Le Mans DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Le Mans
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
Le Mans DVD Review You have to really ‘get’ motor racing in order to enjoy this film. That might sound like I’m stating the obvious, but I’m not. This is a true-to-life recreation of the great Le Mans 24 hour race, filmed solely at the track and its surrounds.
Rating:
3.00

Feature 6.0
Video 5.0
Audio 5.5
Special Features 5.0
Total 6.0
Distributor: Umbrella
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification
: G

6.0


Le Mans

You have to really ‘get’ motor racing in order to enjoy this film. That might sound like I’m stating the obvious, but I’m not. This is a true-to-life recreation of the great Le Mans 24 hour race, filmed solely at the track and its surrounds. This isn’t even really a movie about Le Mans, because there is practically no story. It is Le Mans. It’s just like watching two hours of the race, and everything which that entails: it can be exciting, it can be tedious, it can be harrowing and suspenseful.

Here’s a breakdown of the plot: 

American racing car driver Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) has had a horror year, having just recovered from a crash at the Nurburgring circuit which caused the death of a fellow driver. He enters the Le Mans 24 hour race with his Gulf team Porsche, as the main rival to German ace Eric Stahler (Siegfried Rauch.) Over the course of the 24 hours, Delaney battles his own personal demons while he tries to stay on the road and bring home the ultimate prize. 

The lead female role of Lisa Belgetti is filled by Elga Andersen, but her presence feels token at best. There is very little dialogue in this film, and most of it consists of muffled conversations in pit lane. McQueen himself says it best during a conversation with Elga: “Racing- it’s life. Everything that happens before or after is just waiting.” 

And that’s how we as the audience feel throughout most of the off-track scenes: that they’re just padding while we’re waiting for the real thing to start up again. 

Every now and then the post-production team try to do something cute with the editing, or the quirky jazz soundtrack kicks in, but these moments are rare. There are lots of crane or helicopter shots and long sequences showing the people in the crowd, as well as all the peripheral excitement of sideshow alleys and miniature car races. There is an authenticity to be found here, but mostly it just feels like the production crew have gathered as much footage of the race event as possible and then tried to cobble it together in a film.  

Special Features: 

Alongside the theatrical trailer, there is a brief documentary called ‘Filming at Speed.’ This is hosted by McQueen’s son Chad, and takes us through the making of Le Mans. It doesn’t go into as much detail as I would have liked, but the information on the stunts and camera-work is good value.

Closing comments:

 If you ‘get’ the Le Mans 24 hour- if you tune in every year, get excited by pit strategies and tyre compounds- then you’ll get a kick out of this feature. If you’re a raving fan of Steve McQueen then the same applies. For everyone else, the lack of story and character development might leave you wanting. 

Review courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment and available to purchase at
http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/p-3014-le-mans.aspx






 
 



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