My beloved and I managed to watch the Wachowski Brothers' Speed Racer movie adaptation earlier this afternoon, and needless to say we got blown away enough to decide that YES, this movie deserves a review. A good one. I'm too brain-addled to write a coherent one, though, since I'm still foaming at the mouth after seeing all that orgasmic motion sickness-inducing racing scenes.
So I'm going to give the reviewer's helm to this post's guest author, mai husbando.
His words are in blue font.
This, my friends, is my Speed Racer face. More importantly, my Speed Racer movie face. Yes, that movie by the Wachowski brothers, that live-action full-feature film on celluloid recently unleashed on the world theatre. Through lots of cajoling, coaxing, bribing and even a few sexual favors here and there, I managed to convince my significant other to give it a shot. She's not as much of a fan of the series as I am - she's a bit more into Dragonball Z, and has been happily stewing in a cesspool of terror and dread about its the upcoming live action movie - but she finally relented, if not to just kill time before this year's Pyro Olympics showing.
Of course, as awestruck as I was about the trailer, as well as the concept that the Wachowski Brothers spin on the series' idea of racing - i.e. TOTALLY CRAZY CORKSCREW TWISTING ROLLER COASTER ON STEROIDS tracks - I went into the theatre expecting something really cringe-worthy and campy. After all, there's a reason adaptations suck, and that's because of the directors choosing to go all Hollywood on an IP's ass. Explosions! Special effects! HOLY FUCKING CRAP A LOVE INTEREST! AMERICAN SAVE THE DAY! (see Hitman Codename 37 movie, Hulk, Forbidden FUCKING Kingdoms, Batman FUCKING Begins, THE FUCKING TRANSFORMERS).
I was pleasantly surprised.
No, strike that. My face was melted right off.
It was that awesome. From start to finish, Speed Racer is a blast. There's the usual origin story here, but it's done in a way that it's kept in the middle of the action, rather than us looking our watches and waiting for the awesome to start. The racing bits, undoubtedly the most awesome parts of the movie, are very nicely spread throughout, so there's definitely not going to be a part you just forward to if you get a copy of its DVD. It's spread in a way that you feel that the entire movie is a treat in itself. Sure, the scenes that aren't quite as exciting as the race bits may not really be your cup of tea - the dialogue is a just a tad on the kitschy side, with a bare amount of cheese to make everything have that anime-ish taste to it - but they do tie up the story pretty well, and is a nice change of pace from the heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat racing scenes. The comic relief, which consists of a kid and a monkey, actually do pretty good.
The acting and dialogue, while playing second fiddle to the action bits themselves, is actually pretty solid. I mean, they're certainly not acting out the most complex of human emotions, but they do the job in convincing the viewer that THIS guy is Speed Racer, Christina Ricci is the hot and massively fuckable Trixie, and John Goodman as the MOTHERFUCKING POPS. John Goodman is especially good in his role as the MOTHERFUCKING POPS, coming off as a great father figure not only to Rex but to Speed himself. He also fucks up a ninja - strike that, a NONja - all by himself.
The one thing I didn't like is the main villain. Too talky. In fact, a large part of the middle of the movie is pretty much him just talking, as if he likes to hear himself jabber on. But since this is a Wachowski movie, it's pretty much expected.
As for the racing scenes themselves - well, suffice to say you will NEVER see anything like it ever again. Just like what they say about No More Heroes for the Wii or Super Mario Galaxy, the scenes where Speed Racer is in a car and driving the very awesome Mach 5 (6 in the latter part) will repeatedly rape your face with awesome. I'm not going to spoil anything, because that would be criminal, but let's just say that you get to see Speed Racer AND the Mach 5 in the way the anime portrayed him as. Yes, from the blue shirt to the red tie thing. I don't fucking know what that's called, but I'm going to wear one from now on.
If you're a fan of Speed Racer, watch it. If you're a fan of good movies, watch it. If you've ever felt that movie adaptations of ANYTHING is simply a cash-in on a popular IP and only an invitation to get your childhood raped, watch it. This is how a movie adaptation is supposed to be made. One made by actual fans of the goddamn IP, not something you cash on and THEN insert your own goddamn material into it (ARE YOU READING THIS, MICHAEL BAY, YOU FUCKING ASSHAT?) And no, it doesn't have Shia fucking LeBouf in it, so you'll be spared from his witty one-liners and cunty self.
Enjoy it - this is a love letter from someone rich enough and creative enough to do a cherished IP justice. Here's hoping that Dragonball Z (e/n: it's actually based on the original Dragonball and not Z, but who the fuck cares right? Will still suck either way) turns out the same way, for my wife's sanity's sake.
Spoken like a true fanboy. Not that I blame him. Just...just fuck awesome.