Candy-Colored Popcorn Fantasy
Release Date: May 09, 2008
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci,
Matthew Fox, John Goodman,
Susan Sarandon, Paulie Litt,
Roger Allam, Kick Gurry, Rain,
and Richard Roundtree
Genre: Adventure Fantasy/Sports Drama
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 135 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Executive Producer: David Lane Seltzer, Michael
Lambert and Bruce Berman
Producer: The Wachowski Brothers, Joel
Silver and Grant Hill
Writer: The Wachowski Brothers
Address Comments To:Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
The movie opens by intercutting Speed Racer’s idolization of his older brother, Rex, with Speed preparing for and running a race as a young driver himself. The flashback shows how Rex tried to fight the big racing corporations who tried to bomb their father’s independent shop, including Speed himself. The brother angrily leaves home to fight the evildoers on their own turf, but their father, Pops, disowns him. Rex is killed in a race, and now Speed Racer is aiming to break his brother’s record on one track, but lets his foot off the pedal at the last moment, to honor Rex’s memory.
The maniacal owner of Royalton Industries tries to enlist Speed as one of his drivers. When Speed turns him down, Royalton shows Speed that he and other racing tycoons are fixing the biggest races in order to boost profits. He threatens to prevent Speed from ever crossing another finish line.
Like his brother before him, Speed decides to beat Royalton at his own game. With help from his girlfriend Trixie, Speed teams up with his rival, the mysterious Racer X, and a Japanese driver to run The Crucible, the death-defying road rally that claimed his brother’s life. A terrible betrayal forces Speed to drive in the pinnacle event of the World Racing League, the Grand Prix. Royalton has placed a million dollar bounty, however, on the driver who takes Speed Racer out of the business – forever.
SPEED RACER is a wildly exhilarating, delightful ride at the cinema. Filmed in eye-popping Technicolor, the photography is rich with visually stunning state-of-the-art computer graphics. The race scenes are full of speeding cars racing around curved tracks, mountains and deserts. The races are like speeding bumper cars. Eventually, Speed has to install all sorts of protective devices on his Mach 5 to stop the vicious tactics of the other racers employed by the evil Royalton.
Though it slows down in the second half of the first act, the plot soon picks up speed in the thrillingly awesome competition during the Crucible race and never stops until the exciting finish. The story and characters seldom get overwhelmed by the movie’s special effects. Children will not only enjoy the racing action but also the comic antics of Speed’s younger brother Spritle and the family’s pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim.
The movie tells a positive story of good overcoming evil. The second half also contains several heartwarming, touching moments between Speed Racer and his parents. The movie extols family and teamwork and presents parents as a potentially positive force in their children’s lives. It also shows heroic characters fighting corruption in society.
That said, SPEED RACER contains some intense action sequences. There are also some shots of women in low-cut dresses. In one scene, Speed and Trixie are sitting alone in his car with Trixie in a low-cut dress. She tries to get Speed interested in romance by asking him two or three times, “Do you like this?” Of course, Speed and Trixie are interrupted by Spritle and Chim-Chim, who have hidden in Speed’s trunk. That’s pretty much the extent of any sexual innuendo in this PG-rated movie, which also contains a few relatively light obscenities, one strong profanity using Jesus, seven light profanities, and young boy gives bad man the finger. Furthermore, there are some Romantic aspects to the movie’s worldview.
Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution and parental guidance for older children for this vivid, candy-colored pop fantasy.
SPEED RACER is a wildly exhilarating, delightful ride. Filmed in eye-popping Technicolor, the photography is rich with visually stunning state-of-the-art computer graphics. The race scenes are full of pumped-up action. The story tells a tale of good overcoming corruption and evil and positive family values, with true merit ultimately being rewarded. There are some obscenities, profanities and very light sexual innuendo, which require caution for older children. For more information about SPEED RACER, please visit movieguide.org.