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Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip (2013)

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond go on a seven-day road trip from Venice, Italy, to Pau, France, in this special episode from the BBC motoring series. Along the way the pair visit the ... See full summary »

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Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond go on a seven-day road trip from Venice, Italy, to Pau, France, in this special episode from the BBC motoring series. Along the way the pair visit the Autodromo Nazionale Monza race track and take to the road in Monaco. The show features a range of cars including a Ford Model T, a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, a Porsche Cayman S and an Aston Martin Vanquish. Written by Aravind

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14 July 2014 (USA)  »

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Топ Гир: Идеальное путешествие  »

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Cars look great but generally this is stiff and a bit forced and lacking a real sparkle of fun
20 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure why I ended up watching this TV movie from the Top Gear team; I'm not really a fan of the show although I generally enjoy it OTT silliness when I do watch it, I wouldn't make an appointment to do so. Either way I watched this feature length show and found it reasonably enjoyable but oddly lacking in what I usually enjoy about Top Gear. The road trip idea is good and sets up a perfectly fine series of steps with different vehicles each step of the way. What this means is that we get a commentary on each car at each step and generally this did not interest me. I understand this is originally a car review show, but I find hearing someone describe their driving experience just about as dull as watching other people play a RPG; and this is made all the more obvious by the presentation of these opinions being pretty flat.

What I prefer is the sense of fun and of enjoyment of the cars and, although this is present in this film, it is not there as much as I would have liked. The lack of flamboyance is also noticeable – with the convertible rally experience being the only thing close. The ending some have said is a fun twist but to me it was a cop-out; if they had planned to deliver on their grand prix goal then they still could have made it happen rather than a sudden and unfunny ending that they had. If the ending felt staged then too much else did as well. They make fun of the absence of May but they could have done with a third wheel because the clash between Clarkson and Hammond doesn't work quite as well without him. Their sequences all feel far too stiff and staged – and I know that of course they are scripted situations, but they feel very unnatural in the most part and their dialogue feels precisely the same.

Despite all this though it just about works because the cars are beautiful – and I say this as someone with almost no interest in them and who sees them as disposable things to get me from point A to point B. Despite this I really did enjoy the way the vehicles were shot – it is a very good looking film when it wants to be. I guess fans of this sort of thing will enjoy it, although it seems stiff compared to other episodes of Top Gear I have watched and personally I found it to be a lot less fun than it should have been and instead rather forced, staged and awkward.


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