Speed Racer 2008 ★★★★★

Whereas the original "Speed Racer" cartoon was absurdly static for a show about a race car driver, the live action version is frentic and overloaded with multi-colored blurs of speed. It's like ramming your
face into a Christmas tree for two solid hours... and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Personally, I loved the over the top visual style, but I found much to like about the story and direction as well.
Separate scenes where Speed talks with his Mom and then with Pops I found unexpectedly moving. For a cartoonish movie featuring a chimpanzee and a kid, there is never a moment when the filmmakers take a mocking or winking tone. The affection for the material infuses nearly every frame. Even when I wasn't quite sure what was going on during an action sequence, I felt sure that the filmmakers DID know, and it made it a lot easier to just go along for the ride. The movie is edited with impressively assured confidence. Special recognition should go to the casting director because the cast is excellent all the way around, from the assured leads right down to the craggy faced evil henchmen. There are loads of artistic creativity and attention to detail. I never felt that anyone involved in the production was just going through the motions. Under the dazzling visuals, I felt a lot of real passion in "Speed Racer." It's now one of my all time favorite movies.

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