Critics Choke on Speed Racer’s Eye-Candy
On Wednesday, I posted a complimentary review of the Wachowski brothers’ new Speed Racer flick. Watching the subsequent barrage of negative reviews roll in, I was left a bit befuddled. Chicago mainstay Roger Ebert diagnosed Racer with “foot-tapping hyperactivity and ADD.” “Chaotic and nonsensical,” said A.O. Scott in the New York Times. But none summarized the critical sentiment quite like The Observer’s Rex Reed, who subtly declared it to be “fuchsia vomit.” Tell us what you really think Rexy!
But clicking through Rotten Tomatoes, I realized I wasn’t alone in liking the movie. While Speed Racer’s cumulative score from the “Top Critics” amounts to just 25%, the RT user community collectively rates it a respectable 71%. So why the gulf between professional reviewers and your average entertainment-seeking moviegoer? It would appear that most critics have grasped on to the mainly visceral argument that Speed Racer’s frenetic visual effects are over-the-top and distracting. But children of the video game era, who grew up playing racing games like F-Zero and the aptly titled Need For Speed, will be more than comfortable navigating the visual onslaught. After a childhood defined by overstimulation, we can enjoy Speed Racer for what it was: candy. And when it comes to candy, the gulf in opinion is usually a generational one. — Johnny
Entry filed under: Art + Music.