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Movie Review: Speed Racer

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Author/Source: Alan Phillips

Topic: Movie Review

A review of Speed Racer including description of the movie, areas of concern, teachable themes, discussion questions, and scriptures to use.

Movie Review: <i>Speed Racer</i>

Overview

"Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer!" I am a fan of the original cartoon series back in the day and so when I heard that Speed Racer was coming out as a modern day movie I just had to go see it. You always wonder -- or at least I do -- will the new stay in line with the old? I would say "yes", in this case it did. The family Racer theme was interwoven throughout the whole entire film.

I really loved how the characters were introduced into a new modern and technology-driven environment. The colors and the action sequences were off the hook and again the colors were just awesome. I took my three kids with me and they really liked it, especially the pretend action sequences between Speed's younger brother Spritle and the family pet monkey Chim Chim. These scenes were really funny and pulled my kids into the film even further.

Again I was really happy to see that the family theme was carried throughout the entire film all the way from the beginning when Rex Racer (Speed's older brother) picks him up from school and spends time with him to when Pops Racer (Speed's dad) towards the end of the film shows up to save the day and really brings the whole family together for one purpose.

To summarize this movie, Speed Racer is a family-oriented film with some great action and racing sequences all pulled together through a very colorful, intense and fun technology-savvy environment with hints of the old way of life still present.


Concerns

As always the movie industry just can't seem to get away from throwing a little bit of risky behavior into a movie and Warner Brothers is unfortunately no different. I would say almost 90 to 95% of the movie is really family-friendly. However, there were some mild sexual innuendos between Speed and Trixie in one scene, Spritle's anger really being manifest in a very obvious way with his fingers in another scene, and several very choice cuss words in others. I think their should be some call for concern in parents' minds especially when they might be considering taking the younger viewers in their households with them to see this film.


Teachable Themes

  • The Value of Family
    The Racer family always sticks together in the end through thick and thin. This kind of love in today's modern world is something that is not only very necessary for families but it should be something that we try to emulate on a daily basis with those that we care for most in this life, our families.

  • Doing the Right Thing
    Right in the middle of the movie, Speed is faced with a big decision: do I take the fame and all the money that Mr. Royalton (the bad guy) is offering me or do I stick with my family who really loves me? Of course Speed chooses his family and everything works out for the good in the end, because of this one right decision.

  • Never Give Up
    All the way through the movie the whole Racer family is faced with multiple choices and decisions and the realities of these choices and decisions. Then the ultimate decision, do we give up and just go home? Do the good guys ever give up in movies, well, of course not? So the Racer family never gives up and in the end they are the victors and the bad guy ultimately gets what is coming to him. This kind of determination is something that is really needed in families today and can really pay off for us in the end, if we will never give up.

Biblical References

  • The Value of Family:
    • Joshua 24:15 - "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

    • Acts 10:2 - "He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly."

  • Doing the Right Thing:
    • Genesis 18:19 - "For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."

    • 2 Chronicles 31:20 - "This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God."

  • Never Give Up:
    • Joshua 24:14 - "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD."

    • 1 Samuel 26:23 - "The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness."

Discussion Questions

  • The Value of Family:
    1. What are some great practical ways that we can get closer together as a family?
    2. How can families in today's society show each other that we truly love each other?

  • Doing the Right Thing:
    1. Is it always easy to do the right thing?
    2. How can we do the right thing even when we are tempted to do just the opposite sometimes?

  • Never Give Up:
    1. What are some creative ways that we can keep on going even when it gets tough to do so?
    2. How can we as a whole family never give and still stay together and love each other even more at the end just like the Racer family in the movie did?

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