Critic Reviews



Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Speed Racer offers a crazy, turbo-charged mix of cartoon kitsch, gamer action, and a wild new way to think of - and look at - movies.
Chicago Tribune
At its best, it's buoyant pop entertainment focused on three things: speed, racing and retina-splitting oceans of digitally captured color.
This is not a film occurring in an alternate or imaginary reality; rather, it is a film of NO reality, that is, a picture that changes the rules of its universe strictly according to its creators' whims.
The cast is generally game for playing cardboard cutouts, with Goodman having the most fun.
The Hollywood Reporter
Unlike a Pixar cartoon that embraces as wide an audience as possible, Speed Racer proudly denies entry into its ultra-bright world to all but gamers, fanboys and anime enthusiasts. Story and character are tossed aside to focus obsessively on PG-rated action and milk-guzzling heroes.
Young boys are the only suitable audience for Speed Racer, the elaborate live-action adaptation written and directed by "Matrix" creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. And even they might feel an urge to squirm.
There is one high note. You can approach Speed Racer as the trippiest stonerfest since Stanley Kubrick took his space odyssey.
If this action extravaganza represents the future of movies, it's going to be a sad, dead and awful future.
It's hard to say whether the Wachowski brothers' live action take on the Japanese Speed Racer cartoons is more irritating because it looks like a Hot Wheels video game or because the brothers seem to think that there's a powerful family drama humming away beneath the flashing lights and spinning wheels.
Yes, it's a candy-colored Day-Glo world, but there's a liveliness missing from this lead-footed Speed Racer.
The fakeness of it all overwhelms, dampening any real excitement. It's hard to care about characters so stiff and one-dimensional they out-cartoon the cartoon originals, and it's hard to watch them bop around like avatars in a flat, airless, digital world.
This toxic admixture of computer-generated frenzy and live-action torpor succeeds in being, almost simultaneously, genuinely painful -- the esthetic equivalent of needles in eyeballs -- and weirdly benumbing, like eye candy laced with lidocaine.

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