I just finished watching Speed Racer, an adaptation of the anime and manga, Mach Gogogo / Speed Racer. Directed by the Wachowski brothers, Speed racer is, IMHO, the best live-action adaptation of an anime / cartoon that retains its original flavour and roots.
The synopsis of the anime is as follows:
Speed Racer is a teenager who drives a special sports car, the Mach 5, in races throughout the world. The Mach 5, designed by his father, a retired professional racer, contains features that enable Speed to drive over any terrain and through all obstacles. Speed has to use them often, since he frequently meets unscrupulous competitors and international criminals who try to fix the races in their own favor. Speed is often accompanied by his girl friend Trixie, his kid brother Spridle, and Spridle's pet chimp Chim-chim. The fast-paced adventures of this brave foursome, in exotic settings around the globe, prove that quick wits and fair play are always sure winners!
The storyline in the movie (understandably, considering the source material) is not terribly interesting, but the race sequences and CGI are exemplary and worth watching even if you are not into anime. The colours are rich, the contrast high and the settings plush and futuristic, lending a very germ-free artificial and anime feel to it. Even so, the script could have done with some trimming in certain parts and fattening elsewhere. I also did not think much of Emile Hirsch as the lead and the kid brother + chimp routine were just not funny at all.
But, all in all, an interesting and innovative adaptation. Hat off to the Wachowskis.
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