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Review of Jeremy Clarkson's "No Limits"

January 15, 2007

Jeremy Clarkson offered a very unique product to British audiences: automotive journalism that did not put the average person to sleep. Now, through YouTube and other technologies, Clarkson's videos have become available to a much wider audience, and I would like to take this opportunity to review one of his fun earlier videos entitled "Jeremy Clarkson - No Limits."

The very beginning of the video is a superb indication of what this film is going to be like. Clarkson's first line is: "doughnut anyone?" He then proceeds to do a smoking burnout and doughnuts in a bright yellow convertible TVR. Clarkson then introduces the audience to Russ Swift, a professional stunt driver with amazing car control abilities. Swift demonstrates a 180 degree handbrake parking maneuver that allows him to slide sideways into a narrow parking spot with ease.

Next, Clarkson attempts to do the same parking maneuver, and what follows is a hilarious sequence of minor crashes. Clarkson makes his point quite clear that it takes years of practice to be able to perform such complicated maneuvers in a car.

Clarkson introduces us to the beautiful BMW Z8 convertible in which he attempts to teach the viewer how to do a proper power slide. Instead of boring the audience with technical information about how to transfer the car's weight and control the throttle, Jeremy does exactly what he does best. He demonstrates. He shows how to do a power slide correctly by hitting the throttle in the center of a turn or by letting off the throttle in the center of a corner. Then Clarkson shows how easily it is to spin out and lose control if too much or too little throttle is given during the slide. While Clarkson's explanation (and driving for that matter) are not the most elegant performances, he keeps the viewer entertained and communicates in language that the average person can understand.

My only real complaint about this video is its unfortunate lack of central theme. I'll be honest. The main purpose of this video is to blow away the audience with exotic cars and amazing stunts. The purpose is not to have an award winning story or theme. However, at several points in the video, Clarkson states what he's going to do in the video and never truly delivers. For instance, in the very beginning, Clarkson says that he's going to show the viewer how to perform 180 degree handbrake turns and how to drive as quickly as possible around a racetrack. While he does show a 180 degree turn being done and does take several cars to racetracks throughout England, there is no point where he actually goes through a step-by-step analysis of driving technique. I suppose this is not done because it would bore the average viewer, but it leaves the interested car enthusiast craving more at the end of the video.

Excluding this small annoyance, the film is awesome, and there is so much content. I did not at any point feel that a particular segment was stretched out a little too long to take up time. On the contrary, the video was a sea of one beautiful car after another. Clarkson tests the Lamborghini Murcielago, Noble M12, Mini Cooper S, Ferrari 355, Range Rover, Bentley Arnage, Porsche Boxster S, an incredible 1000 HP Nissan Skyline R33, and many more. And of course, in classic Jeremy Clarkson style, an old Montego gets completely destroyed at the end of the show for an explosive conclusion. I highly recommend this video for any Clarkson fan or car enthusiast. It is an action packed film that you won't regret watching.