Wachowski Brothers, USA, 2008, 135 min.
CinemaSodomy is our recurring feature where we force each other to watch films that we never would have otherwise.
This film has to be seen to be believed. It’s pure cinematic spectacle with a big heart. Too long and complicated for kids, and too colorful and fast for adults, this film got a bad rap. But look past the reviews and you’ll find a treasure trove of sights and sounds.
The Wachowski’s really outdid themselves. They created a film packed to the brim with detail. This is no slap-dash piece. You can really feel the care and attention put into every frame. The effects weave with the colorful story and characters to create a unique world. A world where the incredible images seen on the screen are entirely plausible. A world where heroes can come from humble beginnings to save the day. A world where the magic of cinema is fully realized like never before. I can confidently say that Speed Racer is the Wachowsky Brother’s best film to date.
TC had been raving about Speed Racer since the first time he saw it. He kept telling me how awesome it was and how much he thought I would love it. I had actually wanted to see it based on the Wachowski brothers’ work on The Matrix series, so I gleefully accepted it as my CinemaSodomy before he could think of some other subtitled piece of shit movie to torture me with. (Side note: I’m pretty sure TC doesn’t understand the underlying principles behind our CinemaSodomy feature. It’s ok, we all know he’s a little slow).
After watching Speed Racer, one thing is certain: TC was terribly, terribly wrong on all counts. Speed Racer is the story of a mildly retarded, yet oddly determined boy and his triumph over corporate megapowers through the sport of autoracing. This movie was a carnival ride of suck. Watching Speed Racer feels like accidentally taking psychedelics right before going into the circus. It begins as a fun family outing. It’s colorful, there’s some nifty music, a few hot chicks and some clowns! Then somewhere in the middle of the show, you go into sensory overload. The colors are too bright. There’s a little too much motion and things stop making sense. You’re completely discombobulated, unsure of where you are and just generally confused. And, wait, why the hell are those bastard clowns trying to figure out how many of them can fit inside of YOU?
Yeah, that’s right. The clowns are the Wachowski brothers and they’re blasting you in the butt without even asking permission. Once you get past how cool all of the Mario Kart on crack cinematography looks, there really isn’t anything to this movie. The talent is underutilized (seriously,you don’t make a movie with Christina Ricci and Susan Sarandon and give them a combined screentime of approximately 0:37 all-the-while dressing them in clothes that fail to accentuate their lady bits) and the story is downright laughable (the stock market is controlled by autoracing? really?).
Speed Racer looks pretty and that’s about it. It’s like that stunning girl you see at a party who, when you finally get up the nerve to go and talk to her, has the voice of Fran Drescher and all the social graces of a heavily medicated Anna Nicole Smith. All looks and no substance. I can only hope that next time TC picks something with subtitles so that when I inevitably find myself wishing for death, I can just drift off into fantasyland instead of watching a movie I can comprehend.