A story about the most popular racing event in the galaxy, the Redline, and the various racers who compete in it.A story about the most popular racing event in the galaxy, the Redline, and the various racers who compete in it.A story about the most popular racing event in the galaxy, the Redline, and the various racers who compete in it.
What's it about? My story depiction probably won't exactly tell you the madness you'll be getting into, unfortunately. You'd really have to see it for yourself. Anyway, it's an anime set in a futuristic universe involving people and anthropomorphic creatures racing in vehicles on different planets. I can't really describe any of the anthropomorphic creatures in the film. Maybe some are aliens and some are animals or animal-like? Those are my best guesses. Our protagonist is JP, a male racer with funky-looking hair who tends to be laid-back when he's not racing. After losing a race called the Yellowline, a precursor to the famous no holds barred Redline, it seems like it's over for him. However, he qualifies for the Redline, anyway, which is being held on a planet where its government violently opposes the race. I can hear "The Imperial March" playing in my head when it comes to them. JP, being the daredevil that he is, participates in the big race that's the final scene for the film. Yeah, it's a cliché, but it feels minor to me, especially for this particular film. Added to the story is a nice relationship with JP and Sonoshee, a female racer.
"Redline" was in the works for seven years, as I've recently learned. Wow. I, for one, certainly don't think those years went to waste. The heavily detailed animation is sweet eye candy. Unlike the live action "Speed Racer" film, "Redline" was never overwhelming to look at. In fact, because I had to read its English subtitles, I wish I could've understood Japanese so I could've focused more on the animation. I admittedly had some trouble following the film. There's so much going on and sometimes the subtitles went too fast for me to read. There were a few times where audience members were laughing and I didn't get what was funny. Nonetheless, I did laugh with the audience at times, like when one of the racers on TV is talking with a puppy. Even films that are hard to follow, such as "Inception", can be highly entertaining. On the way home, I laughed to myself over what I just watched. The audience even cheered at least twice. The action is thrilling and that includes the beginning with the Yellowline race despite the lack of characterization. As the film goes on, we do get to know the main characters to a certain extent. JP is likable and down-to-Earth, if you will. There are flashbacks to him as a child, which may also be clichéd, but again, no biggie. Watching the film, I didn't even think of the flashbacks that way.
Looking past the craziness and the animation, does "Redline" have anything meaningful for us to take away? I'm not sure. There could be a moral on leaving a profitable criminal lifestyle, for one. If there's meaning, it's subtle. I can't believe that word comes to mind when this film has a racing vehicle with two breast-shaped windows. "Redline" is probably just utter escapism. Director Takeshi Koike, Katsuhito Ishii, and so on have definitely crafted something memorably wacky. I've never done acid, but I have to wonder what watching this film would be like on that drug. That should probably be best left a mystery.
- Oct 25, 2011