Sunday, May 18, 2008

Races On Speed

So the verdict is out. The critics hate Speed Racer. Audiences are staying away. The movie is losing money. It all left me asking, just what the hell happened?

Well, according to Darth Mojo, they assassinated Speed Racer. (The write-up's good, but the doctored picture may be a little offensive for some. So be warned.)

I loved Speed Racer and found it far more memorable than Iron Man. The difference between the two movies is that Speed Racer is a kid going crazy with the crayons, and Iron Man is a 14-year-old trying to be adult but comes off ridiculous.

If Speed Racer is ridiculous, it's because it's supposed to be so. The camp, the fun, the energy, are just so addictive. There's a delectable charm and joie de vivre in its creative recklessness. It's a child that hasn't yet learned the rigid rules of the world. It hasn't been tainted by the world's cynicism, still prime in its innocence. It's a child that wants to paint the sky purple and believes the sky to be so, even though the world says it's wrong. It is this complete abandon with which its imagination runs wild that captured my own imagination so much. Even its updated theme song is so infectiously childish and silly.

Speed Racer will stand the test of time, trust me on this one. It will probably become a cult favourite in years to come, achieving the kind of revered, deity-like status as Blade Runner. Its hyperactive visuals and colours are probably too much for the mind to behold right now, but anyone even remotely scrutinising the film will see that it is indeed something quite unseen before, much like what the Wachowskis gave us in The Matrix.

And trust me, there will be copycats.

The movie manages to achieve a nice balance between psychedelic, mind-bending action and good character development, even daring to lend some real emotional weight to its family drama. And that's not an easy task, not allowing the camp and candy to overwhelm the heart of the movie.

So far, the only people who have managed to recognise the film for what it is are the fans of the original series. They're all out in force to help boost the movie's box-office performance.

It still baffles me why such obviously bad films as Transformers and 300 were so readily embraced.

COPYRIGHT POLICY: It's simple: Steal my stuff and I'll kick you in the nuts