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Speed Racer (2008)

PG  |   |  Action, Family, Sport  |  9 May 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 56,024 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 412 user | 283 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

A young driver, Speed Racer, aspires to be champion of the racing world with the help of his family and his high-tech Mach 5 automobile.


(as The Wachowski Brothers) , (as The Wachowski Brothers)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Speed's Teacher
Gian Ganziano ...
Everyman Announcer
Local Announcer
Harold Ledermann Announcer
Japanese Announcer
Valery Tscheplanowa ...
Russian Announcer
Sami Loris ...
Italian Announcer
Olivier Marlo ...
French Announcer
Sean McDonagh ...
Celtic Announcer


The story begins with Speed Racer who is a young man with natural racing instincts whose goal is to win The Crucible, a cross-country car racing rally that took the life of his older brother, Rex Racer. Speed is loyal to the family business, run by his parents Pops and Mom. Pops designed Speed's car, the Mach 5. The owner of Royalton Industries makes Speed a lucrative offer, Speed rejects the offer, angering the owner. Speed also uncovers a secret that top corporate interests, including Royalton, are fixing races and cheating to gain profit. With the offer to Speed denied, Royalton wants to ensure that Speed will not win races. Speed finds support from his parents and his girlfriend Trixie and enters The Crucible in a partnership with his one-time rival, Racer X, seeking to rescue his family's business and the racing sport itself. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Speed has no limits. See more »


Action | Family | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sequences of action, some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

9 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Race Chasers  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£362,102 (UK) (9 May 2008)


$43,929,341 (USA) (1 August 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Keanu Reeves turned down the role of Racer X. See more »


When Spritle and Chim Chim are "outside" tanning themselves, the stage ceiling can be seen in Spritle's reflector. See more »


[first lines]
Race Announcer: All drivers to your cars, please. All drivers to your cars.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title is set against a red-yellow checkerboard background, in homage of the title card that opened each episode of the English dub of Speed Racer (1967). See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.11 (2008) See more »


Score from the Speed Racer
Classic Television Series (1966-1967)
Written by Nobuyoshi Koshibe
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Pure popcorn fun for the whole family. Great job, Andy & Larry.
10 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well, what you've got here is a case of audience/critic disagreement. Obviously, this movie will get bashed by the critics because of its cartoonish and campy mood, but that's just it: the world shown on screen by the Wachowski brothers is marvelous. The animation is perfect for the atmosphere they're trying to create. Don't go in expecting Matrix-esquire effects, because there aren't any bullet time scenes. The effects used are so fitting for this movie because they're almost cartoonish and the movie doesn't take itself too seriously.

The film, an adaptation of the long running Japanese anime, revolves around natural racing phenomenon Speed (the wonderful Emile Hirsch) and his family, which somehow includes John Goodman and Susan Sarandon (whoever pulled off this casting deserves some kind of award). Oh yeah, and the casting directors managed to get Matthew Fox and Christina Ricci as well. What really stood out in this area is that everyone involved really understood the characters and the world that Speed Racer is supposed to display. It's not supposed to be overly serious, nor is it supposed to be that realistic either. With the warm performances of Hirsch, Goodman, and Ricci, you get transported into another world (isn't that the point of movies anyway?). Matthew Fox is also great as the mysterious Racer X, whose role is sort of misconstrued by the previews. He showed a different side that I didn't think he could on 'Lost'.

The visual effects, as I've said before, aren't going to be Matrix-esquire, but there are a few "whoa" factor sequences that had my jaw dropping. I also need to warn you that, if you can't take fast camera movements or rapid shots, be careful. It's not as bad as Cloverfield or Blair Witch (because the quickness only occurs in the race sequences), but I'd still try to grab a seat in the middle or back of the theater. The film is visually stunning outside of the races themselves as well. The buildings, the cities, the homes, the cars themselves...all beautiful.

The Wachowski brothers get an A+ for keeping the movie in the spirit of the show as much as they could (they really did a great job), however the film has a major flaw: a runtime of just under 2 and a half hours. That's a BIG no no for a movie that is obviously marketed towards kids, unless it has the names "Star Wars" or "Harry Potter" on it. The film also has a sensual scene or two featuring Ricci and Hirsch, not to mention occasional language.

My advice: don't listen to the critics, see this movie for the fact that it's pure entertainment for the audience, and it will take you away to a visually stunning world for a couple hours. Definitely an enjoyable movie for the entire family.

145 of 226 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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