If you’re a bike nut or into MotoGP, go out and buy these three documentaries. For someone like me who is MotoGP obsessed? *splooshhh*
So what exactly are these documentaries? Each created and directed by Mark Neale and tells the story of various MotoGP seasons . I wouldn’t strictly call them documentaries either. They are more of a mix between a documentary and a movie/drama. Let’s call them docudramas. Or are they mocumentaries? I think I’ll just go with films.
So why am I reviewing all three of these…films at once? Each is loosely part a series. They are all stand-alone films, but frequently you’ll find these three sold together on Ebay and the likes. Faster covers the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Fastest the 2010 and 2011 seasons and Hitting the Apex up to 2014. All three also touch on seasons and events that have previously transpired.
Faster concentrates on the rivalry between Biaggi and Rossi but also features Gary McCoy and the American John Hopkins during the start of the four stroke era. There are also cameos of everyone’s favorites from yesteryear, Rainey, Schwantz, Doohan and Sheene. It is fantastic to see the older footage even if it is a bit dated. The rivalry between Biaggi and Rossi is absolutely brilliant and I found the change from two-strokes (lest we forget) to four-strokes particularly interesting. There are candid interviews with the riders and on top of this, journo’s from the GP circuit give a splendid insight into the paddock. While the footage is a little dated, this is a high quality offering and a good place to start things off. Hell they’ve even got Ewan McGregor (a motorcycle die hard if you didn’t know) doing the voice over work.
Fastest follows much the same format as Faster (including Mr McGregor) but has a noticeable step up in image quality. After all, this was shot nearly 10 years later. There are some absolutely brilliant racing scenes, especially the starting sequence. This film can be used as an intro of sorts into the modern MotoGP paddock for newcomers. Rossi is still kicking around and there are also some new faces, our boy Casey Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo and several others from the time. Again there are one on one interviews and I love how frank the riders are. It’s something that is not expressed during the season while riders play the PR game. I really enjoyed Fastest and would put it on a similar level as Faster.
Hitting the Apex is for me the star of the show. Mr McGregor has been given the ass and been replaced by Brad Pitt (another motorcycle die hard). The footage is top notch and Neale has added a level of emotion that the other films failed to touch upon. Neale has refined the formula used in the first films and the cinematography is out of this world. We have the aliens, Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa, but the film also shows that a changing of the guard is in the works with the entry of Marquez and Simoncelli.
The movie does a great job in displaying the different rider’s personalities. You see what a character Simoncelli was, that Pedrosa is so nice you just want to give him a hug and how charismatic Rossi is. The film also does a fantastic job of showing how much effort all the riders put in throughout the season and the injuries they suffer.
I do have a couple of complaints that apply to all the films. Firstly it’s a bit over the top. We know MotoGP riders are amazing, but the voice over work can be wanky and cheesy at the best of times. Another complaint is the films are at times aimed at people who have no idea what MotoGP is. I can completely understand why they have taken this avenue (got to get those sales), but in my mind the only people who are going to be watching this are people who are already into the sport or at least have some idea of what’s going on. Not a big deal, but just something to be wary of.
Overall, I really enjoyed all three films. If you were to only get one, I’d recommend Hitting the Apex. The footage quality and production values are absolutely first class. But don’t count the other two out, they are both well worth watching. Hell, I managed to get all three for only $24 delivered on eBay, bargain!
Until next time people, keep it OnTheBackWheel.