The Isle of Man Touring Trophy is widely accepted to be the greatest motorcycle race in the world. It certainly is the most dangerous, since the first race held in 1907 there has been 231 deaths and thousands of horrific injuries. The race track is nearly forty miles long and winds its way through villages on tiny street roads and over mountains too. Racers are pushing their bikes to over 200 miles an hour on the fastest sections and thousands of spectators come from all over the world to witness the event.
I expected this to be nothing more than a bike fest but was surprised to find that it openly challenged the viewer to enter the minds of the racers and their families, exploring the reasons behind why these individuals would put their lives at such great risk. The main focus is on Guy Martin who is a lorry mechanic when he is not Racing and he comes across as a genuinely likable character who is somewhat of a pin-up boy in the 2010 TT Race. The viewer takes a personal journey with Guy in the build-up to the race and you get an open and honest feel for the pressures involved when a human pushes their mind and body to the absolute limit. This close up and personal approach to the film gives something unique and special to the viewer. Guy fast-talks his way all the way from start to finish and comes out with some hilarious lines throughout:
“What would you say… A tile short of a roof? One short of a six-pack? A few slates adrift? We'd use that one a lot. Lights are on but no one's home. I can imagine, from the outside looking in, anyone that's racing the TT looks like the lights are on but no one's home.”
I have to say the moment he say's that in the movie, I laughed out loud but still felt quite challenged by the truth within the statement. It is not all about Guy Martin though; other riders like Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson, Conor Cummins and John McGuiness all give their brutally honest versions to the reasons behind pushing themselves close to death. The openness from all of these individuals is quite challenging for the viewer, none more so than the interview with Bridget Dobbs whose husband Paul had died in the race the year before, she explains her late husband's passion and drive to participate in this crazy race.
Director Ricard de Aragues pulls off an incredible job and the cinematography is just breathtaking rivaling that in Ron Howards Rush, it was filmed in 3D and the film starts with a flying lap of the full track filmed through the visor of one of the riders. This heart-stopping opening scene sets the standard for the whole film that romps along at a blistering pace. Strap yourself in for the ride of your life and check out this amazing documentary. It really does have everything, a true epic of triumph and horrific disaster.
Update: Unfortunately, TT Closer To The Edge is no longer available on Amazon.