The Swedish Björn Borg and the American John McEnroe, the best tennis players in the world, maintain a legendary duel during the 1980 Wimbledon tournament.
- Björn Borg: Sverrir Gudnason
- John McEnroe: Shia LaBeouf
- Lennart Bergelin: Stellan Skarsgård
- Mariana Simionescu: Tuva Novotny
- Younger Björn Borg: Leo Borg
- Young Björn Borg: Marcus Mossberg
- Young John McEnroe: Jackson Gann
- Peter Fleming: Scott Arthur
- John McEnroe Senior: Ian Blackman
- Vitas Gerulaitis: Robert Emms
- UK Commentator George Barnes: David Bamber
- Kay McEnroe: Jane Perry
- Björn Borg’s Agent #2: Roy McCrerey
- Bengt Grive: Björn Granath
- Jimmy Connors: Tom Datnow
- Talk Show Host: Colin Stinton
- Psychologist: Janis Ahern
- Mr. Henderson: Bob Boudreaux
- National Teamplayer #2: Wille Glyt
- Södertälje Tennis Coach: Anders Berg
- Borg’s fan (uncredited): Iva Šindelková
- …: Zuzana Geislerová
- British Commentator: Jamie Marshall
- Editor: Per K. Kirkegaard
- Producer: Fredrik Wikström
- Director: Janus Metz
- Original Music Composer: Jon Ekstrand
- Editor: Per Sandholt
- Original Music Composer: Jonas Struck
- Director of Photography: Niels Thastum
- Screenplay: Ronnie Sandahl
- Production Design: Lina Nordqvist
- Sound Designer: Heikki Kossi
- Sound Mixer: Henric Andersson
- Producer: Jon Nohrstedt
- Original Music Composer: Vladislav Delay
- Original Music Composer: Carl-Johan Sevedag
- Sound Designer: Rasmus Whinter Jensen
- Sound Mixer: Anders Ekdahl
- John Chard: You can’t be serious!
Borg vs McEnroe is directed by Janus Metz and written by Ronnie Sandahl. It stars Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård and Tuva Novotny.
The Swedish Björn Borg (Gudnason) and the American John McEnroe (LaBeouf), the best tennis players in the world, maintain a legendary duel during the 1980 Wimbledon tournament.
Cut to the chase, this is one for tennis fans to gorge upon, but even then it’s a bit too lop sided to fully delight. Being a Swedish production it’s heavily loaded towards the personal worries that were plaguing Borg in the very early 1980s. Sadly this renders McEnroe – one of the games greatest and most colourful characters – as being a support player in what set out to be a biographical pic about sports rivalry.
However, what does come across is that both men were driven and actually both were tits for varying reasons. There’s unsurprisingly some parental pressures, while Borg feels the strain of breaking records (as his wife chain smokes) and McEnroe strives to get on the ladder to greatness. Sure the tennis sequences don’t hold up to scrutiny but both Gudnason and LaBeouf (excellent and excellently cast) come out of the physicalities very well.
Ultimately it’s a character study that doesn’t delve too deeply for equal parties, but come the 1980 Wimbledon final, with one of the greatest 4th sets ever played, you should be hard pressed not to rejoice. Not only in the sport of tennis played to the max, but in how two supposed rivals actually became the best of friends. 7/10