Friday, September 16, 2016

Movie review: Charge

In 2009 the Isle of Man held the world's first zero-emissions gran prix. In 2010 the teams returned and raced again. Charge follows the teams as they design, build, and eventually compete against one another on one of the most grueling race tracks in the world.

Narrator: Ewan McGregor

History was made with the first zero-emissions motorcycle gran prix on the Isle of Man TT course in 2009. Charge follows the teams as they design, build, and eventually race their machines against one another. While the film does focus on the race itself, most of the time it is focused on how the teams prepared to compete, and learned from their mistakes. Returning in 2010, the sport is obviously growing quickly and electric motorcycles are proving to be worthy competitors on the street in the future.

One of the more interesting characters in the series was Cedric Lynch, a self-taught electric motor developer who apparently has a better grip on electric motors than most. Eccentric is a good description for Lynch, as is brilliant. Though every team had challenges of some kind, their struggles clearly showed what worked and what didn't, resulting in a nice leap in reliability between the first and second years.

Camera work was good, capturing prep work on the bikes as well as many good racing scenes. Backgrounds were natural and enjoyable. Dialogue was good though some heavier accents were difficult. Sound was solid.

If you have any interest in the future of electric vehicles be sure to check this one out. Though a bit light on technical details at times, most likely due to the preservation of intellectual property, the series does a nice job of exploring the rise of electric motorcycles and the challenges involved.

Nothing here to limit audience age.

Released: 2011
Reviewed: 9.4.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Documentary, Sports Documentary, Science & Nature

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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