The story behind Richard Branson's attempts to break world records flying in a hot air balloon. Using interviews with Branson, his team, archive and dramatic recons, the film tells a story of courage, determination, despair and triumph.
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It's 1984, and Richard Branson, a maverick British music mogul has just made a big decision- to take on British Airways, and set up his own airline. But with just one plane, a minimal marketing budget, and a flair for self-promotion, he quickly realizes that in order for the airline to survive, he needs to pull off a major publicity stunt. What Branson does next is ambitious, daring and more than a little bit crazy. Enlisting the services of Per Lindstrand, one of the world's most experienced hot air balloonists, he decides to try to cross the Atlantic Ocean. For the first time in history. And so begins a series of death-defying record attempts that risk the end of the bearded balloonist, and his business empire. The real story of this incredible adventure has never been told, and using intimate interviews with Branson and the team, never seen before archive (including footage from inside the balloon, shot in real time) and dramatic reconstruction, Don't Look Down is a story of ...Written by
Do you have a love for hot air balloons? Do you have a deep interest in PR and advertising?
If you don't answer an enthusiastic "YES" to both of those questions - skip this. You'll fall asleep. I watched this thinking Richard Branson was a unique guy - this should be interesting. I also love adventure stories. I didn't expect to end up so bored.
It seemed to drag on and on. Richard Branson basically just talks about his adventures in hot air balloons attempting to break records - simply for the sake of publicity to help grow his Virgin brand. It soon seems clear he was annoyed by the Gulf War overshadowing his record attempt (at the time), so clearly loved the idea of this documentary to rectify that.
Had this been about Richard Branson's general life, it probably would've been more interesting. The only time I was pulled out of my bored daze, was when he began talking about near-death experiences. These seem to be scattered throughout the documentary, often showing a complete incompetence with the stunts. You can't help but ask yourself "Why?" - especially when he didn't have to be doing this stuff.
Boring, overlong and basically a promo piece for brand Branson. This could've easily been a 20 minute segment on 60 Minutes instead.
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