Go Speed Racer, gooooooooooooooo!

I am still singing the theme song in my head, over and over.

I could not wait until lunchtime today to sneak out and see the movie. I found a theater nearby with a midnight (12:01am) showing, so I was there.

First stop – snack bar, to get hopped-up on junior mints and an extra jumbo Pibb Xtra. I haven’t been up this late by choice since I cannot remember.

“How was the movie?” you ask?



Two words for the producer – MORE TRIXIE!

If you have not guessed, I was one of those lads with a boyhood crush on Trixie from the Speed Racer cartoon. I was also just like young Speed Racer in the movie, drawing race cars on my school books and pretending I was racing in the Grand Prix.
So as a huge fan of both the supporting actress as well as the show, I enjoyed most of the movie version.

The “CGI” in this film was not the usual stuff – more like computer blended animation with lifelike characters.
The script, of course, was predictable and would not expect any oscars out of this one (except perhaps for best role played by an animal – chim chim was a real chimp!).
The racing action was more like super-ultra-highspeed bumper cars with more crashing than racing (think Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch on their worst possible days).
The race courses were tracks we could only dream of with our Hot Wheels when we were kids and the race cars were way, wicked cool.

We see the Mach 5, as well as a brand new Mach 6 and being old school as I am, I prefer the 5 – cleaner lines, classic styling and a real “sleeper” when compared with the design of some of the other race cars. Plus, what boy has not dreamed of driving the Mach 5 up to inspiration point with the lovely Trixie (Christina Ricci) at your side.

A bit too much plot going on most of the time in this movie, with too much screen time for the bad guys.
And parents be warned – even though it was near 2 in the morning, I swear I heard the censors let the “s” word slip into Speed’s vocabulary during one of the final race scenes.
Hey all you Shaft fans – Richard Roundtree plays the role of a former grand prix champ turned race announcer in this one.

Pops is a badass (who knew), Mom can weld as good as she can comfort and cook pancakes, MORE TRIXIE, Sparky has a british accent (yuck), Spreidel and Chim Chim can paint cars, and big corporate industry is run by greedy, evil underlords (go figure).

And then we have Racer X.
If there is a sequel, we know what WON’T be a plot line … at the end of this one they give us his true identity.

The final race scene is worth sitting through most of the slow portions earlier on in the movie, but expect that a few non-fans might leave the theater at some point. Some of the slower scenes are painful and they should insert a “this would be a good time to use the restroom if you need to go” scroller across the bottom of the screen.

Will I go see it again? Yes, but only at the drive-in so I can control the volume. The race scenes were way to quiet. I was truly disappointed by this. The Cars movie spoiled me I guess (now THOSE were awesome animated race scenes!).

Would I recommend this movie to others? Only if you are a true Speed Racer fan. Many won’t get the movie, or think it dumb most of the time.
But for those of us whose school notebook covers were adorned with race cars and study time filled with daydreams of taking the checkered flag in the big Grand Prix … Victory!

And did I suggest more Trixie?


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