Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

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  • Summary: Hurtling down the track, careening around, over, and through the competition, Speed Racer is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive, and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized--the legendary Rex Racer, whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer, the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret--some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless tycoons who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won't drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that Speed never crosses another finish line. The only way for Speed to save his family's business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival--the mysterious Racer X--to win the race that had taken his brother's life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as the Crucible. Yet, the ultimate test of Speed Racer's true racing grit will be at the pinnacle event of the World Racing League, the Grand Prix. But standing between Speed and the checkered flag are the world's best--and most cutthroat--competitors, fueled by a million-dollar bounty from Royalton to the driver who takes Speed out once and for all. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 37
  2. Negative: 15 out of 37
  1. At its best, it's buoyant pop entertainment focused on three things: speed, racing and retina-splitting oceans of digitally captured color.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Speed Racer announces the arrival of the virtual movie. If you watch the film overwhelmed by the assault of seductive visual information and wonder what you're seeing, here's the happy answer: the future of movies.
  3. Unlike a Pixar cartoon that embraces as wide an audience as possible, Speed Racer proudly denies entry into its ultra-bright world to all but gamers, fanboys and anime enthusiasts. Story and character are tossed aside to focus obsessively on PG-rated action and milk-guzzling heroes.
  4. Young boys are the only suitable audience for Speed Racer, the elaborate live-action adaptation written and directed by "Matrix" creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. And even they might feel an urge to squirm.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Yes, it's a candy-colored Day-Glo world, but there's a liveliness missing from this lead-footed Speed Racer.
  6. The fakeness of it all overwhelms, dampening any real excitement. It's hard to care about characters so stiff and one-dimensional they out-cartoon the cartoon originals, and it's hard to watch them bop around like avatars in a flat, airless, digital world.
  7. This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 204
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    Do not understand why this film has been criticized so badly ... In general it is good to spend a very good time. This movie has special effects very acceptable. I recommend it. Expand
  2. Jan 9, 2014
    This movie is Number 9 on my Top Ten and the only reason it is not in the Number One spot is that my tastes skew much darker--but this is just a testament to how great Speed really is. That it can warm my heart so and make me say it is my 9th best-loved film of all time, over all the movies I love--including Avatar at Number 10--is plenty of evidence of its greatness alone. None of the reasons trolls come up with to explain why this movie bombed make sense--EVERYTHING about this movie rocks! Most of all, what makes this movie great--more than the visuals and excitement--is the SUPERB writing and acting. Even people who like it will say, "Don't go to this movie expecting good writing and plot." Well, I couldn't disagree more. If you have any appreciation for good writing and a deep, satisfying story then you owe it to yourself to see this grand masterpiece! Expand
  3. May 18, 2011
    It's a (master)piece of art. Futurist art: cars, speed, 'intuition' (Bergson)...
    And it could be a perfect 'prequel' of 'The Matrix' trilogy:
    from the problem of Choice... to the problem of Motivation... Expand
  4. Aug 27, 2010
    A pure, technicolor spectacle that, despite its flaws, is pretty much impossible to resist. The Wachowski brothers might have their shortcomings as writers, but they always know how to make a movie that is fun to behold. Expand
  5. Jul 24, 2013
    The films suffers a lot from its feelings of fake like elements and advance technology that distinctly feels different from its television show; similar to the Star Wars prequel franchise, but despite the slightly weak and dark plot, the film works okay. The narrative and acting was subpar, but I couldn't help to admit that the racing scenes were good. Though it takes a darker turn to a cartoon that is more lighthearted, it works a little in its favor, but also works worse in its favor as well. "Speed Racer" may suffer from its narrative and usage of technology, the film has dark twists and a nice racing sequence. Expand
  6. Nov 15, 2013
    Speed Racer slows to a halt.
    The film has little to nothing good about it except that at times it can be entertaining. The action feels
    purposely bad like a 70's cartoon. The acting is poor and the overall direction of the movie is terrible. The script has redeeming qualities and seems to have attempted to be a good film, but the execution is atrocious. Expand
  7. Feb 23, 2011
    I can literally find no reason to watch this terrible movie, acting is terrible, and the plot is predictable garbage, avoid at all costs, you have been warned. Expand

See all 204 User Reviews


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