Review: "The Great Outdoors: Eleven"


In an era where short motocross edits are posted daily to sites like YouTube and Vimeo, The Great Outdoors: Eleven is a nice breath of fresh air. It's been a while since we've seen a feature-length documentary film from Troy Adamitis, the man that directed MX Nation, Supercross: Behind the Dream; and The Moto: Inside the Outdoors; among many,  other motocross series and films you've probably watched through the years. There's just something different about a Troy Adamitis-produced project. Maybe it's the fact that he can take something that we've already seen, along with things we already know, and make us feel like we're seeing and learning about them for the first time, or the fact that all of his projects feel like well-rounded, full-feature documentaries. The point is, whenever Troy Adamitis is involved, it's inevitable that the product will be excellent. 

Unsurprisingly, The Great Outdoors: Eleven is of the same quality as his past few projects: It's excellent. This film's runtime is right at one hour, but it's a very quick hour, with a lot packed into it. It covers three motocross series from 2017: the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the MXGP World Championship, and the CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is the main focus, though, with a single round of the Canadian Nationals and one round of the MXGP Championship receiving screen time. This may be the only problem I have with the film. It's understandable that time constraints, budget, and the fact that all three of these series have intertwining schedules meant that not all three could be covered, but as a fan I would have liked to have seen more. But, my unrealistic length desires aside, what we do get in this film is more than enough to quench your thirst for a narrative-driven motocross documentary. 

The biggest problem with a number of the edits and videos that are posted online these days is that often times there is no narrative. They're primarily of a rider shredding a track to some sweet music, or an interview, or a helmet cam. TGO11, on the other hand, has a narrative. It follows multiple riders as they embark on the quest to win an outdoor motocross title, and it follows each one throughout various points in the series until it ends. And as a bonus, we get a peek into the MXGP and Canadian series. It was still extremely interesting to re-visit last year's championships and hear from the riders who competed in them. But the narrative isn't that only thing that makes TGO11 a must-see for motocross fans; it's the cinematography. 

That's where TGO11 ultimately separates itself from the videos you can easily access on YouTube. The cinematography is at the level of a feature film, and some of the shots that are in this film are flat-out fantastic. Also, for the crew to bring such a high level of production to cover all three series and the training complexes of many of the riders is pretty awesome. In an era where there is a constant stream of free motocross content hitting video hosting sites...there is still a place for pay-to-view, feature-length documentaries. 

Finally, the timing of TGO11's release couldn't be better. We're less than a month out from Hangtown, and here we have a newly released film about motocross. It's the perfect thing to watch to get pumped up for the upcoming season without having to watch all 48 motos from last year. 

Overall, The Great Outdoors: Eleven is exactly what a motocross film should be. It has some great clips from three different series, enticing interviews with several riders, and it ultimately captures the unique feel of a Troy Adamitis film. It's well worth an hour of your time. 

Buy The Great Outdoors: Eleven here

Words by Grant Dawson