Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Speed Racer: Watch the Monkey
Andy and Larry Wachowski are two writer/directors that I'll trust until the day I die. What they did with the Matrix films and the Animatrix was amazing. Despite the opinions of detractors I still feel it's some of the best science fiction ever made.
Sadly, that trust lead me to watch Speed Racer recently.
I understand they were attempting to put forward a complete creative vision that included a colorful version of the future that was faithful to the spirit of the cartoon. In my opinion they tried a bit too hard. The background was so loud the entire movie looked cluttered and even though the CGI was fantastic it was so cartoony that it made the unrealistic acts in the movie look comedic.
I'm not going to say that this film doesn't have its merits. The attempt at delivering a completely saturated creative piece where no thing is left undoctored and the experience is fully engineered resulted in a film that stands apart. Art isn't always enjoyable, sadly, and I honestly didn't have a great experience watching this film.
I can honestly say that if I were 8 years old I might be on the edge of my seat for this, but the same could be said for a really good cartoon with 1% of the budget. It comes down to pacing, story and performance. Sadly, the performances were cheesy or made to look cheesy through the direction and appearance of the film. The pacing wasn't terrible, though after watching racing for so long became ho-hum. The story was predictable and very close to a tale that's being told over and over again these days; a few people standing up to evil corporations involved in broad conspiracy.
Could I do better with the same resources? I can answer that in one word: No.
They wanted to deliver a movie that was a piece of art as much as it was a cartoon adaptation. They accomplished that. I would have done it differently, yes, but better? I wouldn't want to compare any of my writing skills against the creators of the Matrix. I'm also not a director, hell, I don't even know one. I just hope their artistic vision is something I enjoy more in their next film.
Sadly, my favorite character in the movie was the monkey.