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Far from a 'Perfect Road Trip'...
on 29 December 2013
Another Christmas, another exclusive Top Gear DVD to coincide with the Yuletide Season. After Apocalypse, At The Movies and The Worst Car in the History of the World, this year we have none other than Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond hosting `The Perfect Road Trip'.
First, I must question the TITLE of this 2013 home video release. `The Perfect Road Trip?' We've ALREADY had that on Top Gear before! Everyone remember 2007's Great Adventure where the lads embarked on their unforgettable road trip across the US? Of course we do! It's unforgettable!
Anyway, the premise this time is that Jezza and Hamster are researching the best forms of transport for separate legs of their road trip from Venice, Italy to Pau, France. Immediately, the DVD scores points for its flashy showcase of cars, bikes & boats (old favourites the Bentley V8, Rolls Royce Phantom coupe and the almighty Bugatti Veyron return here), welcome appearances from the Stig, interactions between Jeremy & Richard, and the breathtaking photography/camerawork of all the stunning places they visit.
But sadly, the whole DVD is a letdown, especially after last year's BRILLIANT `The Worst Car in the History of the World'. The idea alone behind `The Perfect Road Trip' is somewhat lacking when compared to (say) `Apocalypse' and `At The Movies', and despite some mildly amusing banter/antics from Clarkson & Hammond here-and-there, too much of it feels forced. Like they're really struggling to entertain fans this time.
At eighty-five minutes, The Perfect Road Trip is also far too long for what it is. There's no special-features to speak of (on this DVD), and the absence of a third Top Gear presenter (this year it's James May, who's busy with Oz Clarke for the upcoming Toy Stories special) is a trend that continues to haunt these home-release exclusives. Until we have ALL THREE of the lads together presenting one of these Christmas-time DVDs, they'll never really be perfect (in my view).
Compared to regular Top Gear, `The Perfect Road Trip' feels like filler. Something to satiate fans until the show comes back for the next series. This year's DVD also feels inferior to previous exclusives (Apocalypse, At The Movies and The Worst Car in the History of the World) and that's disappointing. Other Top Gear fans may struggle to like this. Has some good moments, but nowhere near as much as there should be. For completists only.