By Michael Sauter
Updated October 11, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

They’re just a bunch of Hawaiian high school misfits, racing their makeshift solar-paneled car in world-class competition. But Race the Sun isn’t merely another underdogs-win-it-all romp. Hidden behind the silly sunglasses on the video box is a modest sleeper with more heart than all the Mighty Ducks movies combined. Inspired by a true story, the filmmakers combine the usual kid types (the fat one, the nerdy one, et al.) with edgier outcasts, including a girl with a drinking problem and a boy whose native-Hawaiian pride keeps boiling over. Of course, their teacher (Halle Berry) pulls them all together for a moral victory. But for once the feel-good ending doesn’t seem phony. It feels deserved. B-