Speed Racer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Speed Racer Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2008
high speed over the top action with lots of crazy CGI gave this live action film a great feel for the old cartoon. Fun but not great.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2011
Speed Racer is a film that upon initial release polarized audiences due to its story, performances, dialogue and visual style. However, visually, this film is a real treat. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from this film, but I came out of it surprised. Speed Racer is a film that pure entertainment value from start to finish, if you enjoy films that are visually appealing, then this is a film for you. Sure, I agree that the film is over stylish, but that's a good thing. Although the script does seem a little rocky at times, the payoff comes in the races themselves. Overall this is a fun, entertaining film that is underrated, and it definitely deserves more praise just for the creativity alone. If you enjoy a good, effective and captivating picture, this film is worth seeing. Keep an open mind, it's a film that deserves much more recognition than it deserves. Sure, it's a flawless masterwork of cinema, but it's nonetheless a worthwhile and memorable viewing experience that anyone can enjoy if you're in the right frame of mind. The film's strong points are the visuals, races and overall look at the film, its flaws are in the dialogue and sometime cheesy performances, but really all that goes out the window because of its entertainment value. Speed Racer is a film that works well because its cast are good, and the direction is effective enough to grab your attention. Although it's not perfect, the film is well worth your time if you're looking for a pleasant visually charged time waster to watch. Upon seeing the film, I was surprised that mainstream critics couldn't see the merit in such a movie. Speed Racer deserves far more credit than it deserves, and most importantly, it deserves a second look.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2013
The Wachowski Bros trade in the cleverness and storytelling for fast-paced racing and typical nonsense. Speed Racer is a visually a remarkable adaptation of the television series, but could be improved in many many different ways with its flat story and simplistic performances from its ensemble. 2.5/5
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2010
I hate saying this, but I find myself liking every bit of this movie! Im still trying to figure out why, but I love the style and the heart that goes itno this very odd Hot Wheels-like motion picture. Taking the classic kids show and making this almost seemed like an unforgettable thing, and that is exactly what happened, but unusually in a good way. I really enjoyed watching "Speed Racer", because it is the most fun I have had with a movie in a long time. It's not a great film in any way, but the story is very good and the action took risks that I have never seen a film take before. This is a very fun film to watch, and I recommend it solely for that.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2011
It's got such a fantastic ensemble cast that goes to waste because of an over dose of special effects and action sequences. The film goes from one scene to another in such a short length of time. My advice? Slow down.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2008
Jesus christ, let my eyes recover first haha this is really all thats bad with modern films today, imagination wise its very good and im sure the cartoon was very good (for kids), I never saw it, but it should have stayed a cartoon. This really is very poor stuff. Its totally cgi and looks awful. Its very clearly fake looking and like all cgi effects, kinda has a plastic quality about it.
Its sort of like a combo of a modern day tron with matchbox hotwheels cars on a neon epileptic fit enducing scaletrix set in space, and you probably would benefit better if you were high as well lol!
Its totally crazy and moves so fast at times you cant really follow the action. There seems to be alot of dueling in mid air using super racing cars with all manner of crap coming out of them, James Bonds auto's move over hahahahahaha.
Acting is pretty dire, cast shouldnt be doing this, Christina Ricci, for shame. Oh and the name of the film is the name of the main lead which is kinda idiotic, kids may like it, but adults will get a headache.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2011
The Wachowski's have presented us with the most intentionally bat-shit crazy movie ever made. This glorious two-hour adaption of the kooky cartoon looks and feels as though it spawned from the mind of a mentally ill ex-Nascar driver. Everything is obviously intentional here, you'd have to be dumber than a bag of rocks to think Speed Racer is at any point trying to be 100% serious. However, the fact that it is so over-stylized and colorful beyond belief is only part of the madness. The performances here are just so over-exaggerated, but done perfectly. If these weren't great actors, the movie might actually come off as corny and dumb rather than extremely self aware and cool. Emile Hirsch is the ultimate representation of Speed; he knows when to pull in the emotional breaks and also be overly serious and intense. Matthew Fox as Racer X is also one of the stand outs; mainly because he's so incredibly intense in every single scene. Most adaptations of kid's TV shows try to make the material more accessible and more normal, but this is totally fine with having every bizarre element present. From humanized chimps, narrative breaks, stereotyped characters and CGI/Green Screen galore, you never quite know where the insanity will end. You're either going to enjoy Speed Racer and understand what is trying to be done or you will be totally lost from the beginning. Anyone who's actually seen a Speed Racer cartoon knows exactly what they're getting into and this is just one extravaganza of craziness. It also has one of the most nutty ending sequences ever created; Chimp driving.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
I dont think they know what they want, is it a kid movie or a teen race movie?
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2010
fantastic animation but some of the effects are headache inducing but the racing scenes are great to look at
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2008
"It doesn't matter if racing never changes. What matters is if we let racing change us."

I thought Speed Racer was a pretty good adaptation of the manga and anime. Visually, it was astounding. In HD, the colors are incredibly bright and vivid, and the constant special effects really helped to bring the world to life. I imagine people who watched Tron for the first time back in the 80's might have had a similar reaction to what I had watching this. All the various camera techniques used to make it look similar to the comic books worked well, and I just really liked the style of the whole thing. I don't think I've ever used this phrase before, but it really was a feast for the eyes.

As for the rest of the movie, I also liked the cast. Emilie Hirsch might not have immediately jumped into my mind as the ideal Speed, but he worked. So did the actors playing the rest of his family and acquaintences (both helpful and adversarial), and Christina Ricci as Trixie. It took a while for Matthew Fox to grow on me as Racer X, but by the end I had to admit that he wasn't a bad choice, either.

The story was a combination of some original material and a bunch of new stuff that the Wachowski's came up with, and it made for a fun, if conventional, plot. The races were suitably thrilling, there were several funny scenes (what could have been an annoying role by Paulie Litt as Speed's younger brother, actually ended up being quite humorous), and I had a smile on my face more often than not. That's the recipe for an enjoyable movie, in my opinion. Try it if the source material interest you, or you'd just like to watch a fun movie full of eye candy.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2010
I would've enjoyed it more if it weren't for the terrible CGI.
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2010
kind of boring in some places. this movie has some really cool effects and colors during the races. i liked it. B
Jason Lalljee
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2010
Those who claim to have a 'headache' after watching this movie should also check for gray hairs, a hunchback, and a cane. Seriously, they sound like the elderly. Speed Racer's visual effects are dazzling, colorful and filled with liveliness. The plot and characters pass, and the scenes are filled with action and adventure. One of the best 'Great Race' movies to date.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2008
Well, I must say that this movie wasn't bad as everyone said before... Yes it is too colorful, and the first time I know it I feel a little dizzy... But after what I've seen for about 2 hours, hey it's not that bad!! I know the story not great, but the effects were truly amazing... And the racing thing, it's stunning... But why this movie flop in the box office run, it because of this movie is too colorful... Looks like The Wachowski Brothers wants to make an experiment on this movie, besides wants faithful to the manga version, but they don't learn from X-Men which is so colorful in the comic version, but they hit a big success when it goes to the movie with all the costumes becomes black... Yet, the world in this movie is too unrealistic, that's another reason why this movie didn't success... Also, the Wachowski brothers trifle the talent that Emile Hirsch have with this movie, and just forget the fact that Susan Sarandon is an Oscar winner, she just looks like nothing but a lovely mother in here, and it doesn't look like an acting... Overall, I have a lot of fun while watching this movie, but if the Wachowski Brothers would made it in more realistic version, and not too colorful like this, I bet this movie wouldn't stakes so many people's money...
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2009
My thoughts about this film don't so much take the form of a cohesive film review as a series of comments and observations. Here they are:
#1) AUGH! My eyes!
#2) Matthew Fox can't fucking act. The Wachowski Brothers must have hired him because they couldn't get Keanu Reeves.
#3) I really like the way they came up with the film conversations between charactacters ion different cars.
#4) I really hate the little kid they hired to play Speed's brother.
#5) The car races looked really really cool. Take that George Lucas and your silly Pod-Races!
#6) Chimps make everything better.
#7) You can solve problems by simply driving your car really really quick.
#8) I think the colours in this film gave me epilepsy.
#9) The montage of thoughts that go through Speed's head at the end of the movie is really really funny. It's comedy gold, really.
#10) With all the ample opportunities onscreen, there was no shot of a pedestrian getting hit by a car. I was so disappointed.
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2007
This action-packed based upon the 1960s Japanese cartoon series is spectacular with the stunningly colourful, wild romp of a ride from The Matrix creators Larry & Andy Wachowski.
The colourful photo-realistic production design owes much to the aforementioned Jeff Bridges flick, TRON, and best resembles an anime come to life. I like the Casa Cristo cross-country racing the best which looked familiar to Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace's Podrace scenes.
And the scene of Spritle & his monkey who racing around in Royalton's company looks bloody ridiculous.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
More fun that a catapult full of bees
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2008
Dazzling thrill ride which invents a new hyper-real style and design. A technical marvel , its only weaknesses showing in the corny twee family bonding sections. The reliable Ricci, Sarandon and Goodman hold things together but its really all about the races. The Wachowskis are the new Lucas - incredibly imaginative and technicallly astute but can't write dialogue or handle emotion.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2008
[font=Arial][color=DarkRed]Speed Racer - I was wary of this film from the first frame. I think the original [i]Speed Racer[/i] cartoon is dopey and insipid. I didn't really want to pay to have my retinas destroyed by the candy-coated color scheme of the big-budget movie. But I must say, I didn't hate this movie and that's a major accomplishment. That's not to say Speed Racer is a good movie; its script is cheesy, the dialogue is silly, the comedy is dead on arrival, and many of the races end up becoming incoherent flashes of color and noise. But God help me, the Wachowski brothers have produced a unique movie experience that will likely induce epileptic seizures. [i]Speed Racer[/i] has way too much plot going on for a cartoon about a kid who races a fast car. The movie reminds me in a lot of ways of the [i]Wacky Races[/i] cartoon where the various teams have theme-driven cars. This provides for plenty of outlandish action sequences that manage to tickle the senses, that is, when the images are somewhat stable. The movie aspires to be a "family film" and with that comes the half-hearted moral message (corporations are evil) and a reminder that family is important. Did I mention there's also a monkey that gets treated like a member of the family? The movie sometimes feels like the cinematic equivalent of an ice cream headache, but you're unlikely to see anything like it again in the near future. That may be both a good and a bad thing.

Nate's Grade: C+

Then She Found Me - Actress Helen Hunt's directorial debut is an altogether pleasant film experience without achieving anything memorable or truly accomplished. It's a simple story of a 40-something grade school teacher (Hunt) torn between her man-boy husband (Matthew Broderick) and a student's hot father (Colin Firth, who seems to be a middle-aged woman's dream come true). The extra plotline where Hunt discovers the identity of her biological mother (Bette Midler) never truly seems to coalesce with the romantic foibles. [i]Then She Found Me[/i] has a noticeably wry tone, like that of a world-weary adult that's been-there-done-that. That specific and welcomed tone helps keep the viewer alert and mostly satisfied from beginning to end. It isn't a warm or sappy movie despite some sitcom-level plot complications. The acting is fairly amusing, though somewhat one-note (the foursome of actors rarely break from the one-sentence descriptions of their characters). The most shocking aspect of the flick is how weathered and gaunt Hunt looks, which is a refreshing and realistic turn for the actress. Hunt is competent behind the camera but doesn't prove much else when it comes to directorial skills. [i]Then She Found Me[/i] is a mildly affecting movie that passes the time well. Stick around to catch acclaimed author Salman Rushdie as Hunt's OB-GYN.

Nate's Grade: B

The Spiderwick Chronicles - This imaginative fantasy family film is adapted from five books from the [i]Spiderwick[/i] series, so you'll be forgiven for thinking that it packs a lot of storylines at a brisk pace. This 97-minute film should appeal to all members of the family because, while derivative, it has plenty of action, interesting fantasy characters, and even some palpable thrills. The movie has a better handle over interspersing psychological real-world drama with the monsters. Freddie Highmore is the best special effect in the film as he plays two twins who are vastly different in personality and temperament. Director Mark Waters ([i]Mean Girls[/i]) deals with the fantastic but also makes the film feel grounded, never letting the otherworldly elements to take over. The movie is a modestly entertaining escapade.

Nate's Grade: B

Drillbit Taylor - This is a case where a movie feels stuck between two different aims. The premise of a group of geeks hiring a bodyguard to protect them from high school bullies feels dramatically dated, like an idea that John Hughes could have cranked out over a weekend in the 1980s. Owen Wilson stars as a homeless Army vet that agrees to be the bodyguard but he intends to fleece the kids of their money. Eventually the film culminates in the geek trio violently fighting the bully, which is kind of a weird climax to a mainstream teen-centered film. The main bully is actually psychotically dangerous and the movie exists in a realm where every adult character is a cretin or a moron. Don't even think about security in the school. The jokes aren't as lively or clever as the movie would like to think, but special credit must be awarded for collecting a group of teen actors that look authentically geeky. [i]Drillbit Taylor[/i] is a safe vehicle for Wilson because he's played a variation of this zen-cool character in many movies. I'm honestly surprised that Seth Rogen is a co-writer and that Judd Apatow produced this flick. This is noticeable below their standards. This movie isn't anything special and it's tonally all over the place, but then it does have some funny situations, some amusing character interplay, and some dependable slapstick. Think of it as a sanitized PG version of [i]Superbad[/i] combined with an 80s movie.

Nate's Grade: C+

Deception - Is there a more tired and pathetic genre of filmmaking than that of the erotic thriller? [i]Deception[/i] is just about as lazy and bland as its title. The casting director got every role wrong. Ewan McGregor is an accounting nerd that befriends a swanky playboy (Hugh Jackman) and they accidentally switch phones. Of course this leads to people mistaking an accounting nerd for a swanky playboy, and McGregor is introduced to an underground web of anonymous sex (hasn't anyone heard about craig's list?). I suppose the rich would rather take a chance on a stranger than have their handlers recruit some tail. Michelle Williams is completely wrong as the femme fatale who OF COURSE is in on the scheme. [i]Deception[/i] plays out exactly as you could predict, and it even bears a somewhat strong resemblance to 2005's [i]Derailed[/i], another mediocre thriller of little thrills. The chilly cinematography by Dante Spinotti is way too good for this kind of film. It seems that erotic thrillers have graduated from soft focus close-ups of copulating couples set to saxophone music to ? soft focus close-ups of copulating couples set to electronica beats. I suppose that's progress for a genre defined by ridiculous plots, unrealistic characters acting like idiots, and, oh yeah, boobs.

Nate's Grade: C[/color][/font]
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