Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speed Racer (2008) - 3/5

Firstly, I must ask why so many critics had such high expectations from a "Speed Racer" live action film. Did anyone actually think that the cartoon was worth its weight in film? Was the show originally anything more than a shitty cartoon? I guess others had greater nostalgia memories of "Speed Racer" than I did, thusly making this film utter shit. But, in all honesty, this film did exactly what it set out to do (for the most part) and that was bring a pretty simplistic story to life and make a live anime inspired film.

Granted, there are still some issues that I have with the film as a whole. A) despite some fantastic casting choices the dialogue of the script leaves a bit to be desired (compared to the cartoon though this is solid gold writing) and B) if the Wachowski brothers really wanted to make a children's film then perhaps they should have left the adult material at home. Not that it had tons of nudity or hellacious cursing but some of the plot elements about corporate takeovers or stocks is just going to fly over kids' heads. That and the way that the film was structured (particularly the opening series of flashbacks) is rather confusing to younger viewers.

Other than the odd balance of 'kids movie/adult film", I thought that it was quite enjoyable. It looks like Seasame Street hurled on the screen at times (they had to have patented a few new colors for this film I swear) with its bright vibrant take on life, but it does build this correlation between live action and its cartoon predecessor and its beautiful at times and it worked for me. The acting was fine (considering its horrid dialogue) and I wish some characters had a bit more to their depth (Trixie anyone?) but the film was already over 2 hours and thusly I understand their hesitance already.

It was a fun watch (I had the pleasure of seeing it on Blu Ray for its vibrant look it was wonderful) and I laughed a bit. Watching it with my 10 year old niece allowed me to hear her take on the film and gave me a perspective from a kid which helped a lot to hear her laughing or asking questions and I recommend seeing this with some youngsters. Was it bad? Yeah. Was it as horrible as everyone thought? Not that I could tell. Perhaps I was just in the mood to go along for the ride with the Mach 5.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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