Does the picture below bring back old memories of the early 90’s? Does the picture below ring any bells of your early childhood? Does the familiar theme song of “Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer” circle around your mind like the Mach 5 so fast that you cannot stop singing it out loud?
Well, if all the answers to the aforementioned questions are a resounding yes, then you should definitely go to a cinema near you to catch the remake of the popular anime series Speed Racer!
Outlandish? Outrageous? Extravagant? Breathtaking? Out of this world? Over the top? You cannot deny the fact that the whole setting of the movie takes place in a colourful and vibrant metropolis of dazzling lights with no resemblance whatsoever to the world we live in, but you would not expect less than the people who brought you Matrix.
Emile Hirsch of Into the Wild fame, plays the title character, the determined and brave Speed Racer. It is never easy to play an icon, especially an iconic race car driver with a huge international cult following, but by the end of the movie, I sure as hell believe that Emile Hirsch, with all his vigour and enthusiasm, is Speed.
Overall, I have to say, the cast is reminiscent of their original cartoon counterparts which is testament to the directors’ and screen writers’ decision to stay true to the origins of the popular 52-episode series. Funnily enough, I actually watched Casper a few nights back, another remake of one of my favourite cartoons, and it starred Christina Ricci, who landed the role of Speed’s loyal girlfriend Trixie. She does a fantastic job playing Trixie despite an ill-advised hair cut, and her chemistry with Hirsch is one to savour.
Little Paulie Litt, more commonly on the set of comedic sitcom Hope and Faith is Sprittle, Speed’s younger brother; Susan Sarandon, last seen as the wicked witch in Enchanted plays Speed’s mum; the ever-funny John Goodman is Pops Racer, Speed’s dad, and Lost star Matthew Fox as the mysterious Racer X round up a stellar line-up. Korean pop star Rain also makes a cameo appearance in this flick as Taejo, another racer, and he can actually speak quite commendable English, so good for him!
Mach 5, Speed’s ultra-chic ride, is very much every fanboy’s dream, and after watching it on the big screen, it still exudes the cool factor with its phenomenal gadget wheel and flashy white exterior.
As I mentioned earlier, the whole cast is instrumental in making this movie, for me anyway, the second best movie this year behind Iron Man. Maybe it is my inner 5 year-old kid talking, but the sentimental value of this movie cannot be denied, and I really have to give props to the Wachowski Brothers, themselves being fans of the original, for making Speed Racer 21st century material with their outstanding and larger-than-life special effects.
Forgive me for the pun, but the 2 hour-flick just sped by, and Zhen Long, Melissa, and I left the cinema to a chorus of “Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer, he’s a demon on wheels…Go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, GO SPEED RACER GO!”