6.0/10
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427 user 289 critic

Speed Racer (2008)

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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.

Directors:

Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers), Lilly Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers)

Writers:

Lilly Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers), Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,081 ( 102)
1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emile Hirsch ... Speed
Nicholas Elia ... Young Speed Racer
Susan Sarandon ... Mom
Melissa Holroyd ... Speed's Teacher
Ariel Winter ... Young Trixie
Scott Porter ... Rex Racer
Giancarlo Ganziano Giancarlo Ganziano ... Everyman Announcer (as Gian Ganziano)
Peter Fernandez ... Local Announcer
Harvey Friedman ... Harold Ledermann Announcer
Sadao Ueda ... Japanese Announcer
Valery Tscheplanowa ... Russian Announcer
Sami Loris Sami Loris ... Italian Announcer
Olivier Marlo Olivier Marlo ... French Announcer
Sean McDonagh Sean McDonagh ... Celtic Announcer
Kick Gurry ... Sparky
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Speed has no limits. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Australia | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Race Chasers See more »

Filming Locations:

Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,561,337, 11 May 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$43,945,766, 7 August 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,945,766
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a number of scenes, the "bokeh" (circular/oval out-of-focus points of light) are seen in different shapes:
  • in Royalton's club they are diamonds
  • in a number of the race scenes they are squares or rectangles.
  • and when young Speed sees young Trixie for the first time and when they kiss at the end of the film they are hearts.
See more »

Goofs

After the fight between Cruncher's men and the others at the passage of Casa Cristo 2, Speed is located at the far right of Racer X. Yet when the camera close in on Racer X's face (when he says "looks like another change of plan"), Speed is on the immediate right, and it's impossible to move that fast. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Race Announcer: All drivers to your cars, please. All drivers to your cars.
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Crazy Credits

The directors' credits spin out of a wheel, similar to how the title of Speed Racer (1967) appears. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Todd's Pop Song Reviews: Glitter (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Free Bird
Written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant
Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As with most of the Wachowski's works, Speed Racer is generally misunderstood
14 December 2010 | by Jj JesusSee all my reviews

After reading seanwalker's review of Speed Racer, I feel compelled to write a positive review in light of such skepticism.

First off, this is not some stupid trolling endeavor. The guy who wrote that review is clearly intelligible, he just didn't get this movie.

Speed Racer, as do all Wachowski movies, has a theme: family. Speed Racer captures the ideal family in a realistic way, showing the conflicts between child and parents with the coming of age, first with Rex Racer and then with Speed Racer. In this film, the power of strength in family overcomes all odds, all conspiracies, and all evil. When all ideals of goodness seem to fade, family still remains strong. It may be a somewhat simple message, but the message runs deeply throughout the film, and, after all, this is a family movie.

Though the effects were likewise phenomenal, after Royalton's speech, you can't possibly say this movie isn't deep. Once again, the Wachowski's apply multidimensional philosophy into their film, a feat that hasn't been done before in a family film, at least not that I can immediately recall.

And finally, we are faced with everyone's biggest complaint about Speed Racer: the big cheese. The cheesiness will make you cringe occasionally, but that's not to say that it isn't intentional. Fans of the original series will tell you that the corniness and overdone comic relief were part of what made the series what it is. As the great Tarentino would do, the Wachowski's stay true to their original content, and not only include each character of the original series, but portray them as they've always been portrayed, with Racer X as the only character without a ridiculous, cheesy scene.

Speaking of Racer X, how about some praise for this movie instead of just counterargument! Racer X's portrayal is wonderful! This may be a spoiler, but honestly, if you don't know by now that "Racer X is really Rex Racer, the older brother of Speed who ran away from home years ago and is secretly racing behind the mask and the wheel of the number nine, the shooting star" then you probably need to go watch the series. As an older brother, I find Racer X to be a heart-wrenching character. Not only does he posses the inner fire to do whatever it takes outside of cheating to liberate the sport of his passion, but he will sacrifice even more for the good of his family, though disowned by them. He is the icon of sacrifice, passion, and, yes, badassery. And still, within a family film! If you're a fan of the series, you will love this movie. It has literally everything the series had, corniness and all, but also a deeper message about family. The racing scenes, which I have little about, are indisputably enamoring, fast paced, sleek, and full of the crazy stunts and devices the old series had. Any fan of the series will love this movie.

For everyone else, the cheese may be unbearable. Some people just don't feel the pull to be open minded to corniness, especially when it comes to family movies, and that's understandable, just make sure you know that this corniness doesn't spring from poor direction. Also, as with The Incredibles, those that don't relate so well to messages of family strength, or those that don't want to see a coming of age movie, no matter how well down, will also experience distaste for this film. But whether it's your cup of tea or not, this is a well done movie with depth, passion, and of course mind-blowing color and effects.


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