Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Review: Speed Racer Movie

Speed Racer gives no illusion about what movie it is. It does not sugar coat you with all the lovey dovey things that other movie tends to leads you into nor does it do what it is not supposed to be. Speed Racer is all about two things. Speed. Racing.

I was in the preview of Speed Racer movie which is set out to start showing on the 8th of May and frankly, this movie was not in the list of movie I am going to watch. Not with its comical name and association with the old cartoon from years ago. Neither has the trailer impresses me and my friends. But beggars can’t be choosers when two preview tickets are presented to me by my now constant supplier of free movies. A tribute goes to Anthony!

Anyway, back to the movie. The start of the movie sets the pace of the whole movie. There is no growing up scene. There is no, I am out for revenge thing. It starts with a bang and the bang turns to a boom all the way after 2 hour and 15 minutes. But to give a brief summarization of what the movie is about. Its about a family of racer which give births to a prodigal son of racing aptly named, Speed. It has a brief flash back of how he got into racing intermixed with a bit of current timeline. The flash back and forth blends in simultaneously and does a super job of handing you the introduction of the whole story without slowing the pace.

In most movies, we can see the confusion of the director trying to decide what the movie is supposed to be. Hence they throw in the villain, the hero, the gun scene and then the damsel in distress where they will eventually fall in love and live happily ever after. With Speed Racer, there is no such thing. It focuses the movie on the main character. Speed and proceed to hammer the racing scene into your head over and over again. And the effects are spectacular. ( more about that later) There is no love scene, there is no sad scene, and there is no fist fight scene (well there are some..). There is though, a lot and a lot of car fight scene.

Now, what make this movie more interesting than others are the effects. It does not try to blend the movie into real world. In fact, what it does is to make the whole movie as cartonish as possible. The backdrops have too many colours and are all too bright for the eye, the car races are impossible to be done in real life. The car crashes provides a symphony orchestra of impossible combination of lights and colours. Truly spectacular.

What about the actor? Frankly, I have not much comment on them. They are a bunch of believable act, in fact. The actor portraying Speed is very much the naïve character that he is supposed to be. There are parts of the emotion where he fails to portray the right one but he comes true quite well enough if you can close one eye. What about Rain then? He holds his character well enough by itself and speaks good English too. But there is just something not right with his acting which I can’t quite pin down and some of the actors are just “monkeying” around

Anyway, whatever the actor maybe, one thing is true. The movie is good. The racing scene does not get boring, the car fighting scene is spectacularly colourful and the storyline ties up well. A must watch if you like cartoons, car racing, good movie and are not afraid of clashing colours.

I manage to snap a few pictures of some Speed Racer stuff I got from KFC while dining with my GF. Its two keychain of Racer X car and Speed’s Mach 5. Also in the pictures are my ticket to the movie and the real racing car present at the movie to “launch” the movie. I heard Amber Chia was there and I “think” I saw her but heck, for the love of all sane things. I could see no relationship of her and the movie. Maybe the cars did but it sure as hell are not flashy enough. ( the opening event that is) If given to me, I would play around with some cartoonish characterism and put a real life model of Racer X and Speed’s car. That might pull more attention. Oh and maybe lots and lots of flashy lights.

Evo decorated with Speed Racer Logo

The Invitation Card (Outside)
The Invitation Card (Inside)
KFC Speed Racer Key Chain

-Because I Can-


Patrick Roberts said...

The Wachowski bros certainly put a lot of effort into making Speed Racer... the movie overall looked and felt like a cross between anime, a kaleidoscope, that Flintstones movie, a video game and the Dukes of Hazard

Reveur said...

Not to forget, lots and lots of spinning car scene and car jumping scene.