There are over 100 films released every year, and sometimes there are great films that go unnoticed either by critics, the populace, or both. Here on Second Chance Cinema, we will spotlight films we believe deserves a second chance.
Look, I know you’re probably already rolling your eyes just by looking at the title and thinking that there’s no way this could possibly be a good film, but hear me out. Now, SPEED RACER isn’t a perfect film, but you know what it is, it’s a non-stop, action packed, candy colored, quick moving, enjoyable film.
SPEED RACER was the first film The Wachowski’s made after their very successful MATRIX TRILOGY, so the studio essentially gave them full creative power over what could have been the next big franchise. To say that the film wasn’t a success would be an under statement. The films budget was $120mil, where it only made $43mil domestically. It wasn’t even saved by overseas money, as it only about $50mil. Critics weren’t too kind to it as well.
Now, you’re probably wondering why after all that negativity how I could possibly recommend this film. I can because it’s awesome. People went into this film with such high expectations and they forgot to sit back and enjoy the craziness. Yes, I can admit that this film is a little long in the tooth, but it’s pure entertainment from beginning to end.
The Wachowski’s created such a unique world that Speed lives in, from the different types of racing events, to the environment, the types of vehicles, no detail was left to the waste side. I wanted to love there. I wanted to be at those events. I wanted to feel the rush of the cars speeding by and get wrapped up in the drama. For me, it was such a visceral film. They put you right there on the track with Speed and it didn’t let you go.
Since the film is based off the famous 1960’s Japanese cartoon, they definitely did not shy away from the cartoon origins and they fully embraced it. They defy the laws a physics throughout the whole film. The race tracks look like something I built with my hot wheels when I was a kid. I think because they went for broke with this film, that I fully appreciated what they were trying to do. They were trying to make a fun family film that didn’t alienate anyone and to make it as fun as possible and I thought they succeeded.
What made it for me were the performances in the film. Everyone took it so seriously and they were completely dedicated to their characters and they story they were telling. There were no sly winks to the camera to indicated what they were doing was ridiculous, but they gave it their all. With something as wild as this movie was at points, it helps to see the commitment from everyone involved to help you transport into their world.
Next time you are wanting a fun movie, with great action, and a big heart, go and check out SPEED RACER.