jones, winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500. Filmmaker Luann Barry does little to elevate this raw footage into something other than a glorified hourlong home movie. Worse, the film progresses according to a timeline, yet the time stamps on the home movies often don't match up.

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The healthcare professionals featured here seem robotically programmed to read off a script and get on a soapbox about the general state of brain injury treatment. Instead, they could have discussed specifics in Jones' case or educated the audience about complications and the process of therapy.

Indeed, the film never gives a real sense of the daily travails associated with traumatic brain injury. The home movies are simply augmented with non-sequitur sound bites and archival race footage. The use of racing as a metaphor for rehabilitation becomes a cliché fast. And reminiscing about Page's unfulfilled potential as a driver only undermines his accomplishments on the road to recovery.

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"Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 5 minutes.

Playing: At Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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