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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 342 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. DaveN
    Aug 8, 2009
    It's more than a year after this movie was released. Few even knew there was a Speed Racer movie it seems, and even fewer cared to see it. I was one of those people and oh boy, am I ever sorry. A trailer means NOTHING for this type of movie. While one their own, certain scenes might appear unwatchable and the dialogue too sappy for most, as a whole this movie has escalated to the top of my list of favorite movies in the past couple years. I can't get it out of my head. The shmaltz, the eye-ravaging colours, the exhilarating soundtrack, the heart pounding races, and the comic genius --- When you become obsessed with everything related to a movie, you know it was something special. If you're gut tells you to avoid this movie, it's probably just gas. Expand
  2. PaulR.
    May 13, 2008
    Excellent representation of TV Show. Great effects. Story kept you interested. Dying to see it again. First movie in years I will pay to see again. Whoever rates this movie poorly either never watched the TV show or is too "grown-up" to see movies. Expand
  3. KarlK.
    Jun 14, 2008
    Classic Speed Racer mixed with the Wachowski brothers visuals. Excellent. Me and the little bro, absolutely loved it.
  4. AhmedA.
    May 8, 2008
    It might be kiddish, it might be something out of this world, but anyone who has lived in the 70s and saw the anime when he was still a kid, will love to see something he used to watch on a Tube Tv. The Wachowskis Brothers outdid themselves in this new Masterpiece. Expand
  5. AlexanderS.
    May 13, 2008
    Speed Racer. The film is full of heart, vivid imagination and some of the most exciting action sequences I've seen in years. It presents a visual onslaught as unique as it is unrelenting. How the Wachowski's convinced studio execs to get this movie made I will never know but I commend them for making this film, and this is coming from someone who wasn't particularly a fan of the Brothers last 2 films. The story and characters are literally straight out of the original cartoon, thanks to the excellent cast. Of course, the visual effects are in a league of their own and the Wachowski's show that they understand not only the source material but the anime medium as well. This is as faithful an adaptation as you could expect, you can tell that this is a film made by people who truly appreciate what they are adapting. This film will apeal to kids, it will appeal to long time fans of the original series, and it will appeal to adults who still haven't completely buried that kid deep down inside of them. Without a doubt the most unique movie you will see this summer. Please go out and see this film as it merits for audiences to experience it and make up their own mind about it. Expand
  6. BrianS.
    May 10, 2008
    Really enjoyable. Really captured some of the quirkiness of the animated series. As noted by everyone else, visuals that are occasionally confusing but usually dazzling. And all this stuff about no plot? It really had all the plot it needed. Plus, I thought they did a great job with Spritle and ChimChim, who came across as more amusing and much less annoying than in the series. Saw this with my wife and 10-year-old son, and we all really liked it. Expand
  7. AlJ.
    May 13, 2008
    This is absolutely disgusting. A complete waste of time.

See all 204 User Reviews


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