|I gave all of our Speed Racer posters away; I still feel like a schmuck all this time later|
Speed Racer presents us a world so visually vibrant that it becomes almost overwhelming during the course of the initial viewing. Speed’s world is literally a cartoon brought to life, with garish electric colors and surreal decorations, the visual onslaught helping the audience step into the world of its characters. Almost every scene has an intense visual aspect from the scenes of Speed in kindergarten, imagining himself as a race car driver all the way to the ‘ghost’ of the Mach 4 our hero sees when trying to break his brother’s race record. Not everything is totally realistic looking but that’s appropriate for a movie that conveys such a distinctly heightened reality. Everything in this world is hyperbole, an idea sold by practically everything in the movie; the intense camerawork in racing the Mach 5, the broad color pallette,the performances, all of them sell us on a world so incredibly apart from our own reality we can't help but be entranced by it. When Pops Racer is revealed to have been a Greco-Roman wrestling Champ just in time to mete out punishment on a group of attacking ninjas, we don’t feel cheated for the coincidence; we’re delighted that the foil to the villains is such a great punch line, revealed by the close-up of Pops’ championship ring.
The characters are embodied as archetypes by the actors from the distilled sweetness of Speed’s girlfriend Trixie, to the stoic resourcefulness of his father Pops. Speed is purely heroic and good, a shining counterpart to the mysterious Racer X, who is secretly his lost brother Rex. The accident that Rex faked in order to join an international spy agency tore the Racer family apart, a choice he made after the corrupt Royalton targeted his family for their clean adherence to sportsmanship. As Racer X, he gets a second chance to bond with his lost brother as well as protect him from the vile plots of Royalton. Their trials in defying the evil conglomerate show them to be not just champions of their sport but champions of the goodness the movie’s villains so deeply despise. By the time of the final race, rigged with traps by the evil Royalton, the films visual signatures have been locked into place for over an hour and a half. Yet, the Wachowski Bros. have more cards to deal with a breathtaking finish that threatens sheer visual overload, symbolic of how Speed himself must go beyond all limits he has known in the past to claim a victory not just for himself, his family or his sport, but for all the good known to humanity.
|WHERE ARE THE TRACKS COMING FROM?|
Anyway, I'll be back with something more substantial in the near future. In the meantime, check out the Dominion: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens bit Jaysun did yesterday. It's longer and filled with what's likely an equal amount of hyperbolic intensity.