Speed Racer has two speeds. Too slow and too fast. If ever there was a movie that should be around an hour and a half, it’s “Speed Racer.” It is however, a two and a half hour computer generated eye punch that will leave your head spinning and seeing only pastels. Then it slows down into long winded dialogue sequences. Then it mixes the two which go together like peanut butter and… motor oil. Everything’s here from fast, reality free racing, to evil corporations, secret agents, ninjas and a chimp. Do you really need plot details? Suffice it to say it involves fast reality free racing, evil corporations, secret agents, ninjas and a chimp. I loved the cartoon growing up. It was my favorite along with “Kimba the White Lion” and “Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot”. Clearly the Wachowskis loved it too and maybe a little bit too much. It’s actually a little too close to the source material. Spritle and Chim Chim are in the movie and really annoying. Then again, they were annoying in the cartoon. Blame the source material and blame the slavish adherence to it. The acting was not bad. It’s a big popcorn movie and everyone does a good job. Emile Hirch looks like he’s having fun and it’s interesting to see him in a light role after a riveting performance in “Into the Wild” last year. John Goodman is great as the family patriarch (It’s not like he hasn’t had plenty of practice). Christina Ricci is a good Trixie and looks great in tight clothes. Mathew Fox is playing two different characters. I don’t think he’s supposed to be, but he is. He plays the humorless, deep voiced Racer X when his mask is on and then the fun, excited higher voiced Racer X without the mask. The movie itself simply looks like a video game. There’s no getting around it. It’s a greenscreen movie that works best when there’s racing but simply doesn’t work anywhere else. It’s so effects heavy that when the credits rolled it looked like every effects house in the country got a credit. From ILM to Joe’s Bait, Tackle and CGI effects. The editing will make your head hurt and go a long way in promoting ADD. I just picture someone in the edit bay saying, “ Four seconds?! That’s WAY too long to stay on one shot. Damn it! This is why I left MTV…” This editing also made me invent a new cinema phrase: “The annoying overused head wipe.” You’ll see what I mean. The end almost put me in a strobe light induced coma and I think it’s a victory that this film hasn’t given anyone a seizure. Yet. This movie is right in the middle. You won’t hate it, but you won’t love it either. There are some things that are worth the price of admission, like the “crucible” race in the middle of the movie. There are other things that make you just shake your head and go “Whose idea was THAT!?” like the excess Spritle and Chim Chim sequences. I know this is supposed to be a “family” film but it’s way too uneven. Gun violence mixed with slapstick mixed with insane, frenetic action and then mixed again with corny kid humor. All going at over a hundred miles an hour. I would not take my kid to see it unless I had a bottle of Ritalin and never wanted him to read a book again.