The first adventure seemed to be an actor's version of travelling around the world. But the cameras and support team did allow us to be in on their great adventure to pretty much unseen (to non-locals) parts of the world.
Long Way Down re-unites the old team, now all good friends for a trip to another adventurous part of the world, Africa. Race to Dakar could be viewed almost as a scouting trip for this journey.
To begin with Charley and Ewan say that they don't want to do a three and a half-month journey again but curiously their second journey seems to be 3 months long. Their schedule is more compressed and less free-ranging, and they have been allotted less episodes to tell their story in (one less episode makes a noticeable difference). And affecting it even further is the unusual addition of a fourth rider, Ewan's wife, for 10 days of the journey, who up until a few months before the starting date had never ridden a motorbike.
The presentation is identical to Long Way Round due to being made by the same people, and the journey starts off fairly similar in the European leg (a more adventurous route along the Balkan peninsula was abandoned in the planning stages). Also they have again chosen to use large, heavy BMW motorbikes, but presumably due to the X5's fragility in Race to Dakar, the support vehicles are two Nissan Patrols.
The series starts to get interesting when they reach Libya where US citizens are not allowed. Minus two of the crew, Charlie and Ewan are shown around some Roman ruins that rival those in Rome. Until more equatorial latitudes are reached, Charlie and Ewan essentially complain about the tight schedule and not being able to enjoy the experience. They relax as the scenery turns green and they reach areas with more infrastructure, and essentially have a blast the rest of the way except for the frequent border crossings. By the time the scenery turns brown (but not desert) again they are trying to savour the last of their experience. However most of what we see only seems like scratching the surface, if the story was a little more in-depth it may have captured the feeling of adventure than the first journey had. As it is it only seems like an extended highlights reel and unfortunately in a few places has a home movie feel to it as it is essentially a gathering of friends and family.
Overall I think it's a good look at another less well-known part of the world, Africa, but it seems a little flat and forgettable in comparison. It is still (mostly) compelling viewing and makes me want to explore Africa myself.
15 out of 15 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!