Speed Racer (2008) Review

I was 8 years old when Cartoon Network first launched. They didn’t have any original programming back then, so the shows on the network were almost entirely old school cartoons. I watched the old Hanna Barbera cartoons like Flintstones, Jetsons, and Wacky Racers. I also got to watch a little show called Speed Racer.

Speed Racer is the show that most people are making fun of (whether they know it or not) when they make fun of Japanese Anime. The action was improbable, the storylines nonsensical, and most importantly, the dubbing was awful. But damn was it a fun show. I still get that nostalgic feeling anytime I hear the theme song.

Top Gun
Unlike that loving feeling, which I lost and now it’s gone, gone, gone

So what did I think of the movie? I friggin LOVE this movie. It is one of the most fun movies I’ve ever seen and I could watch it over and over again. While it’s not perfect, I honestly can’t think of anything I’d change.

What’s weird to me is how many critics hated this film. As I am something of a critic myself, it’s probably poor form to comment on their opinions. However, I review everything, so I can review other critics as well. Simply put, they are wrong. Maybe they wanted the movie to be a “modern and realistic” version of the cartoon. Maybe they wanted it to be a parody of the cartoon. I don’t know, but I do know what this movie is… it’s a love letter to the ’60s cartoon.

This film respects and loves the source work. And that’s why it works. For some reason, studios forget this. That’s why we get tripe like *deep breath*:
George of the Jungle, Inspector Gadget, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Scooby Doo, Garfield, GI Joe, Thunderbirds, Marmaduke, Yogi Bear, and Avatar the Last Airbender. All of those movies are shit.

Pictured: More shit… probably

The visual style of this movie has been described as “cotton candy for the eyes.” While that’s completely accurate, I don’t think it goes nearly far enough. This movie is cocaine for the eyes. This movie is Spanish Fly for the eyes. When you’re done watching this movie, your eyes will need a cigarette and a cold shower.

Speed Racer is a live action cartoon. If you like cartoons, or ever liked cartoons, see this movie. There’s nothing else like it.

Final verdict: I now have the Speed Racer theme stuck in my head…. and I’m loving it.

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