Saturday, January 19, 2013
Speed Racer ain't got nuthin' on this one! Animatrix director Takeshi Koike spent a good seven freakin' years putting this movie together, which was done entirely in hand-drawn animation using over 100,000 drawings in its production. It was a staggeringly dedicated task put forth in today's totally digital world using mostly CGI animation.
Set way in the future, JP is an underdog racer in the highly dangerous world of intergalactic car races. After crashing in the preliminary Yellowline race, he luckily gets into the prestige Redline race which is the Indy 500 of the universe. This race is taking place on Roboworld run by a fascist government of cyborg pricks. They don't want these Wacky Racers rejects on their planet, mostly because it might reveal a lot of their military secrets exposed to the public. JP hopes to woo fellow racer Sonoshee, who is someone he's admired since he was a kid, but this keeps him distracted from his double-dealing mechanic Frisbee who is making deals with the mob to rig the race. The big race finally happens, and the big contender, Machinehead, leads the pack, along with several other colorful racers(most of which they only briefly touch on as far as their backstories). Roboworld's military pulls out all the stops(aside from a freakin' blockade!), including particle beam satellites and a giant bioweapon named Funky Boy, that is like an out of control pure energy version of Tetsuo from Akira when he got all bloated. It takes one of the Roboworld's generals to merge with another bioweapon to try and stop Funky Boy, but the movie just leaves off as their big kaiju fight begins. Without giving away the ending, the winner(s) is/are pretty obvious, but the final stretch to the end is nailbiting!
What this movie lacks a little in as far as story is concerned(specifically the unresolved characters' story arcs), it completely makes up for in style and animation. Madhouse comes through again with a real trailblazer. There was a short "pilot" movie that came out about four years prior that was just a excellent, and available on the American release as a bonus. Do yourself a big favor and get the Blu-Ray to get the full visual splendor. It's almost impossible not to dig the living hell out of this high-octane thrill-fest!