Tuesday 31 January 2012


Chronicling the lives of the 2010 Tourist Trophy road racers, TT3D is out now on DVD and Blu-ray. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

Every year life on the idyllic and tranquil Isle of Man gets interrupted by the buzz of hundreds of motorbike engines, descending on the roads for the annual five day TT road racing competition. With cameras following Guy Martin, the "John Wayne of Motorcycling", as well as scores of other racers and their families, we see the motivations behind why they would risk their lives on such a treacherous circuit.

First time director Richard De Aragues has found pure documentary gold in Guy Martin, the down to earth Lincolnshire lad and enfant terrible of the road racing scene. Following his preparation and progress through the five day event, his presence dominates the film throughout. Although not solely about him, the filmmakers are wise to choose him as their prime subject as he's possibly the most interesting man to ever walk the face of the earth. Essentially an overgrown four year old boy with mutton chops, Guy is fascinated by all things mechanical, be it his complex lego constructions or his interest in the hi tech Steadicam rig that's filming him. He's a funny, funny man without even realising it, kind of like Karl Pilkington with a death wish. Such a unique character, if they ever make a film of his life they'll have to cast him as himself.

Not a sport I had ever been witness to before, my interest in road racing had so far been nil. As a stout user of public transport, I've never really understood the allure of a revving engine, never mind the interest in putting myself in the incredible physical danger these guys do. Never mind closer to the edge, this film crashes over the edge throwing its participants around like a bunch of rag dolls. Each crash is unexpected and breathtaking, all caught on camera to show us the full, blunt trauma of it.

There is tragedy involved. When one of the racers loses his life to the course, the documentary takes a side step to interviewing his wife, contemplative but philosophical about the matter. You have to feel for the families of these men; no-one goes into the race hoping for death, but they have to understand that it comes as part of the package. The same goes for the professional engine runner who, despite providing the racers with finely tuned engines that give them the best chance of winning, feels like a drug dealer for feeding these men's addictions.

Filmed and released in cinemas in 3D, it arrives on Blu-ray with a 2D option on the disc. Having seen the film in 2D, I have to say I'm intrigued but apprehensive as to how the on board camera footage looked in 3D. This is a subject that appears to suit the format, so this must be a worthwhile purchase for those with 3D capable televisions. Personally, I find the idea of being more immersed in these races terrifying, 2D is enough for me, thank you.

Despite a superfluous narration from the jarringly American Jared Leto (everything else about the film feels very British), TT3D is a testosterone fuelled journey full of split-second life or death decisions that makes you understand why these men risk their lives every year at the event. As they say in the film, "if it doesn't excite you, you're not alive".


Special Features: 2D and 3D versions of the film, More Guy Martin footage (including playing with his lego), Contributor Interviews, Extensive additional interviews with racers, Charge: The Electric TT (bonus feature film), Conor Cummins' progress.

1 comment:

  1. Thought this was fantastic and have continued to think so to a greater degree the further I've got away from my viewing of it. Even in 2D I thought the blu-ray image was eye-popping, a really good demonstration of how you can use HD.

    Absolutely right to say the focus on Martin is a good move too - its gives structure to the rest of the exploration of the event.