THE DOCTOR, THE TORNADO & THE KENTUCKY KID is the electrifying follow-up to Mark Neales 2004 MotoGP smash hit FASTER. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, the movie tells the story of the biggest motorcycle race in American history, the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, California. Its a tale of extraordinary characters chasing a dream in the face of real danger, under unimaginable pressure, with no margin for error. For lovers of maximum adrenaline action, this is the pure, unadulterated, 100% genuine article.
The Doctor, the Tornado & the Kentucky Kid is another motorcycle-racing feast served up by Mark Neale, the director of Faster. Where the earlier film focused on an entire season of MotoGP racing, DTK limits its coverage to the Red Bull Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, California, held over the weekend of July 8-10, 2005. This was the seventh and most hotly anticipated race of the '05 season, not only because Laguna Seca is one of MotoGP's most technically demanding and physically intimidating race courses, but also because it was the first MotoGP race held on American soil since 1994 (evidence of the sport's European emphasis and the efforts of corporate sponsors like Red Bull to popularize MotoGP in the U.S.). Like Faster, this film and its DVD bonus features are aimed squarely at established fans of MotoGP, but potential converts will find plenty to enjoy in Neale's comprehensive coverage of the 32-lap race. And, as any fan can tell you, the title refers to the nicknames of the riders who were key figures on that sunny afternoon: American Nicky "The Kentucky Kid" Hayden on his lightning-fast #69 Repsol Honda; American Colin "The Texas Tornado" Edwards on his #5 Camel Yamaha; and the Italian reigning champion, Valentino Rossi (Edwards' teammate), on his #46 Camel Yamaha.
American challenger John "Hopper" Hopkins is also prominently featured on his #21 Rizia Suzuki, but DTK doesn't flinch from the harsher aspects of a motorsport where success is never guaranteed. Thanks to the film's all-angle coverage of on-track rivalries, it's clear that Edwards and Rossi were the race's undeniable highlight, battling ferociously in the final laps while Hayden was in the lead. With celebrities in the crowd (including cycle fans Brad Pitt and Adrien Brody) and racing enthusiast Ewan McGregor once again providing dramatic narration, Neale's film suffers from occasional lapses in hi-def image quality (owing in part to video-feed static and the unavoidably harsh contrasts of sunny weather), but interviews and voice-overs from the riders keep things interesting from start to finish, along with a throttle-roaring 5.1 Surround soundtrack (with pulsing techno music by TomandAndy) that's the next best thing to being there. The Ultimate Collector's Edition has 11 additional scenes on disc 1 (including longer interviews and highlights from the 2006 Red Bull U.S. GP), and disc 2 consists entirely of "Interactive Racing" clips, allowing viewers to watch three climactic segments of the 2005 race from multiple angles. Switching between several onboard cameras is the closest that most of us will ever get to the sheer thrill of MotoGP, and that makes DTK a must-have DVD for race fans around the world. --Jeff Shannon