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Product Review: Austin Vince, Mondo Sahara

Austin Vince, Mondo Sahara, £18.50

Time tested: 1h 31min

What’s good? From the moment the soundtrack kicks in – a mix of spaghetti western and Arctic Monkeys at their most whimsical – this filmic video diary of Austin Vince’s latest jaunt is pure entertainment. The somewhat gonzo style might give you flashbacks to the desert race in Hunter S Thompson’s Fear & Loathing as the Saharan sand starts to dominate the vistas, and it’s no less funny or emotive. It’s a far cry from the mass-budget, overly-supported, Long Way Round / Down trips – and when things go wrong there’s no descent into whinging self pity, the Mondo team just plough on through it with their endearingly positive outlook. It also goes to prove what you can do with just a few weeks in the wilderness, rather than having to abandon your life to years on the road. If you don’t feel the desire to strap a sleeping bag and spare pair of pants to the back of your bike, and head off for your own adventure after watching this, then nothing will ever convince you that it’s either possible, or advisable. It’s solid bike-based entertainment, whether you’re into off-road or not, and the mix of characters on the team makes it even more engaging.

What’s not? There are times when it feels a bit ‘too cool for school’, and the production values might annoy some viewers, but when you consider that this was all filmed on-team, and on a budget, it’s incredibly well done. The post-production work is very slick, too.


Quality rating: 4/5

Value rating: 3/5

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