Sunday, September 21, 2008
Movie Reviews: SPEED RACER
Born into the family business of race cars, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is one of the track's hottest stars. Sitting behind the wheel of his awesome Mach 5, Speed consistently blows away the competition. When Speed turns down an offer from the head of Royalton Industries, he uncovers a terrible secret: powerful moguls are fixing the races to boost their profits. Hoping to beat Royalton at his own game, Speed enters the same grueling cross-country race that claimed his beloved brother's life.
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, John Goodman
Director: Andy Wachowski
Opened May 9, 2008
Runtime: 2 hr. 15 min.
Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence and language
Genres: Chase Movie, Adventure Comedy, Adventure
Speed Racer is a like ice cream with all kinds of gooey topping on it, if you over indulge you'll probably get sick. The Wachowski Brothers, in their first film since the Matrix trilogy, over indulge in every visual and technical excess yet totally forgo anything which might be considered a dramatic arch. Visually this film is bold and striking almost jarring to a certain point. The film excels during the action and race sequences which are just a feast for the ocular senses. Sequences of "car fu" are visually exciting even if they look like video game sequences more than actual movie scenes. Another sequence, a kung fu fight in snow, is quite impressive and somewhat groundbreaking. Yet for all its visual wonder Speed Racer lacks something built into the general idea of the movie, speed. Outside of the action sequences this film drags along at a snails pace and the actors aren't required to do much outside of delivering lines. The characters don't approach anything that might be considered depth and Speed, played by Emile Hirsh, is about as blank a character as a clean chalk board. John Goodman does the best with what he's asked to do; his character is the only one that feels multi layered. Christina Ricci looks stunning but like the film the visual are all that's there. Susan Sarandon isn't given much to do outside of looking concerned. For the most part the very talent cast is wasted, making me wonder way they even bothered with actual actors in the first place, maybe they'd have been better off just digitizing the entire thing. Even with its massive flaws Speed Racer is the kind of film that you have to admire just for its frenetic attempt at doing something different and I give the Wachowski's tons of credit. That being said, this over long kid's, clocking in over 2 hours, film becomes a chore to watch as it sputters to the finish line.