Movie Review – Speed Racer

Speed Racer

Directed by the Wachowski Brothers

Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Scott Porter, Matthew Fox, Roger Allam, Rain, and Paulie Litt.


In the grand realm of anime, Speed Racer is one that I was always vaguely aware of. Outside of a very catchy theme song, didn’t really know much about it. However, I was aware that a live-action movie was in development for a long time. And then when I heard that the Wachowski Brothers, those responsible for The Matrix, signed on to do it, I was hooked. With its unusual trailers that had people going WTF, I was more and more intrigued. I knew I had to see this film.


The Racer family had long been a proud, independent team in the world of racing. And their son and star driver, Speed Racer, is on the verge of dominating the sport. After turning down a sponsorship offer from the powerful Royalton corporation, young Speed learns a horrible truth. The world of racing is fixed, with the most powerful sponsors forming a cartel that determines the outcome of the races. Rocked to his very core, Speed sets out to blow the lid off this conspiracy. A fellow driver, Taejo, has gathered enough evidence to implicate Royalton and shut down the cartel. And he will turn over the evidence if Speed and the mysterious government agent Racer X help him win the Crucible, a devastating rally that claimed the life of Speed’s older brother. Can Speed win the big race, clear his family name, and help bring honour back to the sport of racing?

What I Liked

When The Matrix first came out, some of my more cynical friends said “Yeah, well, if you liked The Matrix, you just haven’t watched enough anime.” With Speed Racer, the Wachowskis have truly made a live-action anime. From the colour pallet to the editing to the pacing of the story…all the techniques used in Japanese animation are here in full force. The acting is honest and sincere, the races are spectacular and exciting, and the musical score knocked my socks off. Oh, and Christina Ricci is just so darn purty.

What I Didn’t Like

Wow…not much. Subtle it ain’t. I mean, one of the villains is named “Snake Oiler.” The heroes and the villains are clearly defined, and the plot is rather thin.

Final Assessment

Fun, exciting, spectacular summer entertainment.

4 Nibs

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