Today: February 26, 2024

TT: Closer to the Edge DVD

If you aren’t a motorcycle fanatic, the only exposure you would have had to the Isle of Man TT road race is probably the classic arcade game complete with fake super bikes. However if you are a rabid enthusiast then the Isle of Man is steeped deep into motorcycle history.

If you aren’t a motorcycle fanatic, the only exposure you would have had to the Isle of Man TT road race is probably the classic arcade game complete with fake super bikes. However if you are a rabid enthusiast then the Isle of Man is steeped deep into motorcycle history.

Since 1907 racers have flocked to the infamous island off the coast of Britain, to take part in the most notorious course in the world. Raced purely on the streets of the Isle of Man, complete with trees, houses, lamp posts, cliffs, churches and even animals, travelling at speeds of 180mph, the TT attracts riders from all over the globe. What makes the race so endearing to those involved is the ridiculously high risks that the racers go through. Due to the unpredictable nature of the sport in general the dangers are only heightened due to the volatile route on the island. So controversial is it that many professional super bike racers refuse to take part in the event, plus the event has lost its world championship status due to its reckless nature. To date 237 deaths have occurred during official races on the course. To put this into perspective that is an average of at least two deaths a year. When you consider that the event is held a little over 12 days it is a staggering statistic.

TT: Closer to the Edge delves right into the mindset of the riders and tries to understand just why they choose to take part in such a dangerous spectacle. The documentary features several riders but mainly focuses on the ludicrously charismatic Guy Martin. Martin is so likeable and eccentric you could be forgiven if you thought the entire film was about him. The part time lorry mechanic, part time motorcycle superstar is so determined and desperate to etch his name into the Isle of Man history he almost does himself no favours by just trying to have fun. Yet Martin is just one of the many colourful characters that we meet along the way. Despite the different backgrounds and origins they all have the same desire and aspirations when it comes to the TT. They fully know the dangers yet there is just some bizarre sense of glory and aspiration that forces them to push themselves to the limit. Throughout it though you can’t help but feel it is more a question of ethics and whether these people should be allowed to dice with there lives so selfishly. At one point the race organiser describes himself akin to a drug dealer whenever a fatality arises.

Originally released in theatres in 3D, the 3D Blu Ray will undoubtedly transpire well onto the smaller screen especially during the race sequences. Unfortunately whilst the cinematography and attention to detail is wonderful, at times the 3D in the more idle scenes can feel a little forced. Plus the infrequent narration from Jared Leto is out of place and awkward at times. But if anything these are only minor criticism to what is essentially a captivating documentary. To brand it a sports documentary would be belittling it. Director Richard De Aragues has crafted an inspiring, deeply moving and thought provoking insight into the minds of humans that want to get closer to the edge.

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