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Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun (1997)

  Directed by: Ben Stassen
Starring: Paul Harper, Harry Shearer
Links: Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Too many bells and whistles" - a review by pearly

What better place to watch an IMAX movie about theme park rides than at a theme park? And that's where I saw Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun; at Dreamworld to be exact. Essentially, it's a documentary about rides, detailing their history, why people enjoy them - that type of thing. It's even got a voice-over by Harry Shearer.

But what it also has is a grizzled old prospector, talking to the audience in a stupid accent, and making laughing noises that sound like "ga-huck!". Well, I say go away you stupid fake character, and even more so go away your stupider brother, played by, I believe, the same guy. Why is there a tendency for documentary filmmakers to believe that the topic they are covering is not interesting enough to carry its own, and that to make it more palatable, they have to spice things up by adding stupid things that are nothing to do with anything?

The first 10 minutes or so of this documentary are quite interesting, but beyond that, blergh. The storyline also moves into "what if?" territory, and tries to explore how rides will be in the future - and because it's IMAX, they feel they need to use the technology, so there's a really badly done CGI ride through a mine shaft (in keeping with the prospector theme), which makes you think "if that's the future of rides, I hope the future never comes".

If this had kept to the point, it would have been a much better film.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 10 Feb 2003

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