Every once in a while, a film comes along that is so terrible that it makes you wonder, if people are able to make something this bad, was anything ever good to begin with? Speed Racer is one such film. An unmitigated catastrophe on pretty much every level, it has the dubious honour of being one of the only films to make me feel physically unwell. Speed Racer is a horrible, overdesigned mess whose constant stream of blinding colours will give you a migraine and make you thank whatever God you believe in for the tedious greyish brown of everyday life.
There is nothing wrong with bright colours, but when they are in such abundance and the artistic design is so hideous that it genuinely hurts to look at it, there has definitely been a problem. It wouldn’t be so bad if the effects weren’t awful on a technical level as well, but the omnipresent CGI never fails to unimpress; it is abundantly clear that the set ends about 10 feet behind the actors and everything beyond that point is greenscreen, with potentially impressive cityscapes looking like the flat walls they were projected onto. It’s a hideous film. Not in the Gears of War way where everything is drab and boring and indistinguishable from everything else, but in the way that it MAKES YOUR EYES BLEED.
Even if I hadn’t been trying to watch Speed Racer through a blinding headache, I doubt it would have been any easier to follow. I have no idea what the plot was, since the script is as incoherent and nonsensical as the visuals. I knew I was in trouble when I found out that the main character’s name actually was Speed Racer. That aside, there is a monkey (for some reason), who boxes with Speed’s younger brother (for some reason). The sequence in question is so bizarre and hallucinatory that I thought I was either asleep, or someone had spiked my drink. I have no idea how it fitted into anything or what its purpose was. Other than that, there is Racer X, who Speed Racer thinks is his brother, but then it’s revealed that he isn’t, but then it’s revealed that he actually is and just had extensive plastic surgery so he is unrecognisable. WHYYYYY?!
There are those who think Speed Racer is fun. They are wrong. It’s a mess, an impossible to follow catastrophe that makes you want to hit your head against a wall because it would be less painful than trying to watch this drivel. It’s one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. And it’s longer than Citizen Kane!