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Speed Racer fails to cross the finishline with both audiences and critics

It’s rare that a children’s movie is widely accepted by various age groups. It’s even more rare that a children’s cartoon applies so well to a full-length motion picture blockbuster. This year, the creators of the Matrix trilogy are attempting to break the conventional boundaries of cinema once again. With the task of interpreting the classic Japanese anime series, “Speed Racer,” their previous work will either generate a desired success or an overwhelming catastrophe.

“Speed Racer” has forever been in the hearts of children and nostalgic adults. Transferring the original story of the racing underdog is the directing duo Larry and Andy Wachowski. With the help of Emile Hirsch in the title role, the Wachowski brothers tell a story about how an unlikely, but natural born racer goes up against the corporate flooded circuit in an attempt to bring back the true spirit of racing. With help from his loyal family, his longtime friend Trixie (Christina Ricci) and the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox), Speed leaps into his Mach 5 faster than we can say, “Go Speed, Go!”

Since it’s nearly an impossible endeavor to create a film that is equally enjoyable for both adults and children, the live action Speed Racer film attempts a delicate balancing act that inevitably brought it to a screeching halt. “Racer” tries desperately to be two separate films when it never had the capabilities of doing so. With almost a two-and-a-half-hour runtime that fills its non-action sequences with over explanatory dialogue, parents must be advised their children will be squirming with boredom rather than excitement for a majority of the movie. Having been marketed primarily as a kids movie, the blockbuster production may suffer massive box office losses when it’s nearly impossible to define a target audience.

If the Wachowski brothers solely intended to utilize their groundbreaking filming techniques to capture the spirit of an anime cartoon, their goal could not have been achieved with another ounce of precision. Glorified high-speed racing sequences that have cars flipping every direction truly captures the art form that Speed’s mother raves about. More shining moments appear in uproarious bits of humor with Speed’s younger brother, Spritle, and his pet monkey named Chim Chim. Through every frame of artistic compilation, this monkey never misses a beat.

Still, with so much style and energy bursting in this movie, it’s evident this racer needs a little more than a push to get going.

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