High Octane Detonate

Rating: 4/5
Special features: 3/5

The press release for High Octane Detonate describes the two-hour DVD as “a modified-car showcase hosted by Ketzal Sterling, whose missions take him around the globe in search of the most extreme road cars.” And this is exactly what the film delivers. Filmed in Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Detonate is a fast-paced trip around the world’s performance car scene.

To keep the viewer’s focus, Detonate interweaves a spy storyline into the film. This creates a unique balance between documentary and action movie. However the storyline is really poor and lets this otherwise great DVD down. I do realise that the storyline is deliberately cheesy and stupid, but I just found it boring and it took the focus off the cars.

The cars featured in Detonate are breathtaking. I won’t spoil the DVD by going into details, but let’s just say, V8s, rotaries, drag cars, motorbikes, and more are featured. To top it off there are also guest interviews with motor sport personalities from around the globe.

I was slightly disappointed with the lack of variety in car makes and styles. Detonate could almost be considered an ad for Mazda, with a few other Japanese manufacturers in the mix. Despite the majority of the film being in Europe there are no Ferraris, Mercs, Austin Martins, etc. While this doesn’t spoil the film, it is certainly something that could have made it better.

Being a New Zealand-made and exported film I expected to see some more advertising for us. While it does feature about 30 minutes of D1NZ it only shows one race track and a scenery shot of Auckland. Considering this film goes to many other countries the producers could have done better to highlight the NZ motor sport industry.

Overall I was impressed with Detonate. It was certainly not perfect; it is certainly worth watching for a fun drive into the insane world of performance cars. Also consider that it is made in NZ and you have a fantastic local production.