By Phe’dre Von Kallenbach
If you’re looking for one of those feel-good-family-action-adventure type movies, Speed Racer is the one for you. Don’t expect any sort of depth or personal growth; you won’t get it. It’s a movie based off a childhood cartoon, a cartoon that bordered on repetitive and obnoxious in many ways, yet nonetheless entertaining by all accounts. True to form, the Wachowski brothers deliver a movie that borders on a psychedelic adventure. It’s colorful, vibrant, and loud. There are no subtleties here, just plain-old fun and adventure.
The cast is exceptionally well suited for the movie itself. You have Emile Hirsch as Speed Racer himself, Nicole Ricci as Trixie, and the affable John Goodman and Susan Sarandon as Pops and Mom, respectively. There is the brother, Rex, played by Scott Porter, and the mysterious Racer X, who is portrayed by Matthew Fox. In addition you have the antagonist, Mr. Royalton (Roger Allam), the infamous Inspector Detector (Benno Fürmann) and lastly, the youngest of the Racer family, Spritle (Paulie Litt). In truth, it’s Spritle’s character which gives the movie a much needed break now and then. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Speed race but, after seeing him do the same tricks for nearly two hours, it gets a bit monotonous.
The movie is brilliantly colored and the constant action will definitely keep you entertained; however, the plot is lackadaisical and borderline boring in application. As aforementioned, seeing the main character perform the same tricks over and over again for the sake of entertainment alone is wearing. It was phenomenal in the first half an hour of the movie and comes off as second rate near the end. In all, I would suggest watching it if you’re seeking a feel-good type action flick but not if you’re expecting the next Matrix. The younger generation will appreciate the movie’s fast-pace and transparent plotline but, again, if you’re looking for something with a bit more substance, I would suggest passing this one up.
In all, I gave this movie a C+. It was entertaining and did make me laugh but, over all, it’s not the type of movie one can see every day.
Phèdre von Kallenbach
DVD Features Set tour, behind the scenes and more.