TT3D: Closer to the Edge

"Very Good"

TT3D: Closer to the Edge Review


Beautifully shot and edited, this documentary about the Isle of Man TT race is packed with whizzy imagery and terrific big-screen characters. But the filmmakers miss a trick by not shaping it into a stronger story.

First run in 1907, the Tourist Trophy still feels lost in time, as riders zoom through streets and around perilous mountain curves at outrageous speeds. And 231 competitors have lost their lives on the course. In the run-up to the 2010 five-race series, the filmmakers follow colourful 28-year-old Lincolnshire biker dude Martin as he prepares for the race. His main competitors are the almost ludicrously fit Hutchinson, young local boy Cummins and legendary record-holder McGuinness.

Although it's not all about the winning, clearly. These men just love riding their bikes on public roads at up to 200mph. During filming, three of these riders have nightmarish crashes in which they sustain serious injuries and still vow to return to race. It's this tenacity that makes them fascinating to watch, and the filmmakers really capture their personalities through a series of offhanded interviews in a variety of settings.

And then there's the exhilarating race footage, as we travel the course through bike-mounted cameras, helicopters and other whizzy angles. These sequences are skilfully cut together to keep us gasping at the riders' audacity. But this sense of focus hasn't been applied to the film's overall structure, as it seems to have been compiled by someone too close to the subject matter. A more ruthless outsider could have made it much more riveting for non-fans.

Basically, the filmmakers manipulate events to build suspense, which alienates the audience because it stresses the wrong parts of the story. And this superfluous material dilutes Martin's fascinating personal journey. His seemingly unstoppable charisma is by far the best thing about this film, and his story is tinged with involving emotion as he talks about young friends who have died while racing, his yearning to win his first TT race and the fact that riding a bike is his only commitment, which is why he has no wife or mortgage.

With someone this captivating on screen, you really don't care about anything - or anyone - else.



TT3D: Closer to the Edge

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd April 2011

Distributed by: CinemaNX

Production compaines: CinemaNX, Isle of Man Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 18

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Richard De Aragues

Producer: Steve Christian,

Starring: as Narrator, Guy Martin as Himself, Ian Hutchinson as Himself, John McGuinness as Himself

Also starring:

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