Inside The Lions Den - DVD Review.
I was really relishing the release of this DVD. Having seen the brilliant 1997 behind-the-scenes Lions video and then the subsequent 2001 follow up, I had very high hopes. The previous tales of Lions tours had provided match action, humour, true insight into the workings of the team and what it’s like to tour with the Lions. In truth, I was so keen to get my hands on a copy of this DVD, I spent an entire morning phoning around every shop in Leicester on the day of release before finally tracking a copy down.
But alas, I was disappointed. More than disappointed. Everyone knows that the video made of the 1997 Lions tour is one of the greatest sporting documentaries ever made. It is unfair to expect every follow up Lions tour DVD to match it’s effortless brilliance. The 2001 DVD wasn’t as good and sadly the trend of getting worse has continued.
The first thing that bothered me about this DVD was the commentary. In my eyes, that was completely and utterly unnecessary -–the ’97 and 2001 DVDs didn’t have one – and it made everything seem more professional, which I didn’t like. Most people enjoyed the 1997 DVD due to how raw and unbridled it was, so the commentary sent me off balance. Ironically, for certain moments there was no commentary when one was needed and vice versa.
I also felt that there had been too much editorial control from the likes of Clive Woodward. We saw nothing of the antics of the players off the field or the really intense training sessions (is he still paranoid that someone will steal the moves?) or anything really. Everything was about rugby, and whilst that might be expected of a rugby DVD, I expected more humour.
The only light relief came in the form of Ireland lock Donncha O’Callaghan, who appeared to be the only player on tour with a sense of humour – or at least the only player allowed to show it! For the moments Mr. O’Callaghan was on screen a little light relief entered, but that aside, it was too rugby and demand heavy. Where’s the fun and friendship, guys? Where’s the laughter?
Although the tone of the DVD was not particularly happy – this was a losing tour, after all – there was none of the spirit that the ’97 DVD had in spades whilst some was shown in the 2001. All in all, I’m not quite sure I’ll be rushing around buying on the day of release for the 2009 DVD.
Rating: 2 Stars out of 5.