of his life Speed Racer (Hirsch) has wanted to drive racecars and in his debut
season he is taking racing by storm. When billionaire racing team owner Royalton
(Allam) approaches Speed to sign for him, the young driver turns him down
to stay with his family team but Royalton reveals that racing is fixed and
Speed will not stand in the way of his team winning the biggest race, the
Grand Prix. Determined to not give into corruption and with the help of the
rebellious Racer X (Fox), his girlfriend Trixie (Ricci) and his family, Speed
Racer decides to take on the corruption and bring real racing back to the
been a long time since the Wachowski Brothers directed a movie but can the
boys behind 'The Matrix' trilogy start off a new big screen franchise?
making an impact with their sexual thriller 'Bound' and then hitting box office
gold with 'The Matrix' trilogy, fans have wondered what the writer/director
siblings would do next. While they produced and wrote 'V for Vendetta', it
wasn't a true Wachowski Brothers movie but now they have teamed up again with
producer Joel Silver to bring the cult Japanese manga and anime 'Speed Racer'.
Originally entitled 'Mach GoGoGo' in Japan, the animated series became a cult
hit in the US when it was translated into English in the 1960s and repeated
for decades to follow but could a live action, big screen adaptation have
the same success?
the Wachowski's have done well is recreate the world of 'Speed Racer'. Here
we have the extravagant, over the top, futuristic motor racing with Speed
driving the immortal 'Mach 5' car that has gadgets, weapons and speed accelerators
that James Bond would be jealous of. The races themselves are spectacular,
filled with excitement and imagination as Speed makes a dramatic impact on
the racer circuit. We also have an extremely colourful world that recreates
the look and feel of the original manga and anime but unfortunately the story
doesn't reflect the quality of the visuals themselves.
a movie that is aimed at a younger audience, there is not enough to engage
them. Were the races themselves are stunning pieces of cinema it is the plot
in between that really doesn't engage the younger viewer. With a running time
of over two hours, this means that film struggles to keep their attention
during the rather obvious plot points between races, which is a shame as the
characters and the fantastic races deserves a lot better.
cast make the movie all the more watchable however. Emile Hurst is perfectly
cast as Speed Racer. The talented young actor makes the character an instant
hero and one that the audience can get behind. Christina Ricci is also well
cast as Speed's girlfriend and fellow race fiend Trixie. John Goodman and
Susan Sarandon are Pops and Mom Racer and Matthew Fox makes an excellent Racer
X, the mysterious masked racer who aids Speed on his race to glory. Roger
Allam also makes suitable villain as billionaire racing team owner Royalton.
It is Paulie Litt as Speed's younger brother Spritle who steals the film however,
and his high jinx with his best friend Chim Chim the chimpanzee are, at times,
Racer' is a movie that just misses out on becoming a firm family favourite.
The predictable plot and the length of the film, distract from the excellent
race sequences that draw you into the world of Speed Racer and what it is
like to be on the track. While this might not be the start of a world beating
franchise, there is still a lot to enjoy here and fans of the original show
won't be too disappointed.
Blu-Ray disc presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 2:35 up to
1080p, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound. This highlights the stunning
visual effects and excellent sound you'd expect from the Wachowski Brothers.
in the Big Leagues (14.34 mins/Standard Definition)
Paulie Litt takes you on a behind the scenes tour of the Berlin set for 'Speed
Racer'. Here we see the Art Design workshop, the cars, the sets and the visual
effects for the new Wachowski Brothers movie from Spritle's unique point of
Racer Supercharged (15.43 mins/Standard Definition)
Here we are introduced to the WRL (World Racing League), the teams that compete,
the cars and the racers that drive them.
Racer: Car-Fu (27.38 mins/Standard Definition)
Executive producer Joel Silver, producer Grant Hill, visual effects supervisor
Dan Glass and stars Emile Hirst, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Matthew Fox,
Susan Sarandon and Paulie Litt talk about the cars in Speed Racer. Here we
see how they were designed and an indepth look at Speed Racer's car, the Mach
Racer: Ramping Up! (9.58 mins/Standard Definition)
Executive producer Joel Silver and stars Emile Hirst, Christina Ricci, John
Goodman, Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon, Roger Allam and Paulie Litt talk about
their characters in 'Speed Racer'.
Blu-Ray treatment for 'Speed Racer' is a little disappointing. While the featurettes
cover most aspects from the movie's production, from a younger point of view,
they are in standard definition, they don't go into enough detail for older
fans and the Wachowski continue to not appear in extras for their movies.
The lack of a commentary is no surprise then but this is still a disappointment.
You would be right to expect more from a Joel Silver production.
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