Speed Racer: an overlooked masterpiece

Speed Racer is a decade-old film that deserves more credit than it gets.

This still from Speed Racer shows just how colorful and vibrant the cinematography is.

Warner Bros. Pictures

This still from Speed Racer shows just how colorful and vibrant the cinematography is.

Ten years ago, the first ever Speed Racer film raced into theaters. Upon release, this film polarized both audiences and critics alike. Many audience members were unable to connect to the film’s eye-melting visual style and its extreme dialogue. However after re-watching the film over the past weekend, I can say that, visually, this film is a treat to feast your eyes on.

Speed Racer celebrates a win

Honestly, when I first clicked on the thumbnail for Speed Racer on Netflix, I was unsure of what to expect, but after watching the film, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Speed Racer is a film of pure entertainment value, start to finish. While I would agree that the film can be over-stylized at points, to me that’s a positive, if anything.

While I have found a newfound love for this film, it isn’t necessarily the greatest piece of art ever produced. But compared to the big-budget blockbusters that have been released in recent years, I’ve come to the realization that a film such as this will probably never be made again. Speed Racer is violently colorful and has a blatant anti-corruption theme. The film is so ambitious and eager, it made me want to cry upon watching it. And, just like every other Wachowski film, this film is about love and family, as well as supporting one another and making the world a better place.

The true antagonist of the film is not the racers that the titular Speed Racer faces, but the racing industry itself. After Speed wins a huge race, he’s approached by the leader of a very large company, Royalton Industries, to be their newest driver. After Speed respectfully turns down the offer, Royalton vows to destroy the Racer’s family with all of the power he has. Over the course of the next hour and a half, the audience is shown just how rigged the racing industry is. Speed teams up with Racer X to expose and take down this corrupted industry he was once a part of.

Overall, Speed Racer is a criminally underrated piece of film, and deserves to be rewatched by a broader audience with a new perspective. If you want to experience this movie for yourself, you can watch Speed Racer on Netflix.

Speed Racer gets into a fight during the Casa Cristo race