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Speed Racer (Widescreen Edition) (2008)

A movie directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski

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Speed Racer

  • Jan 22, 2011
  • by
I absolutely loathed this movie when I first saw it. In fact, I fell asleep at the end of it (although that's probably not because the movie was boring as much as it was the fact that it was midnight and I was dead tired). However, looking back on it it has kind of grown on me. Don't get me wrong, it's still a horrible movie, but there are many that are much worse. Like the critics consensus says, the Wachowski brothers have packed the movie with headache-inducing special effects and failed to develop a coherent script. The special effects are not that bad, although I did get a major headache after watching it.

The acting was not very memorable, but it really wasn't supposed to be. It's not horrible but its not very good either. I like Emile Hirsch and I think he was okay in the lead role, but everyone else wasn't that great. That sadly includes Christina Ricci, and its a shame because she is a really good actress, even if her work as a child star is better than most of her adult work. There is also John Goodman and Susan Sarandon as Hirsch's parents and they were just mediocre also. I think there may have been a few more actor in there but again, not very memorable.

The only good thing about the movie and the only thing that was even remotely memorable were the special effects. People who read this review, heed this warning: if you are prone to headaches than you shouldn't watch this movie and you should stop watching it if you already have a headache and it gets more severe. My memories of this film are kind of fuzzy, so I'm doing this review from an incredibly vague memory, so forgive me if I get some facts wrong. I suppose the special effects could be admired for their style even if they are somewhat headache inducing. They are incredibly colourful and the movie definitely looks good, but the style can't make up for the lack of substance.

That brings me to our lack of substance. The script is beyond bad and the dialogue is laughable. I am completely unfamiliar with the Speed Racer cartoon, but when I found out that this was being made, I thought there was no need to remake a cartoon with pretty much just a cult following. I'm not exactly sure what the story was about. I think there was something having to do with Speed and his presumed-dead older brother and Speed being told that racing is fixed, I don't know. As you can see, its quite the jumbled mess and the plot was very hard to follow along. Nothing much else to say but that it was aggressively mediocre.

Speed Racer isn't that bad. Don't get me wrong, it's still bad, but its not godawful. The acting, the visuals, the story are nothing special, just average and on the unmemorable side. The whole movie in itself is just generally unmemorable. So I would not recommend Speed Racer to anyone really unless you are looking for a stupid romp. Again, it's not the best movie I have ever seen, far from it in fact, but not the worst. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised it Speed Racer fell completely under the radar by the end of the year. Nothing more than a crappy movie.

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More Speed Racer (2008) reviews
review by . June 27, 2009
The first thing you notice when you start Speed Racer is the colors. A lot of movies go for a desaturated look, but Speed Racer ups all the colors. The world is a rainbow-bright mishmash of the 50's/60's and a 7-year-old's vision of the future that is half-CG. (Fun fact: the only physical sets in the movie were the Racers' house, the bad guy's offices, and the hotel.)      In fact, this seems to be literally live-action anime. If you've ever wondered what an anime or cartoon …
review by . February 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Movies whose imagery are clearly the combination of live-action with animation are rare, with maybe one major release every year. Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit are two examples. For 2009, Speed Racer was the only live-action animated combo movie, and did not do that well at the theaters. The movie tries to combine several themes, and tries to come of as a serious movie. There is the overall racing theme of the movie, which of course drives the special effects. Then there is the requisite …
review by . November 15, 2008
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Go, Speed Racer, Go!   2. Corporations sometimes use dirty tactics to make profits   3. Go, Speed Racer, Go!       Pros:     1. Lots of high speed, colorful and mind boggling car races (cars spend more time in the air, sideways or upside down than can be considered normal)   2. Lots of car crashes (not harmful to humans on screen, and apparently not very …
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About this movie


An over-the-top, sensory overload experience determined to replicate its frantic, television-anime origins,Speed Raceris wild enough to induce a headache or wow a viewer with one dazzling effect after another. Adapted for the big screen as a live-action feature,Speed Raceris written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, the sibling team behind the intensely satisfyingThe Matrixand its busier, less interesting sequels. Where the rich mythmaking ofThe Matrixwas entirely accessible, however,Speed Racer's overwhelming and gratuitously complicated story exposition is an enormous challenge to follow, let alone embrace. After a while, one simply surrenders to the unbroken din of dialogue concerning corporate chicanery, corruption in the sport of racing, and a value conflict between racing as a family business versus multinational cash cow. At the same time, the film's hyper-real equivalent of the oldSpeed Racercartoon's great whoosh of color, motion, and edgy production design--such as inventive uses of scene-changing wipes, bold framing, shifting perspectives--are more overbearing than fun.

Emile Hirsch plays Speed Racer, younger brother of a deceased racing legend, Rex, and son of car designer Pops (John Goodman). The latter invented Speed's Mach 5, and is singularly unimpressed by an offer from a giant conglomerate that would lock Speed into exclusive racing services. Speed opts instead for family loyalty, incurring the wrath of the conglomerate's ...

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DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
Runtime: 135 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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