Euphoric Exhilaration

In this day of mass consumerism it takes a lot for a movie, a game—anything really—to strike a chord. With movies, I can think of only four times that it has happened to me. The first time was when I was five and the credits rolled at the end of Star Wars. The second was a year later when I screamed with Luke Skywalker in the scene in The Empire Strikes Back. It wasn’t until years later that Saving Private Ryan moved me to tears in realizing if I’m earning this. I reeled in shock as The Sixth Sense shattered my perceived notions of cinema.

Last night, I was a kid again.

However, it may have been a movie like The Sixth Sense that took our public’s perceptions of cinema where people tend to over-analyze each and every movie, book, video game, and other such type of entertainment. (Thank you, J.J. Abrams and Lost.) What I’m about to mention was not accepted by the public at large. However, that’s okay. I think that it’s a cinema tour de force.

The movie that caused my boys and I to literally stand up and cheer was Speed Racer.

It—to borrow the cliche—had it all: candy for kids, an underlying adult plot, eye candy, a mystery man, redemption, slapstick, drama, excellent sound effects, appropriate acting, an excellent soundtrack, and a monkey. A monkey!

If you have not seen this movie and you would like some escapism that doesn’t seem to care who is watching, but seems to enjoy itself then this is a movie for you. It is just self-indulgent fun. It has probably the best crescendo of excitement in a movie I’ve ever witnessed. It’s over-the-top and a blast.

I have no complaints (even with its length). We received the movie from Netflix and immediately went out and paid good money for the overpriced Blu-Ray. My one regret is that I did not experience it on the big screen.

I believe this movie will be a cult classic.


  1. I didn’t really care for a lot of the stuff that happened in the first hour of the movie (ninja attack and the race or two aside). Maybe it’s because I took my then 3-year old son to see it in the theatre and it was just too much talking to keep his attention.

    Thankfully the last half of the movie is just pure awesome. Glad to know that I’m not the only person who enjoyed the film.

  2. My wife, of all people, twisted my arm and convinced me to take her and the boys to go see this in the theater. Usually it would be the other way around but the terrible ad campaign made it seem like a movie that was just TOO colorful. I could imagine the over-stimulated induced migraine that would result.

    Well, surprise, it turned out to be a fairly decent movie that the kids loved. Trying for a live-action cartoon was probably appropriate and it all worked even though neither boy really knew about the Speed Racer mythos prior to the movie.

    I think it would have been a lot more successful if they had not mentioned it was by the Wachowski’s and made the ads far less painful to experience. They simply did not translate the visuals from the movies well at all. Also, I didn’t feel like they marketed it as a kid or family movie when that was clearly the target audience.

  3. I went to see this movie in the dollar theatre with my wife because there wasn’t anything else to see. I’m glad we did though. At the beginning of the movie, like ten minutes into it my wife asked if we should leave. Of course I thought, “What are you talking about?”

    So we stayed and I am glad to say that the movie got so much better as it went along. Loved the ending race scene, friggen awesome. My wife even enjoyed the movie by the end of it. I’d give the movie a good review to anyone who would ask me about it.

    I know I personally didn’t have any interest to see the movie when it first came out in the theatre. I guess most people felt the same way and weren’t interested. Hopefully those who haven’t seen the movie will be swayed to check it out by the comments we all made.

  4. I wasn’t a Speed Racer fan as a kid, so I really didn’t care one way ot the other to see this, but like Jason said, the fact that the Wachoski siblings were making it had me intrigued. Of course, the reviews turned me off. So looks like I missed out on a good one. I’ll add this to the pile o’ entertainment.

  5. I watched the odd Speed Racer cartoon back in the day but not enough to call myself a huge fan.

    That said, man, did they ever manage to make this a live-action cartoon. Everything just felt right for a translation from 2D art to 3D live actors.

    I didn’t really want to see the movie in the theatre but it looked interesting enough to drag my kid to and I’m glad I got to see it. I think the reason it left a somewhat sour taste in my brain was because we also took my son’s friend and his dad and they left after the first hour because it was just too much talking for him to handle. It’s a shame they left then because the crazy races started right after they left.

    But that’s what happens when you take 3 3/4 year olds to a movie, I guess…

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