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Speed Racer Review

The Wachowskis bring their special touch to Speed Racer.

With the release of Speed Racer, it’s becoming clear that the Wachowskis are not unlike David Mamet or Wes Anderson in that they have their own distinctive, consistent filmmaking style. It’s their persistence in the belief that action and dialogue should seldom if ever take place at the same time — essentially, there is a time for talking and a time for fighting, and never the two shall meet.

This began way back in 1999’s The Matrix, where moments of great philosophical rhetoric receded only long enough for the characters to kick the crap out of each other. Almost 10 years later, they have at last perfected this speech-action-speech rhythm with Speed Racer — a film of such (literal) blinding ambition, artistic pretense and undeniable entertainment value that the Wachowskis may indeed have created the second truly iconic film of their young careers.

Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) plays Speed, a kid who has dreamt of racing cars since he was in short pants. After his older brother Rex dies in a mysterious accident, Speed ascends the family throne and joyfully races for his father Pops (John Goodman). But when a ruthless tycoon named Royalton (Roger Allam) approaches him with a lucrative offer to buy the family business, Speed is forced to decide what matters more: the financial security of his family or the pure artistry of his racing out on the track.

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