II love movies. Film. Whichever. I watch many, and I watch them often. If I was ever asked what my favorite movie is, I would have to reply: Speed Racer. Judge me all you want, but besides Shawshank Redemption, a movie hasn’t sat so well with me in my life. Some people just aren’t ready for the next step that Speed Racer was, and I can’t blame them. It has it’s faults, it’s ahead of it’s time in it’s pace and editing and even it’s visuals. It can be a bit hard to comprehend the first time through, and of course it’s a kids movie. But I enjoy it. More then any other movie.
It’s a story about a young man so in love with what he does, that he’s rendered almost nonfunctional in every other aspect of his daily life (besides smiling and looking good). He can race. Stunt race to be exact. And his older brother, his hero, perished in an unfortunate stunt racing accident while he was still young. This wasn’t enough to dissuade him. Racing was in his family’s blood: His father builds the motors, and the sons crash them. And he just got a shiny new Mach 5 to crash (in the number 1 spot of course).
He races, he wins. That’s how it went. And it was because he loved it, and he was the best at it, and there was nothing keeping him from his dreams. And then the major sponsors caught wind of this up and coming hotshot. Arnold Royalton, the owner of the biggest foundry of somethingorothers, who has more money then God and an equal, more tangible level of power, wants Speed on his team. Speed can help Royalton. Because, behind the flying steel and sparks that are at the first glance of stunt racing, there is the business that greases the wheels of the economy or better yet, sabotages them.
You see, when a racer wins… the company representing them gains value, because it has valuable champions and championships under it’s belt. This also works in reverse. Royalton wants to own the only other foundry of somethingorothers in the world, and if he can deliver a rival company for a certain price, it’s his. To get that price, the rival company’s star racer must throw his races to devalue the company to a more… “reasonable” number. But this rival company (Togokan), got wise. Their star racer (Tetsuo Togokan) was not ready to throw any races, even if the price of winning was his own life.
Speed is offered a position in Royalton’s line up. He turns it down. He is sabotaged in his latest race, and does not place. He no longer qualifies for the WRL (World Racing League), where his hopes and dreams lie. His family business is attacked with bureaucratic paper work bullshit, sticking it in court cases and making business hard. But, as all things seem hopeless, opportunity steps in. Togokan claims to have papers that could sink Royalton, in exchange for the papers they want Racer X, and of course our title hero, on their team to flatten the Casa Cristo competition and take the gold.
Speed takes the chance to strike back at Royalton, and races for Togokan. A giant sequence of lights, explosions, and absolutely maddeningly unbelievably awesome race scenes pass, and they win. Togokan takes the gold, and the regulators of the WRL get their papers. Or do they?
Tetsuo punked our heroes, there were no papers. But a gold win sends the Togokan estate into the stock-stratosphere and Royalton is forced to buy it at an obscene price tag. To the hero’s dismay, Royalton still buys Togokan and all seems lost. Speed, betrayed. His family, wounded. Dreams of the WRL, in the rearview. Until one more twist of fate: Any member of the winning team of the Casa Cristo Cross Country Competition can take the grand prize for their own, and the grand prize includes the last invitation to the WRL championship race. With no time to spare and vengeance in the headlights, the speed family takes action.
Pops Racer puts together the Mach 6 in record time, and much to the surprise of all his competition, the red and white beauty lines up on the track. Suspense is at an all time high. Royalton get’s desperate and puts a bounty on Speed. One million dollars to the man that forces him out of placing in the race, and possibly winning the champion ship. The stadium is dead silent as Speed walks to his ride. All eyes on him. Racers, start your engines.
The final race goes down as one of the most intoxicating, emotional, visceral, visually assaulting sequences in film history. The Wachowski’s achieve glory in 10 minutes of the most mind numbingly offensive CGI movie magic known to man. Cars splinter, and spin, and jump, and barrel roll, and are crushed, and are pummeled, and are all defeated by the end, everyone bowing down to the youngest WRL champion in the world: Speed Racer.
Speed defies all that Royalton believed. That racing was controlled, that all that mattered was stock prices and portfolios. That the best races in the world were planned, and the outcomes known, months before the wheels hit the tracks. Speed destroys Royalton’s racers, he reveals his illegal methods, he foils his plans, and he proves that all you need to do is do what you do best, and you’ll do just fine. Every time this movies comes to it’s last few minutes, it’s giant swell, crowds cheering, car tires squealing, Lights, cameras going off, people gasp, Speed unleashes the wrath of true skill. To quote:
“Get that weak shit off my track.”
He defeats the iron fist of the man in control, he defies the money makers of the world, he splits the record books in half, hair is pulled out, audiences jump up, a checker is seen in the distance and speed tears through it at blurringly fast rate, causing the backdrop to spin and twist, and almost make me puke it’s so beautiful and-