Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Redline (2009)

IMDb plot summary: An action drama centered on a deadly racing tournament held every five years and the reckless dare-devil driver who wants to win it.
Directed by Takeshi Koike. Starring Takuya Kimura, YĆ» Aoi, and Tadanobu Asano.

My brother and I have had plenty of discussions over the years about my difficulty with anime, so he knew this one was going to be a hard sell. And... yeah, it was. For some reason I have trouble processing the visuals for anime, and these visuals are flashy and fast. My eyes *felt* tired when I finished this movie. I'm sure there were chunks of the movie that I just missed in one form or another because I could not read the subtitles and visually decipher the images at the same time. A lot of reviews for this movie praise its visual style, but to me it's like praising a song for its lyrics when you can't actually hear them. They may be great, but I feel frustrated that I can't decipher them enough to tell.

On top of that, it's not a terribly compelling story for me. A lot of the anime have the big stakes as some sort of competition, but it's just presented as the big stakes for no particular reason. This happens in sports movies too, but the ones that work for me are ones that give me a reason to care that the protagonists win aside from just "winning is nice." The characters here don't have a lot of that, and as such this was a tough watch.

I will say the sci-fi future is fun to watch unfold. The different creatures populating this world are interesting, although since I'm so turned off by the visual style, they're more interesting to me in theory than they are in execution.

Overall, this is not the movie to win me over to the "yay anime" side.

1.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1696 out of 2305, below Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and above Unknown.

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