Rowdy Review – an exhilarating ride of successes and setbacks

By Jessica Fontaine
Published: February 3, 2023 (Last updated: January 21, 2024)
Rowdy Review
Rowdy Promotional Image (Credit to Amazon FreeVee)


Rowdy follows the rise of NASCAR legend Kyle Busch and his perseverance through a possible career-ending injury. The documentary is a story of the pitfalls that come with fame that NASCAR fans will enjoy

The documentary Rowdy dropped on Amazon Freevee on February 3rd. Following legendary NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, it details his journey to success as well as his devastating injury. It is directed by Richard Valenzuela and J.J. Terry and features interviews from Busch and NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

Rowdy Review

Rowdy opens with riveting music and a captivating introduction to Kyle Busch, the winningest driver in NASCAR history with over 220 wins.

Busch confidently describes his journey to becoming a champion, starting when he was 13 years old. The documentary properly emphasizes how groundbreaking it was for a person of Busch’s age to succeed in the NASCAR industry.

Rowdy incorporates gripping side plots such as family drama, with Busch refusing to be compared to his older brother Kurt, a fellow NASCAR driver. Further, they were often booed at competitions because the audience wanted to see other drivers win besides them.

The documentary keeps viewers vigilant by showing the drastic shifts in Busch’s attitude. After wins, he was over the moon. However, losses and frequent car wrecks left him wild and incredibly angry. We see why people described Busch as a loose cannon who was ungrateful and acted out at any inconvenience.

Rowdy does a perfect job balancing engrossing race clips with sideline conflicts. We see scuffles between Busch and other drivers like Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the son of the greatest driver in history.

In addition, Rowdy succeeds in building up suspense for the anticipated event foreshadowed in the beginning. In 2015, Busch suffered a devastating crash that tarnished his body and led to the assumption that his career was over.

The build-up of Busch returning to racing was neither rushed nor strung out. We see clips of his excessive physical therapy and evidence of his determination. He competed in his first race 4 months after the accident. Two days after, his wife Samantha gave birth to their son.

The slow build-up continues to be effective, as we see Busch transition from constant crashes to his eventual victories.

Is Rowdy good?

Rowdy is a fun, action-packed documentary that NASCAR enthusiasts will find worth watching. It features riveting footage of races and opinions from credible sources like other drivers and journalists who have reported on competitions. Kyle Busch captivates viewers with his confidence that he was just as fast and talented as the other drivers, despite being so young.

As much as it has action, it has raw moments that humanize Busch, including learning that his close friend Ricky Hendrick died in a plane crash. His racing injury allowed him to be vulnerable with his friends and wife Samantha, who was pregnant with their son.

The emotional content of the documentary culminated with Busch’s return to his career after being severely injured, showing the abundance of love and support from his family. The mix of emotion and action is necessary in a documentary about such a high-stakes sport.

Rowdy also sees the price of success. Busch detailed that he wanted success so much that the bad moments overpowered the good moments. He became heavily criticized for not accepting losses and being aggressive toward NASCAR officials and other drivers. Including these moments outside of races gave the documentary its shock value.

By the end of the documentary, we see Busch’s transition from a power-hungry competitor to a mature human being. He prioritizes being a dad and husband as he recognizes that there is more to life than racing.

Rowdy is a well-rounded documentary, but it might only be desirable to a niche audience. If you are not a sports or NASCAR fan, it probably shouldn’t be high up on your watch list. However, if intense race footage and rivalries between legends sound interesting, it’s worth checking out.

What did you think of the documentary film Rowdy? Comment below.

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