Monday, 7 January 2013

Review - Redline (2009 - Dir. Takeshi Koike)

It's Wacky Races in anime form. Only not as good.

That's being a tad harsh because at its best Redline is stunning. The first race is a blistering exercise in linking speed, sound, visual distortion and sensory overload. I played the Blu-ray at the normal volume setting that I generally use. The soundtrack came belting out and shook all of the pictures off the walls. Fair enough. It needs to be watched at a very high volume to get the full effect. When a character uses a nitro boost, the screen distorts to a dramatic degree and the music lulls, waiting for the moment when the speed kicks in and the music relaunches. Breathtaking stuff.

Then we hit the story. JP is a racer in the Redline competition, and he also has a neat sideline in race fixing (a bit like certain Doncaster Rovers players). And he's got large pointy hair. There are some other characters in the style of Wacky Races but it's all a bit of a waste of time. The reason why I say that is because I only watched this two days ago and I can pretty much remember nothing from the middle section. All I was doing was waiting for the final race.

When the final race eventually comes it's yet more sensory overload, with a sprinkling of character overload. The race is held on Roboworld and the leader of Roboworld is not overly impressed. In typical fashion, he sends in the army. And a big mutant energy baby. It loses it for a while until the story focusses on the racing action. But it never reaches the peak of the first race.

The animation is a mish mash of Paprika with its distorting unpleasant characters and one of the sections of Gotham Knight (Deadshot, I think) where black shadows are used for the characters. Except here we have black shadows in the background too. I'm not overly keen on the style and it feels generally dirty and unsavoury but it's all down to personal preference.

This took seven years to make and I can see why. It's just a shame that the story is almost non-existent. If you do decide to watch this, enjoy the first race at a rather loud volume. Possibly skip forward to the last race. Then, for indulgence, watch the first race again.

If you like this you could also try:
Speed Racer, Paprika, Gotham Knight.

No comments:

Post a Comment