One of the greatest tragedies of cinema in the recent memory is the absolute critical dejection of the Wachowski Brother’s – Speed Racer.
Expectations on the Wachowskis couldn’t have been higher. After all with Bound, the Matrix trilogy and V for Vendetta, they set themselves a pretty high bar to beat.
As anyone who’s seen any of the above films can tell you, the Wachowskis pretty much like to shove their directorial style in your face in a manner that’s just millimetres short of having a camera forced through your eyeballs. However, on this occasion it’s actually pretty easy to completely miss their directorial flair – not for any lack of it, more so because the whole movie is one extended self indulgent shout of “look at what we can make a camera do!” and this is the point where I’d usually jump into a whole style over substance debate but in this case that whole argument is kind of moot. The cinematography is inextricably linked to the film as a whole in a way you’d only ever really associate with the cast or the soundtrack and to be fair it really doesn’t suffer for it. Instead here, it becomes like a character unto itself – so much so that you’ll be hanging on the edge of your seat wondering what ridiculous things that damn camera is going to get up to next. And the wipes.. don’t get me started on the wipes. Genius.
It’s all well and good having style dripping from your every orifice, but without a strong narrative to back it up, the movie might as well be a tech demo for a new piece of editing software. So how then is the film to actually watch? As you can see here I had a really enjoyable experience watching this film but I think that was largely due to the guys I was watching it with. Any semblance of story only really serves to act as bridges between the next big set piece, whether that be a race or a ninja fight or something involving a monkey. Hardly a compliment there I know, but the film basks in such a wonderful air of lavishly colourful childish delight that if you’re prepared to let the typical Saturday morning fare wash over you, you’re in for a treat.
The Wachowskis obviously made a film that they would love watching and although that is something that can be commended (after all, big mass made studio drivel is slowly destroying creativity and originality… isn’t it? wait.. or is it?) whether that was necessarily a good decision with such a big studio backing is a tale that was pretty much told by the box office takings. I however, am from the same ilk as the Wachowskis and I bloody loved it.
Oh and the performance of the film undoubtedly is given by a chimpanzee. I’m not really sure if that says something bad about the acting abilities of the humans involved.
If you’re one of those people who thinks that something being so colourful it makes your eyes bleed is a bad thing, then you may want to give this a miss. If however, you’re up for some fast paced fun filled family entertainment I implore you to check this out. And for a fiver on DVD or a tenner on Blu-Ray at Amazon, you haven’t really got an excuse…