This will be brief. Anyone who knows about my disdain for CGI can take an educated guess at how I’m going to judge the latest example of summer excess Speed Racer. It was not a pleasant experience and the fact that I watched it at an Imax theatre means there was just more to dislike (I’d been promising the 12 year old son of a good friend I’d go watch it with him; hence me going to see it). Speed Racer will probably rake in big bucks but that just means people like to be dazzled by the flash. It seems people are just blinded by the superficiality of technology in 2008 and that’s so disappointing to me.
The first question you should ask yourself: do you currently like video games? Do you like to watch others play video games? If you answered yes—then this movie might be for you. I stopped playing video games in about 1987 and, while watching Speed Racer, felt like I was trapped, watching some massive screen where someone was playing a painfully colorful video game for two hours.
Speed Racer has no characters, there’s no dialogue that didn’t take a few hours to script, there’s no wit, there’s no suspense—but there is a funny monkey + an unbelievably annoying kid actor hamming it up (with the monkey most of the time!) to such a level he wears his cap sideways. People around me seemed to like it as they’d laugh and say “Yes!”—I guess I’m just out of step with these effects laden, blockbuster centered times (which fills me with ecstatic relief).
To sum up—Speed Racer is terrible. It feels more like a noisy, garish, over designed video game. It’s just one more CGI disaster that is empty, soulless and rewards you only with motion sickness but if this is what the masses want...this is what the masses get. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.