“The Doctor, The Tornado And The Kentucky Kid”
Directed by Mark Neale
by Gus Breiland
The year sees a new DVD release on the sport of Moto GP from “Faster’s” director, Mark Neale; “The Doctor, The Tornado and The Kentucky Kid”. Like “Faster”, we get to look into the world of Moto GP, the pinnacle of road motorcycle racing and speed.
One can’t help but compare it to “Faster”, hell; it’s billed that way. From the same director down to Ewan McGregor as the voice over, “DTK” has big shoes to fill and it does a fair job. The best return is Ewan McGregor. He has an excellent voice for both movies and I am glad that he is back for “DTK”.
American motorsports has been infected by NASCAR for many years now. Oval tracks with good old boys who don’t race in the rain and talk like Deliverance porch rockers. What we miss in this country are motorsports such as Trials, Super Motard, Rally racing and Moto GP where men and machine need technique and a fine understanding of their capabilities and their limitations.
Moto GP also means a venue that spectators will either have to walk to see a different area of the track or they may just miss part of the event instead of sitting on their butt and watching all 4 corners. Americans have a wonderful ability to bring their laziness into their sporting venues. It is the humble opinion of this reviewer (not claiming I can do it either) that turning left is not a skill. Riding a Moto GP isn’t even a skill, it is a gift that few are given.
Another thing I like about Moto GP, is that the riders may share information during testing and practice laps, but when it comes to race day it is every man for himself. There is no teammate, or team strategy, other than win. Nobody is making deals in the pits that affect the checkered flag. The riders and their machines dictate the podium.
Unlike “Faster”, this is an Ameri-centric movie focusing on the 2005 return of Moto GP to Laguna Seca. Not since 1994 has Moto GP been in the states and only a few of the riders had ever been on the track. It highlights American riders, Nicky Hayden (the Kentucky Kid), Colin Edwards (The Tornado) and John Hopkins. Valentino Rossi (The Doctor) is also highlighted as he is currently (as Colin Edwards describes his Yamaha teammate) the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). A movie about Moto GP without mentioning Rossi would be like a BLT with out the B, L or T.
The best thing about this movie is meeting the families around Hayden and Edwards. You get to understand the sacrifices they made as children racers and the sacrifices the families made to get them there. I am impressed with the appreciation that Nicky, Colin, and John have for all the support around them. Sure, they are cocky and have a swagger that men have when they are at the top of their game, but they are humbled and respectful of their families and teams.
“DTK” has some wonderful footage of Laguna Seca, race lines, and onboard shots during practice, and the race itself. It is a good movie as a motorcycle-racing documentary, but it is lacking in blood pressure. Most notably, the sound track. “Faster” had a loud, fast sound track with a hurried video pace and fast clips. They had an entire season of racing to cover with crashes, drama, and multiple personalities whereas “DTK” covers one event and a couple of riders.
The race was pretty non-eventful in the crashing sense, but historic for GP coming back and Americans in the 1st and 2nd spot. When “Faster” was showing race footage, the soundtrack got your heart rate up and you had a real sense of urgency. “DTK” is mellow. While the footage is dramatic, I wanted my heart rate to increase. I am a couch racer. I respect what these men do and I want to experience this in the comfort of my own home, but I don’t want to fall asleep during the film. “DTK” has some segments that will put you to sleep.
If you liked “Faster” you will like this movie. While it will not put you on the edge of your seat, it will give you what you want; race footage, race footage and race footage. My favorite part is seeing Hayden win, head over and pick up his father and take him for a victory lap. It confirms my feeling that these men know their roots, understand the sacrifices made; and this ultimately makes them better at their jobs. I hope someone picks it up to show in a few theatres. My guess is I would appreciate it more on the big screen.
You can order your copy at www.dtkmovie.com for $24.95 plus tax, shipping and handling. A collector’s edition will be released towards the end of the year.