I can't believe how much I loved this film. This, shockingly, has surpassed IRON MAN as my favorite film so far this year. This movie just surprised the hell out of me at how fucking great it was... Hell, this made me leave the theater saying "THE MATRIX what? This blew those films away!" The Wachowski's really out did themselves with this movie.
The story starts out giving us a look at Speeds history. How he would have been a Ritalin kid if he were in our world, but thankfully, he's not, so he gets to do goofy stuff like 'christmas tree' a school exam and drive at ridiculous speeds in a race car with his brother Rex. After a bunch of stuff happens and he grows up, Speed has many large corporations wanting to use him and his family to make money. More stuff happens and there are freaking awesome races thrown in and at the end, Speed wins the big race and the movie ends with the greatest end titles sequence and music EVER! Yeah, I said it... EVER!!!
SPEED RACER is very simplistic and easy to follow, as any film for small children should be, but because it embodies the spirit of the original series, anyone who's seen an episode or two of the cartoon should easily enjoy this as well. The Wachowskis (They aren't exactly 'Brothers' anymore, so I'm not sure how to address them, if you know what I mean...) seem to really love the original series. They took parts from many different episodes to compile the plot here and it works beautifully. You got Spritle and Chim Chim stowing away in the trunk and eating their weight in candy. They freak out over seeing Racer X at the door. You even got a scene with a mammoth car. (Which was great!)
The acting it perfect. Everyone plays thier character as they should. The kid playing Spritle really was great. He looked like he was having a blast playing off the chimpanze. Also, the effects are the real star of this film. This looks and feels so far beyond other films. I could imagine George Lucas, Steven Speilberg, and Zach Snyder all sitting in the front row with thier mouths wide open and thier hands in thier pants playing with themselves.
This film is certainly geared toward kids, but some parents my not like that the characters like to use the word 'Damn!' a lot. This is also a holdover from the original series though. Also, both Richard Roundtree's character and Speed uses the word 'Shit!' at the very end of the film. Roundtree's utterance is bleeped, and Speed's was a very fitting and at an exciting moment that used it in a (personally) very breathtaking moment that was just great.
I've read a few reviews where the person really just didn't get the movie at all. It's like they'd never even heard of SPEED RACER before. Ignore these reviews and go see this, I beg you... this film is fucking great. I really ope it makes money, cause I'd love to see more like this. I'm sure another SPEED RACER film isn't an option to the Wachowskis. But why not do another Anime adaptation. How about a fantasy or giant robot film, made in the same style. Imagine VAMPIRE HUNTER D or STARBLAZERS looking like this. Just amazing to even think about it.
Overall: The best movie out, so far this year, and I think it'll be quite hard to beat. Sadly, I'm gonna be one of the very few people to feel this way.
Rating - A+++(to infinity!) I will be singing the praises of this film for months to come. Please go give it a chance... PLEASE!
(#13... Shit, I've been slacking and lazy. I know I've seen like 10 films since FUNNY GAMES.)
(edited by Cerebus on 11.5.08 0017) Forget it Josh... it's Cerebustown.
I enjoyed the movie, and I agree that the effects, photography, camera work, and overall visuals were great. In fact, they may have been the best I have ever seen (they're at least top 5). However, I completely disagree with the rest of your review.
Blew the Matrix films away? Really?? Wow. That's not even a reasonable-minds-may-differ type of statement. It's just wrong. Also, this movie is far from simple, and that's probably a large part of why the reviews are so poor. It is supposed to be (or at least SHOULD be) geared towards children, with its fast cars and cartoonish world and PG rating. However, the movie is over 2 hours long and has more twists and turns than your average 10-year-old could possibly hope to understand. The acting was decent, above average even. Spritle was... interesting. I imagine for most people, though, he's Jar Jar Binks part 2.
Just say it was a good movie and leave it at that. Best movie of the year? You are on crack.
p.s. - The Larry Wachowski sex change rumors were just that: rumors.
Hell, this made me leave the theater saying "THE MATRIX what? This blew those films away!" The Wachowski's really out did themselves with this movie. - Cerebus
Yikes. That is one bold statement. The Matrix is one of my all time favorites movies and I HIGHLY doubt Speed Racer will be nearly as good. Be that as it may, I am looking forward to seeing it and plan on being entertained. I do not, however, plan on leaving the theater thinking it was better than The Matrix.
"Marriage is like that show ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, but it’s not funny. All the problems are the same, but you know instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody is really pissed off and tense. Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever."
I liked it - maybe not as much as Cerebus....but enough. I thought it was a fun, enjoyable movie, with plenty of action and comedy from Sprittle and Chim Chim. Every time the boy and the monkey were on the screen, there were laughs. Susan Sarandon looked great (yum), WAY better than she did for In the Valley of Elah, and John Goodman was very good as well. I hadn't read much about the movie beforehand, and was pleasantly surpised to see Matthew Fox. Both kids enjoyed it, and were on the edge of their seats. I'd heard a terrible review on the radio on Friday, saying that it was insanely complicated, and that kids wouldn't get it. Granted, there are things dealing with corporate sponsorship and the like that are likely to go over the younger kids head, but the actual story is incredibly simple, and my kids ate it up.
I'll avoid any specific spoilers, but I am currently amazed at the writers' ability to make as many references to the original series without feeling like they're retreading old ground too much, a la Family Guy.