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Review: Speed Racer – more action than satisfaction?

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 03-06-2008

Speed Racer, the new film from the creators of The Matrix, revved into theatres this month with all of the fast-paced action and visual punch of an animated feature.

In fact, some reviewers have suggested that the movie should have been a cartoon instead of live action, because its CGI video-game effects and lack of thought-provoking plot seems more geared at kids under 12 – and may leave older viewers cold.

Teenagers and adults who enjoyed the philosophical undertones of the Matrix will likely find themselves unengaged during this classic tale of good versus evil, in which Speed Racer seeks to defend his family’s racing business against dishonest corporate powers.

Of course, to accomplish this aim – which also helps him carry on the legacy of his dearly departed brother – Speed must win a dangerous cross-country rally.

Aside from some fight scenes, there is little in the movie that could upset small children, while at the same time family values are promoted throughout.

Tweens and teens, however, may be better off staying home and renting The Matrix trilogy or the original animated Speed Racer series, which offers plenty of kitsch value.