HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Alpha
Walking Tall
Blockers
Tongan Ninja
Black '47
Godfather Part II, The
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
   
 
Newest Articles
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
   
 
  Journey to Le Mans Gentlemen Start Your EnginesBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Charlotte Fantelli
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Tiff Needell, Simon Dolan, Filipe Albuquerque, Bob Friend, Marc Gené, Sam Hignett, John Hindhaugh, Allan McNish, Harry Tincknell, Oliver Turvey, Mark Webber, Pete Webster
Genre: Action, Documentary
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The twenty-four hour road race of Le Mans has built a reputation since 1923 as one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious, races in the world, with teams from all over the globe taking part in the hopes of lifting the trophy. The 2013 event had been overshadowed by a fatal crash, something that must have been playing on the minds of all those drivers who entered the following year, and a British privateer team leader, Simon Dolan, although determined to win this year after many tries, was all to aware of the danger that could befall a competitor in a contest that was as much about endurance as it was skill. His team was Jota Sport, and in 2014 they genuinely felt they had a chance...

The record of the world's motor racing used to take the form of a film to be watched in cinemas, yet with the rise of home video the followers were more likely to be watching such works on VHS or later, DVD, that being a lucrative market for offering footage of the sport. So Journey to Le Mans was something of a throwback to the days of Weekend of a Champion, a seventies documentary considered by those in the know as one of the great films on the subject, and indeed one which had earned itself a rerelease mere months before this arrived. The success of Formula 1 doc Senna in cinemas was surely another factor in getting director Charlotte Fantelli's efforts the green light.

This was not quite up to those standards, but by tracking the Jota team and its eventual progress through the qualifying races to the big day itself they did manage a solid narrative, especially if you did not know the result of the 2014 competition. Though if you did, you were going to be a Le Mans fan, and therefore the target audience for a film on the subject, which may have you wondering what this could tell you that you didn't know already as after all you were aware of the winner. And for those uninitiated, what was the point in seeing a film that spoke to the experts more than the laymen? The answer to that might not have been one hundred percent convincing, as what the narrative lacked was a real conflict.

Not that Fantelli would have been better off depicting a demolition derby, but with very little coverage of the other teams, so much so that they are mentioned merely in passing, the focus on Jota did feel as if it was excluding some real drama. Of course, every team wants to win, but there was no sense of a great rivalry, more a group of drivers setting about the exercise with nothing but professionalism and the uncritical compunction to win through the feats of engineering and driver ability. Don't go looking for a repeat of the Senna contests or the then-recent Ron Howard blockbuster Rush which depicted what audiences relished, the one on one push to win at all costs, and at the cost of the other man in the headline-grabbing clash of personalities.

This left us with Dolan and his men battling against the clock and the conditions more than the other cars, fair enough as that was probably a major factor in getting somewhere in the sport, but risked blandness. Certainly the footage from the races was sleekly presented, much slow motion in evidence so we could recognise the techniques, and the narration from Sir Patrick Stewart contributed immensely to the portentous nature of events as they unfolded: it was a real coup to secure his services as his voice could elevate a Scalextric game to a legendary clash. There were mishaps along the way, as Dolan crashes at one qualifier and the film rather cruelly withholds the information whether he was all right or not to generate tension, but also triumphs as an against the odds narrative develops, just the sort of sporting excitement the fans want to see. So if this was more a souvenir for an aficionado, it was by no means exclusive to them, the less enamoured could easily appreciate the well-captured action. Music by Phil Mountford (a shade too heavy on the power ballads).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 818 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: