World's Toughest Driving Tests DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 8.0
Audio 7.5
Special Features   N/A
Total 6.5
Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: 310 Minutes
Classification:
M15+
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs

6.5


World's Toughest Driving Tests

How hard is it to reverse park a 60-tonne dump truck, full to the brim with Scottish coal? Or to find the precise centre of gravity of a Romanian battle tank, so that you can traverse a ridge without injuring yourself or your crew? And just how much skill and training does it take to manoeuvre one of those giant straddle carriers you see at the port between rows of shipping containers?

If you ever thought it would be fun to find out, then World’s toughest driving tests is the next best thing to hopping inside one of these daunting vehicles yourself.  

In this six-part BBC series, good friends and celebrities Will Mellor and Kirsten O’Brien must compete in a series of challenges to find out who is the better driver. A lot is on the line here: pride, bragging rights and an answer to the old question of which sex is better behind the wheel. 

The action kicks off in snowy Romania, where the pair have to come to grips with that nation’s most powerful battle tank. The basics are tackled first, as Will and Kirsten learn to navigate the monster vehicle through an obstacle course designed to test their nerve and skill. Right from the outset, the differences between the two hosts’ driving styles are glaringly obvious: Will, ever the typical hot-headed bloke, rushes into each challenge with a head full of steam and his foot to the floor. Kirsten starts off timidly, and at fist it looks as if she’s going to struggle to come to grips with the vehicle. But in the long run, her patient, methodical approach proves to be more than a match for Mellor’s ‘Damn the torpedos’ attitude.  

The vehicles themselves are a highlight: you’ll learn the ins and outs of snow groomers in Switzerland, Forest harvesters in Uruguay and the bizarre amphibious ‘Arktos’ in Canada.  

It’s great fun to watch the owners of these machines frown and grimace from the sidelines, especially when things go very wrong. In each episode there is some sort of miniature crisis which threatens to derail the whole challenge, and you get the feeling that some smooth talking from the producers was required, on more than one occasion, to allow things to continue.  

Will especially doesn’t help his cause, and makes similar mistakes over the course of the series. Sometimes you just wish he’d slow down, listen to the instructors and do things in their proper order. His perpetual cockiness is grating, especially in the final couple of episodes. If you wanted to you could make a drinking game out of his catch-cries, and take a swig every time you hear ‘C’mon son!’ or ‘Get in!’ But be warned: you’ll probably be cactus within the first half hour. 

The show has an energetic, always-moving look that appears to be designed for the shorter attention spans of younger viewers. The music selection is eclectic, featuring tracks from a diverse range of artists that stretches from the Beastie Boys to Kesha to Johnny Cash.  

With only six episodes and no special features, there is of course the issue of value with this DVD, and that’s where the overall score of 6.5 comes from. You wonder how hard it would have been to get some interviews and bonus footage together. 

World’s toughest driving tests is best seen as a gap-filler in your nightly viewing schedule. It’s laid-back viewing that won’t tax you mentally, and sometimes that’s all we need after a hard day at the office.   






 
 



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