and that would be, entertain.
I can't describe how many times I thought 'whoah!' it's one of those moments that could only ever happen in cartoons or 'whoa!' that was anime level crazy! This film set out to create a literal live action adaptation of a lovable & cheesy retro cartoon anime. That's exactly what it did.
Let's start with the PG rating, this was appropriate not because this film is 'aimed' at kids (which it wasn't clearly, as box office disconnect showed) but because it's a 'family' film for all ages based on a cartoon that most of the older generation watched when they were kids, the source material barely even bordered a 12A and yet the film managed to in fact surpass it's source material in maturity.
Fans of anime will seriously lap this up despite what the recent comments have said. Not only has every care been taken to preserve elements of the source material but it also has those cool retro and also modern anime moments. Good and bad guys with crazy cartoon anime hairstyles, crazy over-the-top kung fu, elaborate motion line effects just like in mangas, crazy death defying races, cheesy as hell dialogue which fits perfectly in context! Performances were quite impressive given it's a predominantly 'kids' PG film and that they were filming against green screen.
I also commend the Wachowski's use of such a strong colour palette.They didn't tone it down or diverge from the theme and each scene had a contextual wash of colour.Serious or more intimate moments had darker shadows while remaining colourfully vibrant. They were bold and not shy about what this film was going to look like.
To the haters again i say ,'what exactly where you expecting? The Matrix with cars?, people getting there throats slit?, symbolic commentary on capitalism,corruption, religion or the new world order? Go into this movie expecting high adrenaline scenes and all campy fun that only a 60's anime adaptation can provide, but don't just to go and watch it just to 'see what the fuss is about' until you actually understand what the source material was like. That way the movie will exceed your expectations.
I don't have complete praise for this movie however, in that towards the end of the film they got a little overboard with the editing and i was really let down by the final antagonist type drivers. Speed seemed to have a harder time in the casa cristo race in the film where the other drivers were far more menacing. It seemed like 'Cannonball Taylor', 'Gray Ghost' and especially the bad ass, white haired yakuza driver (for musha motors by the way) were just a flash gone by and Speed just beat them without any problems at all. Let's hope they make more of a presence in any semblance of an extended/directors cut