Thursday, 7 August 2014

When Wrong Is Right

As I'm sure most people know, film trailers are peculiar beasts. With skillful editing and a great piece of music they can make the dullest film look exciting. The trailer mash phenomenon of a few years ago showed how a well known film can be turned on its head into something it isn't. So it's easy to see how a bad trailer can give a very wrong impression of a film which really deserves another chance.

My case in point is Speed Racer.

I saw the trailer for Speed Racer in the cinema and thought it looked like one of the worst films ever made, designed as a video game as movie for people with attention deficit disorder. I had found the Wachowski Brother's Matrix sequels increasingly horrid, and in particular the 3rd film was just awful. So seeing their name emblazoned across this film didn't warm me to it at all.

Naturally I avoided the film and was not surprised upon hearing the film tanked.

Then a month or so ago I came across a topic about the film on a forum that I visit, where many people felt the film had much more going for it. One person felt it was a love letter to the history of animation. I'm always curious about films which are reviled upon release but later find an audience of diehard fans (which I'm sure goes back to watching Moviedrome so much as a teenager) who say a film is unfairly tarnished with a bad reputation - The Postman is one such film I'm still curious to see in that regard.

So I finally picked up Speed Racer and I thought it was just wonderful. Eye melting visuals, a fun playful look and design and, at times, thrilling. Not what I was expecting at all.

I'm not sure that I buy into the history of animation, but there are several moments which were so playful that I wouldn't have expected