I had a chance to see Speed Racer today. And I have two ratings for this movie… One if you’re 12 or under and one if you’re older than that.
Was it a great film? Not really. Was it shiny and colorful? Heck yes.
Speed Racer follows the exploits of a character simply named Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch from Into the Wild) and his family. Mom (Susan Sarandon), Pops (John Goodman), Rex, Trixie (girlfriend, Christina Ricci), Chim Chim (the Chimpanzee), Spritle (Paulie Litt), and Sparky (the family mechanic, Kick Gurry). Hope I didn’t miss anybody. They run afoul of Royalton (Roger Allam) the big corporate evil guy, and race their way through the movie.
Here‘s the IMDB link.
So as a brief summary — the special effects were cool, but overwhelming, and the story and dialog dragged more than a little.
What worked? Well… the movie as a whole dragged for me in a number of places. So long as they were racing, it seemed fine. For example, the cross country race was cool. But the race at the end got totally overwhelming with color and movement. Maybe I’m just getting old, I don’t know.
I did like Christina Ricci (always a pretty sight in a movie), but thought that her role was very flat (unlike her figure). And yes, I know that this is based on the Speed Racer cartoon and all of that stuff. That’s why this movie felt too drawn out for me I think.
Some of the fight scenes were so corny that they even made my wife giggle. I’ll just leave it at that.
I think if you are between the ages of 6 and 12, this movie is right up your alley. Beyond that, you’ll either be bored, overwhelmed, or chagrined at the cheese factor. My wife and I were amused by one scene where a character flips another character the bird and all the kids in the audience behind us gave a collective breath and were berating the character for the action. It was definitely not what I consider one of the highlights of the movie.
I don’t think Iron Man, Indy IV, Hellboy 2, or The Dark Knight have anything to worry about. Heck, even Prince Caspian might run this movie through next weekend and seal its fate. I don’t honestly know.
All that I do know is that this didn’t work for me. Entertaining in spots, boring in others, and visually overwhelming in many places — I give this 2.5/4. If you’re between 6 and 12, this gets a 3/4.
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