The story of Evel Knievels rise and eventual retirement echos the story of most rockstars. Imagine every stunt he did as a concert or a new album release, the bigger and bigger they got, the bigger his stardom got. and with that stardom came all the Evels that come with being famous. He was a drunk who slept around and spent his money on all sorts of ridiculous crap. But that's besides the point, this documentary shows through several friends and fans the greatness that Evel was. Evel was bat sh*t insane, jumping 10 buses with a stock bike with street rated suspension, getting back on the bike after breaking a bunch of bones, promising to do crazier and more insane stunts, and building a god damn rocket ship bike. The man was balls to the wall insane and this documentary does a good job at going over his triumphs and his story.Unfortunately this doc was 45 minutes too long and it was filled with all the crap that is expected from a Spike TV presentation. They were constantly cutting away from the stunts to show interviews about the stunt when I'd prefer to just watch the raw footage, and the cuts were all way too quick and jumpy. One of the biggest annoyances of this production is the choice of people they chose to interview. Why would anyone care about Kid Rock, Mike Vallely, Guy Fieri's or Michelle Rodriguez opinion on Evel Knievel? If they cut out all the crap all of those hacks said(Michelle Rodriguez is alright though) and made the stunt footage more raw and uncut then this documentary would have been an 8/10 or higher for me. The story is interesting, the execution is terrible. Made me respect Ken Burns approach to documentary film making even more.
And you think the IMDb rating is high for a doc, you are wrong.The members nailed it -- one of the best I have seen in a while.(Coincidentally, I had just recently reviewed for IMDb the documentary MANNY, about the magnificent Indonesian boxer, and fans were not happy that I panned the film. The man was magnificent. Not so the film).EVEL is the documentary art at its best. It is a given that Evel himself steals all the clips he himself appears in, because the man was a natural promoter, and instinctively understood how to push people's buttons.Where the production shines is in the interviews, what the pros call the "head and shoulders" shots.Since it is statistically impossible for each of the people interviewed in the film to have been so dynamic and interesting on their own (just trying to make a point here, folks) the credit for their performances MUST GO TO THE EDITOR. In documentary film-making the editor is king. And David Ray, WHO BY NO COINCIDENCE WAS ALSO CO-WRITER, gets credit for making a man who was already larger than life ... larger still.Recommended.