Dust To Glory

Gearheads and pretty much anyone with a driver's license should get a kick out of this high-test documentary from STEP INTO LIQUID director Dana Brown. Brown, the son of legendary surfing filmmaker Bruce Brown (ENDLESS SUMMER), turns his attention to one of the world's greatest races: the legendary Baja 1000. At 32 hours and 1000 miles along Mexico's Baja...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Gearheads and pretty much anyone with a driver's license should get a kick out of this high-test documentary from STEP INTO LIQUID director Dana Brown. Brown, the son of legendary surfing filmmaker Bruce Brown (ENDLESS SUMMER), turns his attention to one of the world's greatest races: the legendary Baja 1000. At 32 hours and 1000 miles along Mexico's Baja peninsula, it's the longest off-road, point-to-point race on the planet, and it's also potentially one of the most dangerous. The course, which changes from year to year, winds through rocky hills, down silt covered backroads, across sandy beaches, and up traffic filled highways and isn't closed to anybody: There's no telling who — or what — the racers may run into on their way to the finish line. The race is open to every one with the entrance fee and a vehicle, from the 300 pound motorcycles and souped up VW Bugs to the snazzy trophy trucks that tear up the tar at Encinada, Mexico where the race begins, but Brown focuses on the high-profile heroes of the game. He interviews motorcyclist JN Reynolds, winner of the first Mexican 1000 in 1967, and who, at 62, is racing this year with his son, Jimmy; the three generations of the class-one buggy driving McMillin family; and Mike "Mouse" McCoy, the two-to-one favorite to win the race. Unlike most other motorcyclists who ride as part of an alternating three-to-five person teams, McCoy is determined to run the entire course solo. The film only touches on the "1000"'s history and how Hollywood stars like James Garner and Steven McQueen helped create the Baja mystique, and plays up the rugged, testosterone-fueled romanticism of the race while downplaying the cold facts of corporate sponsorship. Nevertheless, it's pretty exciting stuff: The swooping helicopter shots, the POV camerawork from the front seat of an 800 hp trophy-truck and the propulsive soundtrack will have your heart racing towards the finishing line along with the drivers.

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