Warner Bros./Village Roadshow
Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, and Matthew Fox
Directed by The Wachowski Brothers
Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence, language, and brief smoking
Running Time = 135 minutes (2 hours 15 minutes)
On your mark, get set, and go find another movie to watch. Speed Racer is by far one of the most obnoxious, frustrating, and irritating films I have seen in a long time. I kept asking myself why I’m watching this movie. The film actually pissed me off to the point that I had to stop watching and resume viewing at a later time.
Yes, it’s based on a Japanese cartoon of the same name. And, yes, I get it’s supposed to be kid- friendly. But I don’t know of any kid who can sit through a movie that’s over two hours in length. It’s hard for most adults to do so as well.
Running time is the least of the issues I had with this visually obnoxious live-action cartoon. The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix trilogy) fail to deliver a film that has anything going for it other than video game style computer graphics. It’s flat, devoid of a solid and interesting story, and the characters fail to engage and entertain. You know it’s bad when the chimp has more personality than the main character.
There’s plenty of quality talent wasted in this disaster of a film. Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, The Girl Next Door) is lost among the plethora of Technicolor special effects. Christina Ricci (Black Snake Moan, Sleepy Hollow), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Rosanne), Susan Sarandon (Enchanted, Mr. Woodcock), and Matthew Fox (Lost, We Are Marshall) deserve better than this.
With all the over-the-top effects, crayon bright colors, and busyness in each frame, these reputable talents are pushed into the background. They seem to be competing with the scenery and effects that should enhance their performance instead of compete with it.
As I watched Speed Racer, I kept thinking of another film with similarly obnoxious colors and effects: The Cat in the Hat. Not a movie you want to relive…ever. I couldn’t help thinking about that horrific Mike Meyers movie during the scenes at the Racer home. When the doorbell rang, I half expected Mike Meyers in cat make-up to be there. Not a good endorsement for a film.
If all of this weren’t enough, the end credit sequence features silly chimps doing silly chimp things. Ha Ha.
I urge you to find and watch the cartoon version that ran from 1967-1968. It’s far more enjoyable and entertaining than this train wreck of a picture.
Speed Racer crosses the finish line dead last and receives a collision-inducing F. I’d rather endure Sex and the City: The Movie again, and I loathed that, too.
Disagree? Leave a comment. Keep it clean. It’s a movie, after all. I’m not attacking your pick for President.