Region: 1 - USA
Length: 135 minutes
Subtitles: English [For Hard Of Hearing]
English Dolby Digital Surround
Speed Racer is a natural behind the wheel of the Powerful Mach 5, but when an evil corporation threatens to destroy the very sport he loves, it is up to Speed and the Mysterious Racer X to hit the track and save the day!
Many people are familiar with the classic anime series Speed Racer which is also known as Mach Go Go Go within Japan. In the year 2008, the brotherly duo The Wachowski Brothers took the beloved 1960's anime and released a live action adaptation in theaters worldwide. The result: A candy colored eye popping visual adventure that is sure to please anyone who loves to have fun at the movies. The DVD is no exception either.
Emile Hirsch plays Speed Racer who only has one thing on his mind. Revving up the powerful Mach 5 to victory lane. Pops Racer is played by John Goodman who portrays the Racer patriarch, Susan Sarandon plays the ever supportive Mom Racer, Paulie Litt bursts his way onto the screen as the precocious Sprittle along with Chim Chim (who is played by an actual chimpanzee), Kick Gurry is as goofy as ever playing the dependable mechanic Sparky, along with Christina Ricci as the cutie we all know as Trixie. But what would Speed Racer be without Racer X who was played by Michael Fox.
Let me start off by saying that the casting for this film was perfect. Everyone within the movie played and looked the part perfectly and you could tell they all had fun doing it in the entire process. The plot revolves around Speed Racer fighting the giant Racing corporation, Royalton Motors who is under the control of the evil E.P. Arnold Royalton who is played very snidely by Roger Alam. Speed refuses to join Royalton in his Dastardly deeds and fights to save the sport he loves.
The film uses the typical story of good versus evil but does it in a way that is so fun and colorful that it is almost like hearing a new story yet through familiar eyes. And what a feast for the eyes this film is! This film is more like an anime adaptation of a live action movie than live action adaption of an anime. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that the Wachowski's are the first people to ever to create a live action cartoon, and they do it with panache. They sure do know their source material, that's for sure!
Michael Giacchino does the score for the film adding a playful rollicking feel to the music for the film which does not stray from the classic roots of the anime only adding to the nostalgic feel that this film has done so well. Speed Racer captures the spirit, message, and heart of the original anime all wrapped in a fresh coat of colorful paint that wont easily be forgotten.
The DVDs extras however leave much to be desired however and only include a small documentary involving Paulie Litt touring the set of the movie and an extra explains the different cars shown within the movie. That's about it.
The only thing I could say that was wrong with this movie is that it could have been shorter and I even found myself fidgeting at certain parts of the movie. And that the film also sometimes become Dialogue heavy at times which sometimes seem to go overboard, but these flaws can be overlooked when one is in a racing hype while watching the fun race scenes.
This film did mediocre at the box-office, raking in a measly one hundred and twenty five million at the box office, and was not viewed of rather fondly by most of the critics. But if you love the spirit of traditional anime and innovative eye popping visual effects, then this movie will have you cheering: Go Speed Racer Go! I loved this movie and it had me cheering at every adrenaline fueled turn!
Peter Fernandez, who was the voice of Speed Racer in the original anime makes a cameo appearance in the movie as an announcer.