I wasn’t expecting to like the movie Speed Racer. I hadn’t been a fan of the orignal TV series, never having watched it as a kid (but still knowing enough to enjoy the homage / parody episode in Dexter’s Laboratory), and not being a fan of The Matrix films, as Speed Racer as also directed by the Warchowskis’.
But, I loved it.
While CGI heavy – and I’m generally not a big CGI fan – the visuals were so stylized, cartoony and over the top that they rarely came off as clunky or unnatural (as CGI often does). The car races were exciting, there was some good camp thrown in, it has a near-acceptable plot, it seemed to respect the source material, and there were a couple of genuinely funny moments. (And some less funny, more groan inducing moments involving the chimp and the kid – including a very awkward scene at the end which detracted from the film’s climax and helped remind you that what you’re watching might actually qualify as a childrens film.) This is what blockbuster films should be like; flashy, easy to digest, action scenes that are easy to follow, without being insultingly dumb or disrespectful. Should definitely be enjoyed on a large screen in the highest definition, with sufficiently loud surround sound.
The film also has a catchy as heck, modernized, slightly cheesy version of the Speed Racer theme song that plays at the end credits. Complete with rapping. To spice things up, these rap sections are actually in different languages, and apparently (if Wikipedia is to be believed) these are all the languages of the countries in which the anime originally aired. Which is pretty neat. Sort of a nod to the international fans.
This, of course, is this week’s featured track. Happy Halloween!
If you want to buy the music properly, and receive an ever so slightly different mix of the song, as well as karaoke versions, you can do so here.