So the other night I sat down with the Phil(l)s and we watched the film Speedracer. I think I’ve touched on this before – mainly in my review of the year for films found here – but never really given it a full review. So whilst it’s still fresh in the mind thought I’d write down a few more thoughts.
Can I make it clear from the off that I absolutely love this film – it takes the anime that it’s based on and really makes an effort to put that on the big screen with a live action cast. This is a project that seems really suited to the Wachowski brothers who directed and produced the film. They provide blistering visuals which get bigger and crazier as the film develops.
The film is centred 4 different races, including a cross country rally, and a Grand Prix, with each one getting bigger and crazier than the previous race meaning by the time you reach the race at the end of the film you are pretty much prepared for anything to happen – and it does! The start of the film moves a bit slower whilst the main characters and the background to the story are setup (a young talented racer is asked to join a racing them which may or more not be involved in behind the scenes shady race fixing) – still while this is slower moving it still presents a treat for the eyes with the amount of detail going on in the background of each scene (this is one film that you have to see on Blu-ray) and you get a couple of good races thrown in to liven things up – the opening race really sets the tone of the film flipping between current day and flash back in the middle of shots. As previously noted the races do get bigger and crazier – I’d love Formula one if it was like the races in this film.
The casting is spot on as well – all the characters feel believable, going over the top when they need to be over the top but also playing serious scenes as well – from the chorus of race commenter’s to the British bad guy your in for a fun time. A special nod should go to Christina Ricci who doesn’t only play a perfect role but looks like a character lifted straight from the cartoon as well.
For me the biggest love of this film is how much fun it is – I can watch this again and again and still get the same reactions as the first time I watched it. I will still find myself on the edge of my seat not breathing through the last race, I’ll still be shocked at the little twists throughout the story – there’s at least one of these I guarantee that you won’t see coming. When I watched it this weekend Mr Phill made the comment at the end that it didn’t feel that you’d just watched a 2 hr film the time just flies by and you’re left grinning at the end. If you’ve not seen it I strongly recommend, but make sure you get the Blu-ray.