Speed Racer – Long Ride To Nowhere

Speed Racer     C

Starring Emile Hirsch, Matthew Fox, John Goodman, and Susan Sarandon
Directed by The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix)
Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence and language
Appropriate for ages 5+

The Story: Based on the Japanese Animated series of the same name, Speed Racer follows the life of a young boy named Speed Racer who wants to become a world champion race car driver.  With the help of his family and a mysterious masked driver named Racer X, he is placed into the right situations to allow him to have a chance to win the world championship.

The Good: At the very least, this film is innovative.  It looks and feels like the cartoon, only with live action actors thrown in the mix.  The color palate is vibrant and almost hypnotic, but this does get old towards the end.  Aside from a few bits of bad language (not too bad) and a young kid giving someone the finger, this makes for a good film for kids (but good luck prying them away from Iron Man). 

The Bad: At 2 hours and 15 minutes, this film proves to be at least 30 minutes too long and there were many, many scenes and plot points that could have been sliced out without damaging the integrity of the film.  If you are going to make a movie this long, then it demands to have a plot worthy of this length.  Unfortunately, I can’t even tell you what the plot was about.  I used to love the animated series, but I do remember that every episode had pretty much the same story and the movie follows suit.

The Summary:  There will be some big fans of the movie, and many will enjoy it, but I predict that most will get tired of it quickly, or not give it a chance at all.

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