Speed Racer (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Speed Racer (2008)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Wachowski Brothers have overloaded Speed Racer with headache-inducing special effects, and neglected to develop a coherent storyline.

Speed Racer Photos

Movie Info

The Matrix masterminds Andy and Larry Wachowski usher anime icon Tatsuo Yoshida's classic 1960s-era hit into the new millennium with this family-friendly story of a young racecar driver who takes on the mysterious Racer X in a custom-made, gadget-loaded speed machine named the Mach 5. Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is the kind of driver that every wheelman wishes he could be: a born winner whose unbeatable combination of aggression, instinct, and fearlessness always finds him crossing the checkered flag with a comfortable lead. In Speed Racer's mind, the only driver who could present him with any real challenge is his late brother -- the legendary Rex Racer. Rex died in a heated cross-country rally known as The Crucible many years ago, and now his younger sibling is driven to fulfill the legacy that Rex left behind. To this day, Speed Racer is fiercely loyal to family. It was Speed Racer's father, Pops Racer (John Goodman), who designed the unbeatable Mach 5, and even a lucrative offer from racing giants Royalton Industries isn't enough to get the young ace to break his family ties. Upon turning down Royalton's (Roger Allam) astronomical offer, Speed Racer makes the shocking discovery that the outcomes of the biggest races are being predetermined by a handful of powerful moguls who pad their profits by manipulating the drivers. Realizing that his career would be ruined if word of the fix gets out, Royalton vows that the Mach 5 will never make it to another finish line. Now, the only way for Speed Racer to save the family business and beat Royalton at his own game will be to win the very same race that claimed his brother's life so many years ago. In order to accomplish that formidable feat, however, Speed Racer will not only have to rely on his family and the aid of his longtime girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), but form a tenuous alliance with his longtime rival -- the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox)--as well.

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Cast

Matthew Fox
as Racer X
Rain
as Taejo Togokhan
Paulie Litt
as Spritle
Benno Fürmann
as Inspector Detector
Kick Gurry
as Sparky
Roger Allam
as Royalton
Nicholas Elia
as Young Speed
Moritz Bleibtreu
as Grey Ghost
Melissa Holroyd
as Speed's Teacher
Ariel Winter
as Young Trixie
Nan Yu
as Horuko
Gian Ganziano
as Everyman Announcer
Peter Jay Fernandez
as Local Announcer
Harvey Friedman
as Harold Lederman Announcer
Sadao Ueda
as Japanese Announcer
Valery Tscheplanowa
as Russian Announcer
Willy
as Chim Chim
Sami Loris
as Italian Announcer
Kenzie Lovelay
as Chim Chim
Olivier Marlo
as French Announcer
Sean McDonagh
as Celtic Announcer
Christian Oliver
as Snake Oiler
Vinzenz Kiefer
as Crew Chief/Sempre Fi-Ber Driver
Mark Zak
as Blackjack Benelli
Julia Joyce
as Blonde Pack Leader
Clayton Nemrow
as Race Announcer
Ricky Watson
as Race Commentator
L. Trey Wilson
as Press Man
Lauren Blake
as Flight Attendant
Ralph Herforth
as Cannonball Taylor
Waldemar Kobus
as Vinny--Cruncher Thug
John Benfield
as Cruncher Block
Max Hopp
as Cruncher Thug
Matthias Redhammer
as Marvin the Cleaning Man
Julie T. Wallace
as Truck Driver
Hiroyuki Sanada
as Mr. Musha
Matthias Redlhammer
as Marvin the Cleaning Man
Ecki Hoffman
as Joel Goldman
Stephen Marcus
as Security Goon
Art LaFleur
as Fuji Announcer
Peter Navy Tuiasosopo
as Fuji Announcer
Paul Sirr
as Dour Face
Ramon Tikaram
as Casa Christo Announcer
Melvil Poupaud
as Johnny "Goodboy" Jones
Kady Taylor
as Queen of Casa Christo
Junior Sone Enang
as Shark Driver
Dari Maximova
as Flying Fox
Werner Daehn
as Sempre Fi-Ber Leader
Komi Togbonou
as Thor-azine Leader
Leila Rozario
as Hydro-cell Driver
Steven Wilson
as C.I.B. Security Man
Karl Yune
as Taejo Body Guard
Togo Igawa
as Mr. Togokahn
Jonathan Kinsler
as Fuji Reporter
Anatole Taubman
as Fuji Reporter
Ben Miles
as Cass Jones
Frank Witter
as Security Official
Megan Gay
as Senior Race Official
Corinne Orr
as Grand Prix Female Announcer
Joe Mazza
as Nitro
Joon Park
as Yakuza Driver
Milka Duno
as Gearbox
Amira Osman
as Count Down Tower Woman
Ashley Walters
as Prince Kabala
Jens Neuhaus
as German Announcer
Sesede Terziyan
as Turkish Announcer
Ill-Young Kim
as Korean Announcer
Yuriri Naka
as Japanese Announcer
Oscar Ortega Sánchez
as Spanish Announcer
Yu Fang
as Chinese Announcer
Narges Rashidi
as Persian Announcer
Andrés Cantor
as Grand Prix Announcer
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News & Interviews for Speed Racer

Critic Reviews for Speed Racer

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (48)

Amid the overly earnest tone, (almost) squeaky-clean humor and familiar messages about teamwork and integrity is the rare film family that's as strong at the start as they are by the end.

May 29, 2013 | Full Review…

Twelve-year-old boys should be wowed, but for the rest of us, it will depend on your appetite for eye candy.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Even the target audience of 10-year-olds might get jimmy legs sitting for a punishing 135 minutes as the Wachowski brothers projectile-vomit their cotton-candy dreams all over the big screen.

October 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/4

I love the look and the style and the spirit of this film.

May 12, 2008

Speed Racer creates a timeless, visually seductive world suspended somewhere between the pop '60s and the sci-fi future. Its biggest disappointment, strangely enough, is its raison d'être -- the races themselves.

May 12, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Speed Racer intends to convey a sense of heedless momentum, but it drags painfully.

May 9, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Speed Racer

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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

½

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

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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