"Gumball 3000" is an entertaining enough concept that one wonders why it wasn't lengthened out to a miniseries (throw in some stunts along the way and this could easily be "Amazing Race" meets "Jackass") instead of this documentary, which runs for an hour and change. The rally features a massive fleet (120) of cars driven by contestants from all over the world, including: Tony Hawk, Bam Margera and many others. This documentary focuses on the 2006 race, which runs for 3,000 miles, going from London to Los Angeles.
Cameras follow as the racers go on a free-for-all in a wide variety of cars, including everything from Maseratis to Bentleys to (apparently, according to the website) a Winnebago. Most of the racers simply seem to head in the general direction of their destination, which results in teams finding themselves in odd detours and having to figure out, on the fly, ways to get themselves back in the running.
Of course, there's also just what you'd expect, such as Bam Margera stopping in the middle of nowhere in Belgum at 4AM to skate an emormous u-shaped concrete and getting stuck in a sea of about a million screaming fans in a stalled car in Belgrade. There's also a couple of incredibly expensive cars crashing (thankfully, no one is injured), more skateboarding (down a gorgeous path through the jungles of Thailand), more Bam Margera complaining (and nothing really against the guy, but this movie has enough Margera and co-pilot Ryan Dunn to feel like another episode of "Viva La Bam") and a few police stops.
The documentary is a lot of fun and even at 105 minutes, it goes by pretty quickly. Co-creator Maxmillion Cooper is credited as director here, and his work is a nice step up from the previous "Gumball" film, with a slick score that often sounds like something out of a 60's spy film and effective uses of various tricks (slow-mo/speed up, split-screen). Overall, the doc does capture the spirit of the rally (with a slicker, more professional look this time around), as well as the fun that the participants are having visiting some beautiful areas.
VIDEO: Presented in anamorphic full-frame by Revolver, the picture quality is generally still good. Sharpness and detail vary depending on lighting and the camera used, but images never looked particularly soft or too problematic. Some minor artifacting is seen in some of the darker moments, but otherwise, the picture appeared free of artifacts, edge enhancement or other issues. Colors generally looked natural, although they could appear flat at times.
SOUND: The 5.1 soundtrack provides fairly clear dialogue and environmental/background sounds. Dialogue is never crystal clear and does sometimes get a little overwhelmed by the other sounds going on, but is never difficult to hear. Music also remains crisp and sounds well-recorded.
EXTRAS: We get "Hawk-cam", as "Tony Hawk's Diary" offers 27 minutes worth of footage, some of which is extended/alternate looks at existing scenes. We also get an additional scene ("Miller Motorsports Park", an extended scene ("Bam's Revenge"), a photo montage and a "3000 Miles" premiere special.
Final Thoughts: "3000 Miles" is a distinct improvement over the previous "Gumball" film ("6 Days In May"), offering a slicker style and longer, more in-depth look at the fun. Recommended.