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Chasing the Championship

average rating is 3 out of 5


Chris Olson


Posted on:

Aug 17, 2022

Film Reviews
Chasing the Championship
Directed by:
Dave Baum
Written by:
Chrissy Rouse

Films about motorbike racing are pretty rare. The classics are all there for car racing and formula one, such as Rush, Ford v Ferrari, and, of course, Herbie but motorbikes are often in the rearview mirror when it comes to racing movies. With his new documentary Chasing the Championship, filmmaker Dave Baum presents a compelling underdog story of motorbike racer Chrissy Rouse (who is also a part-time teacher) whose journey through the racing industry is full of sharp turns, emergency braking, and plenty of spills. 

From a young age, Chrissy was a promising bike rider. Baum includes home footage of the lad competing in dirt bike races that at such a young age seem incredibly quick to this viewer. We learn more about how the Rouse family all dedicated their lives and time to supporting Chrissy, eschewing family holidays for racing tournaments and being there for all the different challenges he would face. Coming from a normal background, Chrissy faces a huge disparity when it comes to the financial requirements of motorbike racing and his passion for it. One of the most enjoyable elements of Chasing the Championship is seeing the determination of this guy and how he inspires others to help him achieve his dream. 

Chrissy also faces bodily injuries and COVID delays (which actually worked in his favour) early on in the film. This was an unusual aspect to the documentary, as the peril seemed to peak very early for the central character (I appreciate that’s just how it happened) but the film focusing on whether or not Chrissy wins the overall championship didn’t quite pack the same emotional heft as bike crashes and global pandemics which come and go very quickly in the piece. The documentary does also give off the slight feeling that this is a thank you from Chrissy to each member of his team - shining a light on their part in his journey - which is fine, as they are all very likeable. Particular shout out to Piggy, the mechanic, who exudes a lovable charm in all his bits to the camera.

The film is slickly edited by Baum and feels well polished in terms of production values. The mixture of on-camera interviews, racing footage, home movies, and media clips gives it a really authentic feel and will likely appeal to audiences with a passion for motorsport. I would say, those who aren’t in the know may struggle with the lingo but in general, it’s easy to get a handle of what’s going on (see what I did there?). 

Much like the various team members, it’s hard not to be won over by Chrissy Rouse’s underdog spirit and good nature. The chapter-like races he competes in are thrilling and the overarching concern about whether he will win the championship title or demolish his very expensive bike will keep viewers interested, especially if they have a penchant for the sport. 

Watch the official trailer here.

Watch my Video Film Review below.

About the Film Critic
Chris Olson
Chris Olson
Documentary, Indie Feature Film, Sports Film
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