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"Speed, you musn't enter the race!"

May 13, 2008 - Matt Phillips
Friday night I went to see Speed Racer. The theater was not full. I am a fan of the original cartoon, so I had to go see the movie. I enjoyed it very much it stayed true to the cartoon in nearly every sense possible. The movie did not do well in the box office for a number of reasons.

First, Speed Racer entered the race against Iron Man. Iron Man is a huge success and the anticipation of the release of the new Indiana Jones and Narnia movies overshadow the much more obscure Speed Racer. With ticket prices skyrocketing, people will choose to see a movie that they know they will like rather than take a chance on something that is different.

This movie also suffers from the same problem that the now classic Dark Crystal suffered from. It lacks a broad audience, and is marketed solely as a kids movie. The main people that would appreciate the style of the movie are fans of the original. The movie is marketed mostly for preteens. Most fans of the original probably don't have kids the right age for this movie.

I absolutely loved the movie. It has a style that makes me think it is the future from the eyes of a person from the 1960s. It reminds me a little of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" with its heavy use of special effects. The monologues are done in the same fast talking manner as the original American dub of the cartoon. the general story of the movie is basically the same as well. Speed enters the race, bad guys try to kill him and the mysterious Racer X helps out. The scenes with Speed's younger brother and his pet monkey are very funny and well done.

I think that despite its lack of box office bang Speed Racer do well in the DVD market. It has the same kind of appeal as other cult classics like Tron or Labyrinth. The movie has kid appeal, but anyone who remembers the cartoon fondly will like it as well. If you have no idea who Speed Racer is, then it is doubtful that you will enjoy it.


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