Speed Racer Movie Review

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Speed Racer Movie Review    




When I was 5, I remember sitting by the television humming with excitement as Speed Racer fuzzed onto the screen on the old UHF 52 channel. At that time in my life, there was no one better than Speed Racer.  My friends and I at Taft Elementary played Speed Racer in school and we all pretended to be either Speed or Racer X.  When I was a freshman in college, I still demonstrated Speed Racer’s influence over me as I adopted the call sign RACER X, while helping my buddy as he DJ’d on Lincoln’s radio station WLIU.  Even as an adult, when I finally had the opportunity to get my first personalized license plate, I struggled over whether I should select Mach 5, Racer X or Jedi Master.  Jedi Master won, but it was still in the back of my mind. When I first heard about a Speed Racer movie, I didn’t think it would be made, but when it was I was pretty excited.  When I saw the first trailer for the movie, my enthusiasm was curtailed tremendously.  It looked too cartoonish for my taste.


How is Speed Racer the movie? Well think of a Kaleidoscope, and that will get your eyes ready for this color assaulting fest. There is so much bright in your face color that it can be overwhelming. Not only is there color, but there are dizzying racing scenes that will leave your eyes twisted with confusion. This movie had a ton of potential to be an entertaining block buster, but instead they created a beautiful looking film that has no substance whatsoever.  I will give the directors this.  They created a live action cartoon like you would not believe.  It is amazing what they did, of course much of it is ruined with the super fast cuts, which seems to be in fashion these days.  However, although I am a devoted Speed Racer fan, I would at least like a serviceable story.  Now I know the original Speed Racer was light on story and heaped with racing action and destruction, but that doesn’t mean the live action movie has to follow suit. What little story the writers created was very confusing and didn’t make much sense to me.  Not only didn’t the story make sense, but the Mach 5, which is the star of the Speed Racer cartoon, makes a very limited appearance in the film. In the cartoon, this is Speed’s primary instrument of racing, traveling and crime fighting. In this film, the Mach 6 is the racing car and the Mach 5 is just basically a leisure vehicle, which gets one race, go figure.


Speed Racer was entertaining, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype. Kids will love it, but adults will hate it.


Grade C-





  1. Not sure about the seizure issue? Hopefully that isn’t a real issue.

    I just saw it with my kids and we all loved it. I was a huge fan of the show at age of 5 that the movie completely took me back.


  2. The promo totally turned me off. Besides, I guess I was already wishing for something better when I saw the cartoon as a kid even though technology wasn’t anywhere near where it is today. I couldn’t understand its appeal then, so I’m sure I wouldn’t understand its appeal now. All I remember was the strange voice of the racer and the motionless-emotionless cartoon imagery of the original show. It was campy to me. However, I still really want to see “Iron Man”. Unfortunately, the month of May is a killer for me! Come to think of it, so is June, July, August, etc…

    Take care…



  3. 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


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