Published Apr 30, 2010Hockey had Wayne Gretzky, boxing had Muhammad Ali and competitive eating has "Furious Pete" Czerwinski. Not since Mike Tyson was in his glory days has a single competitive sports figure been so seemingly invincible. Quick visits to his YouTube channel and website ("Furious Eats") uncover videos with titles like Furious Pete downs a 15'' Pizza in Sub 2 Min ― An Epic Eat and the even more self-explanatory Ramen Eating Stunt ― 5 minutes, Almost 6 lbs. Oh, and he's Canadian. I have often found that Canadians are always aware of every single Canadian celebrity; perhaps it's time we added Pete to the pantheon?
The fundamental problem with The Story of Furious Pete is that once you've seen Czerwinski eat an entire pound of butter and god knows how many pizza slices, the rest of the film becomes anticlimactic. Maybe there is supposed to be some suspense when he has to wolf down ten pounds of ribs at Burlington Ribfest to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research, but by then we've seen him eat so much food that ten pounds starts to seem like a fairly conservative figure.
The Story of Furious Pete isn't exactly stirring, but it's never less than pleasant, thanks in large part to Furious Pete. His and his family's recollections of his early struggle with anorexia carry poignancy, and Pete always comes across as a genuinely nice guy, particularly during the film's last act, when he parlays his eating prowess into MS fundraising to support his ailing mother.
There was one question, however, that the documentary conspicuously avoids: just how much more punishment his poor bowels are going to take. (GI Productions)