Short Attention Span Review: Speed Racer (2008)
Call me crazy, but I think Speed Racer is a masterpiece. While critics decried it as a noisy and over-saturated mess, I still find it to be a smorgasboard of sonic and visual delights. Many found the story overly simplistic and derivative, and hard to follow, but I find it to be a clever and stirring representation of the zany cartoon that inspired it. And while it takes every curve at maximum speed, I think it does a great job of telling a cool story amidst all the wild thrills leaping off the screen. If you watch Speed Racer the movie expecting to see Speed Racer the movie, I just don't know how you could find this to be anything but a splendid ride that stretchest the boundaries of the medium at every turn. If you're hoping for Ben-Hur, shit man, go rent Ben-Hur. This is no classic by critical standards, but as a true blue live action cartoon, it is a marveluos display of imagination and craftmanship. It also features a host of sound performances, with John Goodman grounding the proceedings, while Emile Hirsch is a solid lead and Matthew Fox oozes cool as Racer X. There are some incredible cuts and montages, and as crazy as this may sound, you may have to go back to something like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls to see such innovation in the editing of a film. The action is sensationally choreagraphed and marvelous to behold, and the sound is epic and falls just shy of overwhelming--and there are several key moments when that unmistakable theme makes its way to the forefront to tremendous effect. I know that most critics and many of my peers think of this as some sort of flop, but I hail Speed Racer as a true classic, and I applaud the Wachowski siblings for their vision and technique. While The Matrix will probably always be viewed as their finest offering, I'm not so sure that this isn't a superior motion picture. Call me crazy, but that's where I stand.
Final Grade: A
|A kaleidoscope of color and sound, Speed Racer is a vibrant spectacle like no other. It is a live-action cartoon, and it is incredile.|