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Mainstream - Speed Racer

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Speed Racer
Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci
John Goodman, Susan Sarandon
Directed by the Wachowski Brothers
Warner Home Video 2008
135 minutes

Cool Speed Racer DVD! Cool! This movie fires on all cylinders. Speed Racer is a perfect blend of great story, interesting characters, and great visual stimulation.  Its high eye candy content is the reason you spent that much money on a big ass TV screen. CGI is often overused just to show off. Here, the CGI blows you away but doesn’t often get in the way of the movie.

Speed Racer is a movie for kids adults will watch more often than they will. It features a basic story of good versus evil. Young driver Speed Racer is offered a job driving for the circuit’s biggest sponsor. This would mean guaranteed wealth and fame for him and his family. There is however a dark side to the racing circuit, something a mysterious driver who looks like Daredevil is trying to uncover. How will Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) fit into all this?

Almost everything works in this movie. The story is easy to get into, has lots and lots of exciting racing scenes, and great characters.

Christina Ricci looks even better than the CGI in this movie and is absolutely great as Speed Racer’s coquettish girlfriend.

The one drawback for this viewer was the character of Spittle (I know, that’s not quite his name) Speed Racer’s young brother and Spritle’s pet monkey. It is obvious they were put there to entertain the youngest viewers but Spritle is not interesting and just gets on your nerves. Even the Wachowski brothers dislike him and that is why he gets the cheesy special effects from the second unit crew.

Roger Allam is especially good as the scenery and competition chewing Arnold Royalton

Speed Racer is a bit long at 135 minutes and it spends a bit too much time setting up the main plot elements.

That does not really matter though as this movie is a hell of a lot of fun to watch and most certainly entertains.

Special features on the Speed Racer DVD include a digital copy and a short on the cars and racetracks in the film.

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