Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Review: National Geographic Inside Outlaw Bikers: Hells Angels
National Geographic channel has made several of documentaries about different biker clubs. This one, is build up around an ATF-investigation that in fact flopped in court. They base the story mainly on the ATF-agent in charge of the undercover operation and an informant that was a part of the team. They have also managed to get interviews with different members of Hells Angels.
I got early an impression that the documentary was more a cover up for the ATF then a reliable source of information. Having spent millions of dollars on a undercover operation, trying to get Hells Angels members in Arizona behind bars, and then the whole thing flopped. I guess some people feel the need for finding someone to blame, and especially the ATF-agent that leaded the operation gave me a strong impression of having his own motives for taking part in this documentary.
That said, I was very impressed that they had managed to get actual members and officials to speak with the camera on. Media often tend to portray them as hardcore criminals, and maybe they are, but they came really well out of the interviews in this documentary. Though, I think National Geographic misused the whole opportunity with these interviews. Instead of focusing only on this ATF-operation, they could have had a broader perspective on the Hells Angels.
I knew a little about Hells Angels before I saw this documentary from media coverage, and I did not learn anything knew at all.
This documentary was a big disapointment. It was not especially boring to watch, and it was perfect length, but their sources was not especially convincing, and it was a great deal of undocumented claims about the group. All in all, it was a straight forward 2. Not recommended, but not horrible enough for a 1.