Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman return for another unforgettable adventure. Facing a brand new set of challenges the intrepid pair discover spectacular but unforgiving terrain, rich cultures and unforgettable local chara... more »cters. They travel from John O'Groats to Cape Town descending through Western Europe and Africa before arriving at the southern most tip of the continent. On their incredible journey their endurance, biking skills, and friendship are tested to the limit. They are partnered along the way by friends and director/producers David Alexanian and Russ Malkin who were responsible for organizing the expedition and filming the documentary. This 3 disc special edition contains the entire extended 10 part TV series of Long Way Down with an additional 2 hours of episode footage. It also features one hour of new extras, including Ewan and Charley's "The Missing Face" documentary - the story of the pair's first trip to Africa, unseen and extended footage, enchanced photo gallery and interactive route maps.« less
"As I knew I would, I liked this extended version of LWD better than the shorter one. As many of the reviewers have said, the very tight schedule they had to follow towards the beginning of the trip diminished the enjoyability of it a little, but not enough to dampen my overall enthusiasm for the series. I followed their voyage as they were making it through the BBC website, which was fantastic! Seeing this just made me feel like I was on the trip with Ewan and Charlie. I enjoyed LWD just as much as LWR, but for different reasons. They were more of a cohesive team in this one, even though there was some tension.
In that vein, the addition of Eve into the trip was a major contributor to that tension. I'm a woman, so rest assured this doesn't stem from a "boy's own" attitude. I just thought that Eve should not have inserted herself into the trip. She put Ewan in a very tough position, because you HAVE to support your wife publicly. That's just the way it works. So, she put Ewan in the position of having to broach the subject to a bunch of friends (especially Charley), who were hoping to have another adventurous /male-bonding kind of trip. If Eve wants to join Ewan on trip, she can do that anytime. She doesn't need to be a part of these major outings. I'm glad her screen time was rather abbreviated, and I hope she doesn't insist on being a part of Long Way Up, should they actually do that trip. I prefer the strictly male, fun-loving, boy's bonding kind of trip sans any wives.
As mentioned before, the beginning of trip was so rushed, and the guys so tired, that tensions and emotions bubbled over. That's understandable. Traveling of any kind can be tiring, but covering those kinds of miles on a motorcycle has to be just exhausting. Despite that, there were some really fun, enjoyable moments from Scotland to Libya. One is definitely the Moto Guzi factory. It's a hoot to see how enthusiactic Ewan is with the more comfortable seat on the classic bike! A very moving time is their visit to the CHAS house in Scotland. The people they encountered in this first part of the trip, the scenery, and the moments shared between friends starting a major adventure together more than make up for any tensions.
The rest of the voyage through the African continent is really engaging. It's fascinating to watch as the terrain, the people, and the cultures change almost day by day. I had no idea that Ethiopia is so green and beautiful! Most of us only remember the drought-stricken images we saw during the 1980s. It seems to be just a fabulous country, with wonderfully warm people. It's also a joy to see Ewan's rapport with the children he encounters. He is well-known for his love and compassion for children, and you can see that children just adore him.
One thing I would change is to add more footage that involves the support crew - especially Russ and David. I really enjoy seeing the dynamics of the relationships with the whole team. There was more of that in LWR than in this one. A classic support crew moment in LWD is when Dai Jones "loses" his passport. It's hilarious!
Some LWR fans felt letdown by this series, but I think that's mainly because they were hoping for LWR 2. This was a completely different trip - with different requirements, different cultures, different dynamics, different terrain, and different desires on the part of the participants. It was no less enjoyable for those differences. I wouldn't want to watch a replicated journed to LWR in just a different setting. It's entertaining BECAUSE of the differences. If you enjoy learning about different cultures and places that most of us will probably never get to see firsthand - all from the perspective of very likable, though very human, motorcycle enthusiasts - then you will enjoy LWD!!!"
Good, but not as good as the last
D. A. Smith | London, UK | 11/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think by Ewan's own comments `this trip was rushed'. Although it brings together the same crew as the much better 'Wrong way round' series the experience is lessoned by the constant need to get from John O Groats (most Northern point of mainland UK) to Cape Town within the three months allowed due to Ewan's movie commitments. The strain this puts on the group is great to watch if you enjoy `group dynamics' but a little annoying when all you really want to see is the countries and the people. However it does have its moments, the ruins in Libya are an amazing undiscovered wonder of the world and always the chance encounters unplanned but captured brilliantly by having those always present cameras. The series relaxes and improves as they travel further. There is nothing unique in what they are doing, but their openness and willingness to explore and accept what they see and learn is refreshing as a reminder to those of us who have travelled in a similar way. All in all worth buying and enjoyable, but the first series Wrong Way Round still ranks as one of the best motorcycle odyssey shows out there. Buy that as well then cancel a whole weekend because you'll not want to stop watching them. I hope they release some extras with this DVD not broadcast by the BBC here in the UK. "
Terrific and Eye Opening
Sal Moley | Forestville, Ca USA | 10/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched "Long Way Round" but enjoyed this one even more. The footage of travel through Africa is beautifully done and I give high praise to Claudio and the other photographers. You can tell that Ewan and Charley are truly moved by their surroundings and the wonderful African people. They really didn't want to stop this journey. In this film you will see Roman ruins,Victoria Falls, Ugandan gorillas, hippos, elephants, and many more African animals. After watching this film, you will want to travel to Africa and also donate to Unicef. It will make you happy and have you grinning from ear to ear. I recommend it highly."
Great fun for motorcyclists
David Merchant | Southeast USA | 11/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This series gets down to the nitty gritty of a trip through the African continent by two movie stars. It shows, in it's own way, some of the beauty and some of the harshness of that continent. It's funny in places, sad in places, and downright tearful in others. The motorcycle ride aspects are very true to life (having made many myself but all in the US.) Sometimes the movie is even a bit crude, just what life on the road would be! We watched an episode each evening, eagerly awaiting the next day's adventure. Well worth the cost."
Left me wishing for more.
Douglas F. Olena | Springfield, MO USA | 12/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me get past comparisons with the first program LongWay Round. This was shorter, but with better production values, warmer, more family, more people in the visited countries.
The second and third in the series of five shows were interesting for a number of reasons. 1. They displayed how hard it is to travel in Africa because of the dicey politics. 2. Weather can be really terrible and exhausting for bikers. 3. The inclusion of Ewan's wife Ev in the planning and preparation was a model of how to be inclusive, without prejudice even though the threat of more than one personal storm was always on the horizon. The second and third shows were rough because of the rushed feeling, the complaining, and strange video editing. They could have spent more film time at the Moto Guzzi plant and little was said or done about the historical things in Europe and Italy specifically.
Aside from that, when they had the time to do a little tourism or take shots of the background, it was great. The fourth, fifth, and sixth shows were more relaxed and more fun. The people they met, the places they visited, the roads, all made for a much nicer trip than LongWay Round. Ev's riding, even though it made Charlie feel like a fifth wheel, was a great promo for motorcycling in general. Girls, it's time to ride with your guys!"