By the time I was able to get to the theater last night and see Speed Racer last night I was already aware that the critics’ reviews were terrible and the box office had tanked.
I dunno what the hell is going on here, but Speed Racer is incredible. There was a guy behind me who literally spent the last 10 minutes of the film muttering, “This is awesome. This is just… awesome. It’s awesome…” And I didn’t mind because, frankly, I was thinking the same thing.
The guy next to me got up when the film was over and said, “That was beautiful. That was god damn beautiful.”
And he was right, too.
The film is a visual feast. The plot is clever without being convoluted. The performances are beautifully stylized, yet capture astonishing truthfulness from the characters. The film has that rare ability to be emotionally moving and completely thrilling at the same time. Humor is strewn around liberally like a party favor.
But, ultimately, if I had to choose a single word to describe the film, that word would be: Delightful.
Speed Racer is delightful.
I left the theater with a grin literally plastered across my face. The film made me happy. It filled me with joy.
And I’m not alone: Yeah, the critics ripped it apart. But audiences are loving it. Metacritic and Rottentomatoes are both showing a 45+ point skew between audience opinion and critics opinion. Moviefone is reporting 4 out of 5 stars from moviegoers. Other sites are reporting ratings of B+ or A-. There does seem to be a certain atmosphere of love-it or hate-it going on, but so far those who love it are outnumbering those who hate it.
So if you’ve been turned off by the critics — or if you’re just looking for a film made of joy and awesome — then you owe it to yourself to catch a showing of Speed Racer.