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This review is from: Speed Racer [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
There is something about the Wachowski Brothers that film critics, and much of the general public, simply don't get. We have already seen how their brilliant Matrix sequels were panned by critics - largely on the grounds that these people simply didn't understand them - and now we're seeing the same thing with Speed Racer, which is being subjected to some of the most undeserved vitriol from critics that I have ever seen.
I loved this movie. It's not perfect, and it's not a work of genius like the Matrix trilogy was, but it's yet another example of how these two brothers attempt to push the boundaries of film-making. The editing - including the floating wipes and non-linear narrative - are top-notch. As one online reviewer put it, the Wachowskis have managed to transcend the boundaries of time and space in this movie. Not only have they achieved shots in which we are looking at two different things happening in two different places at the same time, they are also able to move us back and forward through time with effortless ease, and without disrupting the flow of the story.
If you're an idiot bent on hating Speed Racer no matter what, though, it's likely that the complex, visual style of storytelling on display here will befuddle you beyond redemption. I read with amazement, for example, the amount of people who found the opening sequence, during which we see scenes of one of Speed's races interspersed with his back-story told through flashbacks, completely bewildering. And yet the storytelling couldn't BE any clearer, in reality. I even shook my head in dismay as I read the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw claim that in the film, cars go through other cars "like ghosts". No one who understood the film (and thus was worthy of reviewing it) could have made such a simplistic, embarrassing assertion.
Anyway, this is in fact a brilliant film. Ignore all the reviewers' tropes about "over-reliance on special effects", "style over substance", "no characterisation or soul", etc. All of these criticisms miss the mark at a basic level. Watch it free of the shackles of prejudice and prepare to be blown away by a tour de force in imaginative, visual film-making. I certainly was.
Besides, the film has a chimp in a hard hat, riding a buggy while rockin' out to Freebird. Need I give it any higher an endorsement?
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Feb 2009 11:25:09 GMT
P. GODFREY says:
I agree, the film has layers and is very unique. I would give it four stars though.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2009 12:48:19 BDT
G. Thomas says:
Watched this recently and was amazed how far forward it pushes the boundaries of film making. Your right about Mr Bradshaw too; total misunderstanding of what he was watching.
Wasn't too keen on the Boy & Chimp antics but the film still shone despite this.
An unfairly maligned and misunderstood film which deserves so much more.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2011 14:24:19 GMT
M. Carter says:
I stopped reading after "brilliant Matrix sequels".
Posted on 19 May 2012 13:43:32 BDT
"There is something about the Wachowski Brothers that film critics, and much of the general public, simply don't get" - translated this means "the vast majority of movie loving people on this planet, critics and members of the public, do not enjoy Wachowski Brothers films." Starting a review decrying everyone else for being 'wrong' aint great.
Talking about people being "worthy of reviewing it" is embarrassing too. The Wachowskis lucked out on Matrix with a story fuelled by fulltime doobie smoking, but had short circuited their creative membranes by the abysmal Matrix sequels and this clunker - which you seem to agree has no plot, characterisation or point - sealed the end of their brief career at the top.
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