Speed Racer Review, by Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter

In this aggressively rudimentary emotional drama designed -- literally -- around impossible racing car action, actors are painted into a cartoon world through CGI and vividly colored backgrounds as images move across the screen like shifting panels in a comic strip. The basic laws of gravity and aerodynamics aren't simply denied; they are totally repealed. This causes the sensation of being trapped inside a 3-D video game.


While multitudes of young people the world over undoubtedly will make a dash for this new movie experience from the siblings who created "The Matrix" series, the film plays very young. Unlike a Pixar cartoon that embraces as wide an audience as possible, "Speed Racer" proudly denies entry into its ultra-bright world to all but gamers, fanboys and anime enthusiasts. Story and character are tossed aside to focus obsessively on PG-rated action and milk-guzzling heroes.


The film, which the Wachowskis also wrote, pits the Racer family of car nuts -- Rex, long dead thanks to race track malevolence; young brother Speed (Emile Hirsch); Pops (John Goodman); Mom (Susan Sarandon); kid brother Spritle (Paulie Litt); and a chimp named Chim Chim -- against an evil automotive magnate (Roger Allam). He fixes races, probably killed Rex and when Speed turns down a lucrative driving contract, he means to destroy the Racers.

Speed and his family-designed car, the Mach 5 -- which looks like a souped-up Corvette by ways of Q's gadget factory in the James Bond series -- take on this Evil Empire in race after race, with help from the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox), Speed's multitalented girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci in her least interesting role ever) and a ambiguous Japanese racer (Korean pop singer Rain).


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Speed Racer

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