Love the Beast DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.0
Video 8.0
Audio 7.0
Total 5.5
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 92
Classification: M15+
Reviewer:
Joshua Blackman

5.5


Love the Beast

If someone had told me in the mid 90s I would be reviewing an Eric Bana directed film about his 1974 Ford XB Falcon Coupe (the Beast of the title) I would most likely have laughed at them, and thatís not just because I was still knee-deep in high-school. Banaís rise to Hollywood superstardom after years of work as a comedian on Full Frontal and his subsequent critical and commercial success Ė thanks in part to his excellent choice of projects Ė now  allows him to do whatever he pleases.

His car being close to his heart, he jumped upon the opportunity to make a slight and indulgent film (though Iím assuming he didnít see it that way) about its restoration and his participation in the Targa rally in Tasmania. Bana with his mates, a specialist in Melbourne and, presumably, truckloads of cash, sets out to race-fit his big Aussie muscle car and twenty year labour of love by rebuilding it from the ground up. Footage of this process and the subsequent race is interspersed with interviews with car-nuts Jeremy Clarkson and Jay Leno, who are amusing, and Dr. Phil, who is...Dr. Phil.

Like many I assume, my association with cars comes mainly through Top Gear, and so still feel familiar with this obsession and the relationship one is able to form with a car Ė or indeed any inanimate object. As Clarkson explains, having a somewhat temperamental ride facilitates your rapport with the machine because itís akin to the unpredictability present in human relationships. Dr. Phil nicely articulates that itís important to respect these relationships and do justice to them Ė just as we should do with other people.

Such pronouncements are however, paper thin, and much of the film trawls along slowly in an in an overwrought mixture of family interviews and race footage. It feels more like a very expensive and well produced home movie that Bana would show to his mates. A great document for those involved, but not so interesting to anyone else bar the most ravenous car enthusiast.

The single-disc Region 4 DVD also contains an interview with Bana and an image gallery of his pride and joy (the car, that is).






 
 



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