A young racing talent turns down an endorsement from a huge corporation, putting him into the crosshairs of everyone else on the racing circuit. Ever since he was a young child, Speed Racer wanted to go fast. During school, he would talk about it in class. He idolized his brother, Rex, who was a successful race car driver, but his world is shattered when Rex dies during a cross-country race in a tragic accident. Now, as a teen, he is taking the racing world by storm with both his remarkable driving instinct and his impressive car, the Mach 5, built by his father, Pops. With Pops and his mom running their company, Racer Motors, Speed has most everything he needs to continue to rise in his career path. When an insanely wealthy businessman named Royalton offers to make him the newest racer for Royalton Industries, Speed declines, preferring to keep racing in the family instead of becoming a cog in a big machine. As revenge for being turned down, Royalton sues Racer Motors, accusing them of stealing from him, and pays other racers to take him out during the next race. When a Japanese racer named Togokahn tells Speed he has evidence that could put Royalton in prison for a long time, Speed must agree to race on Togokahn's team during the cross-country race-- the same one Rex died in-- in order to obtain it. Speed, without telling his family, agrees to do so. During the races, Speed finds he is getting assistance from a mysterious masked race car driver who only goes by Racer X-- and Speed suspects that under the mask may lie the face of his brother. When Royalton puts a bounty on Speed's head before the big final race, it's Speed against the world with his life and his family's good name on the line.
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Best part of story, including ending:
This is an incredible film from a visual perspective-- every frame pops with color. It feels like a live-action version of a cartoon, which is very unique.
Best scene in story:
When Speed asks Racer if he is Speed's brother, and Racer removes his mask to reveal a strange face, Speed is disappointed... and we learn secretly that Rex had plastic surgery. It's a strangely tender moment.
Opinion about the main character:
Speed is earnest and driven, two terrific features to showcase in a young hero. Plus, Emile Hirsch is a remarkably adept leading actor in his first real action lead.