Speed Racer (feat. Nostalgia Critic)
April 14, 2016
(At a house, Gabe opens the door.)
Gabe: Sage, did you go?
(Gabe looks around and opens the door in Sage's room.)
(Gabe looks in Sage's room, but he's not here. Gabe leaves Sage's room and sits in a chair.)
Gabe: Sage has disappeared.
(A now-sad Gabe starts thinking of flashbacks of Sage torturing Gabe)
Sage: My favorite punching bag is Gabe, which is why I devised a punishment that is both cruel AND unusual!
(After the flashbacks end, suddenly, Sage starts smiling)
Gabe: Sage has disappeared!
(Gabe then proceeds to have some fun like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. First, he's seen spinning in the chair cheering in delight. The next scene has him playing with toys while lying on Sage's bed)
Gabe: I'm just a diva! Please don't hurt me! Randy Orton RKO out of nowhere!
(Next, he's now using Sage's card to order on the phone)
Gabe: Yeah. I'd like to order an extra large cheese pizza. Wait. TWO extra large cheese pizzas. My name? Bennett T. Sage.
(We get a shot of some pizza slices and crusts on the table while Gabe's watching some of Sage's anime while eating pizza)
Gabe: Hey, Sage, I'm watching your secret hentai! You better come out and pound me! (He realizes what he just said) Not like that.
(A headshot from said hentai is shown while orgasmic moans are heard. Gabe drinks a sip of beer before getting to a rather wrong scene from his perspective; he reaches for the remote, scared)
(We now cut to Sage tied up and blindfolded by a red tie on a familiar leather couch. Gabe's cry of Sage's name is heard, waking him up, making him realize his situation, trying to get out)
Sage: Where am I?
Voice: You're in Hell, Sage.
Sage: New Jersey?
(The Nostalgia Critic is the one behind this kidnapping)
NC: Oh, for the love of...!
(NC removes his tie from Sage's face)
Sage: Oh! Hey! Long time no see.
(NC acts all sinister and creepy)
NC: Yes. Too long.
Sage: I, uh, see you got me at a disadvantage here. Don't suppose you'd let me go, would you?
NC: No. No, I wouldn't.
(NC's left eye is twitching)
Sage: Well, would you scratch my nose at least? Got this really irritating little-- (NC slaps him across the face) Okay, uh, I get that you're angry.
NC: Angry? No, Sage, I'm way past angry. (He gets up in Sage's face) You see, over the past few months, I've been experiencing...how would you call it? Violent fits of uncontrollable rage? That it?
Sage: Yeah, I think that sounds appropriate.
NC: Yeah. Well, do you know why I've been experiencing violent fits of uncontrollable rage? Hmm? Do you?
Sage: I'm gonna hazard a guess and say it's because of me?
NC: (poking Sage's chest) That's right, fucko!
Sage: What did I do?
NC: Oh, let's see... Goading me into heavy Chicago traffic, tricking my brother into constantly quoting Dune.
Sage: So because I trolled you a little, you drugged and kidnapped me...to do what, exactly?
NC: I think you would've gotten it by now, Sage. What else would we be doing?
Sage: (sighs) Okay, what are we reviewing?
NC: Oh, just a little movie from 2008.
Sage: 2008? I don't do 2008.
NC: Well, 2008 is gonna do you, and it's gonna do you...(He pulls up the DVD case for Speed Racer) hard!
Sage: What, really?
NC: Yeah, really. What, you never seen this before?
Sage: No, no, I have! It's just...
NC: It's just...what?
Sage: It's just...not terrible?
(NC drops the case and his eye twitches again before finally getting to the opening credits for Anime Abandon. Afterward, we cut to the Critic and Sage, still tied up, in front of a camera)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
Sage: (nervous) And I'm...Sage. (Smiles, hoping to not anger the Critic)
NC: It must be hard to follow up a cultural touch stone.
(An image of the Wachowskis and posters of their films are shown)
NC (v/o): The Wachowskis were on top of the world by the early 2000s, having made a trilogy of films that changed sci-fi forever. Maybe not for the better, but they changed it all the same.
Sage (v/o): While the Matrix trilogy ended on a pretentious and overwrought note, the Wachowskis still had enough clout to pretty much have carte blanche on whatever project that suited their fancy, including penning the script to V for Vendetta.
Sage: (to NC) Which I'm surprised you haven't reviewed yet.
NC. (in a creepy tone and smile) Patience my love, patience! (pokes Sage's nose)
NC (v/o): Still, a whole five years went by without the...well, now sisters (both directors are now transgender) having directed anything. What would be their triumphant return to prestige and relevancy?
NC: Why, it's none other than the bleeding eyesore, Speed Racer!
(Footage of Speed Racer is shown)
NC (v/o): A film that dares to ask: "How fast can we make the audience go blind?" Speed Racer is the kind of movie that doesn't even feel like it was made. It had to be summoned from the deepest, darkest pits of CGI hell! (A picture is shown of the devil from Spawn) Okay, second deepest.
Sage: While Speed Racer does fail in a number of aspects...
NC: (interrupts) ALL ASPECTS!
Sage: I'm saying that... (trying not to anger him) it just deserves your disdain, not this pure vitriol of yours.
NC: Okay, did you crack your head when you were in my trunk? Because I don't think chloroform should make you this delusional.
Sage: And you know that how?
NC: Sometimes, Malcolm gets a little mouthy and, uh, needs a little nap.
(Cut to Malcolm in another room sleeping next to some cardboard boxes, making noises as like a kid having a bad dream. Cut back to Sage and NC.)
Sage: Why does anyone work for you?
NC: (avoids question and turns to the camera) This is Speed Racer! (Sage looks worried)
(The movie starts)
NC (v/o): We begin with a flashback that tells us all about how a kid named Speed Racer is...REALLY into racing! Yeah, who would have thought?
(Speed's mother, Mom Racer, is speaking with the school teacher at a school meeting room)
Speed's Teacher: (to Mom Racer) Your son seems to be interested in only one thing. All he talks about, all he seems capable of thinking about...
NC: Is your gigantic rack.
Teacher: ...is automobile racing.
NC: Oh, automobile racing! Yes, of course, course that!
Sage (v/o): Yep, that's Susan Sarandon playing Speed Racer's mom, who's about to learn something very harsh about her son.
Teacher: Is your husband's name Rex?
Mom Racer: No, that's his older brother Rex. Why?
Teacher: (picks up a piece of paper) This is the test he turned in last week. (It's a multiple choice exam that spells out on the paper "Go Rex Go")
Sage: That's right, your son's an idiot! And Sarandon's expression pretty much says it all.
Sage/Mom Racer: (looking a little embarrassed) Ooh...ah...well...uh...yeah. he is.
(Speed is shown leaving school to hang out with his older brother, Rex. The whole world they're in is completely shown with CGI visuals)
NC (v/o): But the school bell rings and Speed is off like a shot to get picked up by his older brother, Rex, and...by God, what the hell kind of world are they living in? It's like if the Leave It To Beaver neighborhood was rendered by the guys behind Jimmy Neutron.
NC: Actually, why are the backgrounds all CG?
Sage: Well, it is based off an anime.
NC: But why do you even have real actors? Why don't you just make them CG if everything else is CG?
(Two images from Who Framed Roger Rabbit are shown, before cutting back to the movie)
NC (v/o): It's not like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where Eddie (Valiant) looking out of place in Toontown was all part of the joke. Everyone here is treating the world like it always looked like if Dr. Seuss just gave up!
Sage (v/o): Granted, if it was all CG, it'd definitely be less jarring. But I think it looks alright when you realize it's supposed to be a cartoon. As far as why there's actual actors instead of CG characters, I think it's because the Wachowskis wanted to see what they could do and achieve by blending the two, and maybe also prove that an anime adaptation can be made.
NC: What are you talking about?
Sage: Look, there's been a ton of anime-based adaptations that have been stuck in development hell for God knows how long, because everyone and their mother has been scared to actually pull the trigger!
Sage (v/o): James Cameron has been battling for over a decade to get a Battle Angel Alita film made, and Ghost In The Shell took seven years before principal photography even began. Cowboy Bebop has certainly been milled around, too, and Akira is infamous for being greenlit, only to have production stop four different times. And don't even get me started on Robotech!
NC (v/o): I wasn't, actually.
Sage (v/o): The point is that Speed Racer is the first real, big-budget, Hollywood adaptation of an anime that was made and it was supposed to be a gateway for future movies to be released.
NC: So you're saying that because of "Speed Racer," we got Dragonball Evolution and Astro Boy?
Sage: Well, Astro Boy was fine... (NC looks at Sage, "really?") -ish. (NC then gives look, "sure")
(We now see a grown-up Speed Racer racing a big race)
NC (v/o): We cut back to the...present day, I think...as the now fully grown Speed Racer, played by Emile Hirsch, suits up and begins the race. And if the CGI looked bad before, it literally hurts to look at now! The colors are garishly bright, the camera jitters around like a five-year-old who has to go pee, and (frustrated) IT. JUST. WON'T. STOP!
(Speed avoids a crashing car in the race. Sparky, Speed's mechanic, watches from the tech pit.)
Sparky: (through headset) Great move, Speed!
(Before the other car crashes, the foam comes out of the car surrounding the driver, Snake Oiler, and protecting him. His car explodes as the foam forms a ball bouncing the driver around the track.)
NC: So, Speed turned his vehicle, sideswiped the other guy's car, causing him to crash, turning into a crunchberry, and bounce off?
Sage: Hey, how else are we supposed to know he survived that horrific car crash if he didn't have that magic force field bubble?
Sage (v/o; as a racing commentator): Wait! No, he didn't die in a flaming chasm of gasoline and carnage! See? He magically bounced off like he was fucking Kirby's Dreamland!
(As Sage speaks, we see several other racing scenes in the film)
Sage (v/o; back to normal, sighs) All right, in all seriousness, I'm more on your side than not, as a lot is happening at once, and since all the colors are blending together, it makes it that much more difficult to differentiate objects in the frame. Compounding matters is that the speed by which everything is moving at is dictating the editing, which is relentlessly quick! It's an exhausting sift.
Sage: Which is kind of the point. I mean, it is a white knuckle race after all.
NC: I get that, but it doesn't mean it has to be so incredibly painful to sit through!
NC (v/o): I can barely keep my eyes on the screen without wishing I had some Aspirin on hand. I don’t care what the intent was, watching this movie shouldn’t hurt!
Sage: (sighs) Well, yeah. I guess, on the whole, I agree with you.
NC: (glad) Thank you. (Sage wiggles his nose) I’m still not scratching your nose.
Sage: (shouts) OH, COME ON!
Sage (v/o): While Speed is tearing shit up, everyone is wondering if he’ll manage to beat his brother Rex’s time, including his family.
(Pops Racer is watching the race from the stands through a pair of binoculars and timing Speed with a stopwatch, while his youngest son Spritle does the same. They then both check their stop watches)
Spritle: Jeepers! He could do it, Pops! He could really do it! What if he does it? What if he does it, Pops? (Pops makes an angry noise for Spritle to be quiet. Spritle gets worried) I don’t know if I can watch this. (He then hands his binoculars over to his pet chimpanzee, Chim Chim)
NC: (angry) Sage, what the hell is a chimp doing in this movie?
Sage: Oh, that’s...Chim Chim.
NC: (turns to Sage) How the hell is that an answer?
Sage: IT WAS THE 60s, OKAY?!
(Various images of sidekicks in cartoons are shown)
Sage (v/o): Teenage paranormal detectives had a talking Great Dane (Scooby-Doo), boys accompanied their scientist fathers on expeditions around the world (Johnny Quest), and race car drivers had a goddamn chimpanzee (The Speed Racer Anime). That’s just the way things were!
(Various footage of Chim Chim is shown)
NC (v/o): Yeah, in a cartoon, seeing a chimp interact with humans is alright, but in real life? It’s just so…weird and out of place!
Sage (v/o): In a movie where people race around Rainbow Road at half the speed of light?
NC (v/o; yelling): FUCKING YES! You’re trying to get invested in the story, jumbled and erratic as it’s being told right now, and then, all of a sudden, BAM! CHIMP! No explanation of where he came from or why everyone around it doesn’t seem to realize that it’s a goddamn chimpanzee!
NC: And the hell of it is, there’s no reason for him to be there except he was in the cartoon!
Sage: All right, as far as primates in films are concerned, you could do a whole lot worse than fucking Speed Racer!
NC: Like Dunston Checks In?
Sage: No, try Going Bananas!
(Cut to a clip of Going Bananas where a chimpanzee named Bonzo [Deep Roy in a chimp suit] strokes the cheek of a boy, Ben, while he’s asleep in bed)
Bonzo: (in a slow creepy voice) Oh, Bonzo love Ben! Oh, Bonzo love Ben!
(NC is horrified; Sage is glad he’s tormented his captor)
NC: You’ve seen way too many movies, Sage.
(We see Pops Racer, Speed's father, and Trixie, Speed's girlfriend)
NC (v/o): That’s America’s uncle, John Goodman, playing Speed's dad, and America’s creepy cousin, Christina Ricci, playing Trixie, who apparently has had quite the crush on Speed ever since they were kids. Which means...we get another flashback.
(Cut to a playground where a snobby girl is talking to her friends and kid Trixie, played by Ariel Winter)
Snobby girl: There's that Speed Racer. My daddy told me that his daddy used to work for the Mishida Motor Works, but he quit! My daddy told me that it was a completely crazy thing to do. He says the whole family is crazy.
Kid Trixie: Speed’s not crazy.
Snobby girl: No, he’s just dumb.
NC: Okay, seriously? A cartoon, cutout bully, too? Is this turning into a Stephen King movie?
NC (v/o): And what’s with this actress’s weird performance? She keeps looking over her shoulder like she’s reading her cues, or maybe she’s just looking at her parents to make sure it’s okay to say this line:
- Well, since there are two girls behind her, it stands to reason she’s also talking to them.
Snobby Girl: (echo-ey voice, maybe this is Kid Trixie’s anger distorting her hearing) Ms. Woodstrom had me alphabetize the IRB tests, and you wouldn’t believe what the retard did... (Kid Trixie punches her)
NC: You know, if you’re uncomfortable with a line that you tried to distort in post, maybe you shouldn’t have written it at all.
(We see Speed's family discovering the news of Rex Racer's assumed fatal crash)
Sage (v/o): Well, after that completely necessary diversion, we crash through a five-mile thick wall that is our exposition. Seems that Speed’s brother, Rex, sold out and started working for a dirty company and intentionally causing crashes. But some say he’s actually a double agent and he’s just bringing evidence to light of the corruption in racing, but then he died in a racing accident and-
NC: (interrupts) Wait a minute, wasn’t this supposed to be a kids movie? When is a kid gonna care about the politics of racing?!
Sage: Well, it was part of the show. But…
(We see the opening flashback sequences being explained and told by various race announcers)
Sage (v/o): I agree that the plot is a real mess. There’s too much happening in such a short amount of time that no one in the audience can get their footing in the story, much less a kid. I also agree that the way the movie dumps all of this background info on us is lazy at best, especially since it’s all coming from these disparate announcers that are telling us all of this in apropos of nothing going on. But, hey, at least one of them is being played by the original voice actor of Speed Racer, Peter Fernandez.
NC (v/o): Okay, while that is cool and everything, I’m more annoyed by the fact that they keep doing this bullshit sideswipe that's just visually obnoxious. How would you like it if every time you cut back to us, we do this?
(We are shown a later scene of the final race beginning, with the heads of Speed, Cannonball, and Taejo Togokahn moving throughout the screen and Ben Burns in the middle)
Ben Burns: This isn’t a race, it’s a showdown.
(NC also passes by, flipping the bird)
NC: Irritating, isn’t it?
Sage (v/o): In any case, Speed finishes the race, but intentionally slows down so as to not beat his brother’s record. We cut to the next day as Speed’s little brother Spritle…
Sage: (being serious) Yes, Spritle.
Sage (v/o): …and Chim Chim play act like they’re in the terribly animated show they’re watching.
NC: (sarcastically) Get it? Because the movie’s based on the anime! Uh-durr!
Sage: Well, to be fair, if they weren’t doing that, they’d be doing nothing. (Both reviewers groan quietly)
(We first see the film's villain, Arnold Royalton)
Sage (v/o): The Racer family’s breakfast is interrupted by the “not at all evil businessman,” E.P. Arnold Royalton, played by longtime actor of the British theater, Roger Allam.
Sage: Actually, bit of a fun fact here: Allam played Inspector Javert in the original West End production of Les Miserables.
NC: And he’s easily the best part of the movie.
NC (v/o): He just owns every scene he’s in. He also has a voice that sounds like if Tim Curry did an impression of Stephen Fry. Go ahead, try and tell me you don’t get the weirdest boner when you hear him speak.
(Back at the front door at his intro, Mom Racer has offered him breakfast)
Royalton: A figure like mine requires constant attention, Mrs. Racer.
Mom: And do you like pancakes?
Royalton: (delighted) When I was a child, we used to say (in German) “Pankuken zin liebsen!” (Mom and Pops are confused; he then translates) “Pancakes are love!”
NC: (in a creepy/sexy voice) “Pancakes are love!”
Sage: (also does voice) “Pancakes are life!”
(We see Royalton taking the Racer family on a tour through his company)
Sage (v/o): So, Royalton, attempting to sweet talk the Racers into partnering with his company, whisks the family to his corporate headquarters, which looks like if Willy Wonka owned General Motors. When suddenly, we cut to a…
(Cut to a guy begin beaten up by gangsters inside a large truck. Sage is confused)
Sage (v/o): ...James Bond film? Like, literally, we just cut to this guy (Taejo Togokahn) we’ve never seen before, who was never in the anime, and whose presence in the plot is the most baffling thing about the story. (corrects himself) One of the most!
NC (v/o): Just as you begin to wonder where in the hell this guy (The head gangster) managed to get a Flintstones-size slab of meat like that. Rex Racer... (corrects himself, but in a mocking way) ...oh, I mean... “Racer X”...arrives to wreck their shit! Yeah, this whole scene was talking place in an 18-wheeler, go figure!
(The head mobster, Cruncher Block, tries to stop the water leaking out off a bullet hole in his fish tank full of piranhas)
Cruncher: My babies! (to a nearby mobster, Vinny) Put your finger in there! (Vinny shakes his head no) DO IT!
(Vinny shakes his head yes in a scared way and puts his finger in the bullet hole)
Piranha: (from a cartoon; it stares at his finger) Oh, this is nice!
Bus Driver: (to Cruncher from the radio) We can’t take another hit!
(Piranhas are devouring Vinny’s finger as the caption “A Family PICTURE” is shown with NC's goofy voice saying it. We see Racer X saving Taejo, before seeing Speed meeting with Royalton, announcing his decision)
Sage (v/o): So Racer X saves, uh, this guy (Taejo), who is important for reasons, and then we cut back to the plot where Speed finally tells Royalton after a long, overwrought speech that there will be no deal.
Sage: But that’s when Royalton verbally slaps the shit out of him!
Royalton: You poor, naive chump. (Laughs, then turns serious) Now, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that load of sickening schmaltz, and I’m going to give you a bit of an education, and at the end of it, if you’re smart, you’ll thank me, and then you’ll sign that contract.
NC: (angry) You see, this is what I’m talking about!
NC (v/o): Even when he’s forced to speak economic gibberish, Roger Allam just acts circles around the entire set! I can listen to him recite the dictionary, for crying out loud!
NC: But then the movie pulls this bullshit!
Royalton: That's what racing is about! It has nothing to do with cars or drivers! All that matters is power and the unassailable might of money!
(The movie then unexpectedly cuts to Spritle and Chim Chim joyriding a maintenance cart in the Royalton corporate headquarters, causing chaos. The guitar solo of Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Free Bird” plays)
Spritle: Woohoo! Woohoo! Yeah!
(Sage looks stunned, NC looks pissed)
NC: Okay, let me be clear. This isn’t tonal whiplash, this is tonal homicide.
NC (v/o): Were the Wachowskis intentionally sabotaging their movie? They write a scene where Allam has to recite a long monologue about buyouts and complicated business ventures, and despite that, he gives an involving and brilliant performance, considering what he had to work with. So, what do they (The Wachowskis) do? Smash cut to that little Spritle shit and Chim Chim aping shit all over the place! Did they really think this scene was too boring for kids, so they decided to interrupt it with this bullshit? Well, if that’s true, then why did they write it in the first fucking place?!
NC: Go ahead, Sage! Try to tell me this isn't fucking shit!
Sage: (tries to say something positive, but…) Yeah, it’s fucking terrible.
NC: (glad) YEAH! (He then waves his arms like he’s dancing in his seat, thinking he's won)
Sage: (yells; annoyed) THERE’S STILL HALF A MOVIE TO GO, NUMB NUTS!
(NC then frowns, drops his arms and head to the desk in front of them and cries. We next see a scene of Royalton's racing cars causing Speed to crash in the next race)
Sage (v/o): Despite hearing all the dirty secrets of the racing world, Speed still rejects Royalton. So he (Royalton) vows to destroy his racing career and family, which he does by hiring a racer to make him crash, and orchestrating a lawsuit against his family's company.
Royalton: Soon after that, there'll be litigation against some of your father's designs.
(A man, possibly a process server, arrives at the Racers' home)
Man: Are you Pops Racer?
NC: (interrupts) Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! His name is Pops Racer? Like, that’s his real name?
Sage: Yeah, him and Mom Racer.
NC: (puts his hand over his eyes in embarrassment) So let me get this straight. You’re telling me that two different sets of parents had two different sets of kids, named them Mom and Pops, and then they both grew up and married each other to actually become...MOM AND POPS?!!
Sage: (trying to ease his anger) It’s a theme!
Sage (v/o): Speed Racer: Because he’s a fast racer. Spritle: Because he’s small…
NC: (interrupts) And let me guess, Rex: because he becomes Racer X!
Sage: Well, no, actually.
NC: (confused) Well, then why?
Sage: Well, what did he get into?
NC: (still confused) He got into a car… (Sage nods his head as if to say “You almost got it”) wreck. (Sage then moves his head as if to say “put them together”) Oh, goddamn it! (Puts his head to the desk and yells) THIS MOVIE’S SO STUPID! (Sage smiles)
(We see the next scene of Racer X and Inspector Detector recruiting Speed to help them with a big face)
NC (v/o): Times are tough for Speed, not even Shaft (Ben Burns) can lift his spirits. Seriously, what is Richard Roundtree doing in this movie? But help comes in the most complicated of ways when “Not Rex” (Racer X) arrives with... (sighs in anger) Inspector Detector...to say that there might be a way to expose Royalton, thanks to that guy (Taejo) X saved from piranha death. But it would mean having to take part in an unsanctioned race against Pops' wishes.
- There’s a running gag where NC and Sage don’t bother to learn Taejo Togokahn’s name, but refer him as “What’s his name” or the “Japanese Racer”.
Sage (v/o): And here, (Screams) AN HOUR INTO THE MOVIE, you get to finally see the Mach 5 race!
NC: What are you talking about? Speed was already in the Mach 5.
Sage: Noooo, that was the Mach 6!
Sage (v/o): Granted, it’s very easy to miss that detail, considering how frantic the racing scenes are shot. But if you freeze the frame, you can clearly see that it’s the Mach 6. In fact, the Mach 5 was mentioned only in passing before, and you only saw it two times.
Sage: Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the film kinda downplays the notion of the Mach 5. It’s the most iconic thing about Speed Racer, and yet, the movie kind of treats it like it’s...nothing, really! I mean, imagine if Knight Rider was like this.
(Cut to pictures of Michael Knight, voiced by Sage, and K.I.T.T., voiced by the Nostalgia Critic)
Michael: Damn it, Garth is about to get away in Goliath! If only I had an awesome, fast, nearly indestructible car!
K.I.T.T.: Michael, I am a sentient car that’s equipped with a turbo boost…
Michael: (Interrupts) Not now, K.I.T.T., I need to look for a ride and the nearest Uber driver is 10 miles away!
K.I.T.T.: I hate you, Michael.
(We see Speed participating in the third race, while Cruncher Block offers money to other drivers to take out Speed)
Sage (v/o): The race starts and nearly everyone is playing dirty, having been bribed by “Not Michael Gambon” (Cruncher Block) here, and you know these racers are greedy because they literally have dollar signs in their eyes!
(NC and Sage look disgusted)
NC (v/o): They manage to finish the first leg of the race, but Speed is starting to suspect that “Not Rex” (Racer X) is...Rex!
(Speed and Trixie are discussing this over dinner)
Speed: Maybe I’m crazy, but Racer X first showed up two years after Rex’s death.
Trixie: But, Speed, we buried Rex.
Speed: A body was buried. Remember, it had already been badly burned in the crash. Even if it was Rex, no one could have recognized him.
NC (v/o): You mean to say the guy who mysteriously showed up right after your brother’s death and keeps his face hidden all the time... (false surprise) IS YOUR BROTHER?
NC: Next, you’ll be telling me that guy who keeps showing up with pictures of Spider-Man is SPIDER-MAN! Come on, that shit was even lame at the time!
Speed: Somehow, the kwik-save was disconnected. Inspector Detector suspected foul play.
Sage: Inspector Detector suspected foul play, but Inspector Detector suspected erroneously! (NC is not amused, so he hits Sage in the back of the head) Ow!
(We see Speed's family discovering Speed has entered the race, before in the night, the mansion they're at is broken into by ninjas)
NC (v/o): But Pops and family find out about the race and they have an over-dramatic argument. But, thank God ninjas attack! (Confused) Wait, ninjas?
(Pops puts a ninja on a food service cart and pushes him in the direction of the window, which the ninja falls out of)
Trixie: Oh, my God! Was that a ninja?
Pops: More like a Non-ja. Terrible what passes for a ninja these days.
Sage: Pfft. Tell me about it! (Naruto sneaks up from the lower left corner of the screen. Sage yells at him) I SEE YOU CREEPING!
NC (v/o): Unfortunately, one of the ninjas manages to poison “What’s his name” (Taejo), so they pull the old switcheroo with Trixie for the last leg of the race, and manage to capture all the conspirators who have been bribing the racers.
(On a snowy mountain area, Taejo’s security guards have Cruncher Block captured)
Racer X: What’s he (Cruncher) doing here?
Taejo: Stowaway. We weren’t sure what to do with him.
Racer X: Do what he’d do, break his legs and let him walk back.
Sage: You okay?
NC: Yeah, I just wasn’t expecting a line that badass in a movie that has this line.
(Cuts back to the “Non-ja” scene)
Trxie: Cool beans.
NC: Kind of diametric opposites. You know what I mean?
Sage (v/o): So, after they make their contractually obligated Akira reference, Speed and Racer X make sure “What’s his name” (Taejo) emerges victorious. But things don’t go according to plan.
(At the Racers' garage...)
Pops: (to Inspector Detector and Sparky) Togokahn’s played us for chumps! All he wanted was our help to drive up the stock in his family business. Even if he had a file, he had no intention of turning it over.
Sparky: You mean the whole race was for nothing?
(Cut to Speed driving on a practice track, yelling in anger!)
NC: (chuckles) No, no, Speed. More like this.
(NC yells so loud, it literally shakes the Earth! We see several scenes of the film's second act, before showing Speed confronting Racer X over his identity)
NC (v/o): So this whole second act is completely pointless. The Japanese Racer, the company, this whole side plot? Thrown out the fucking window, because it has fuck all to do with the story! But, then again, what does at this point?
Sage (v/o): At his wits' end, Speed finally confronts Racer X over his identity, and he reveals himself to be… (Racer X takes off his mask, revealing an unfamiliar face to Speed) ...Matthew Fox.
NC: (confused) Wait, he’s not Rex Racer? That’s not how the anime went.
Sage: No, he’s Rex Racer.
NC: (in anger) SON OF A BITCH!
(We see one of the film's later final scenes, showing Racer X's true identity as Rex)
NC (v/o): Yeah, you find out at the end of the movie that Racer X really is Rex, but he just had plastic surgery to look like someone else. (Scott Porter plays Rex in the flashback scenes and Matthew Fox plays him as Racer X) Which...begs the question, why does he need to wear a mask in the first place? If he doesn’t look like his old face, why hide it? Don’t you remember the joke in Justice League?
(Cut to the Justice League Unlimited episode: “The Great Brain Robbery,” where Lex Luthor takes over the Flash’s body. He’s now at a bathroom mirror)
Lex/Flash: If nothing else, I can at least learn the Flash’s secret identity. (He unmasks, looks in the mirror) I have no idea who this is.
Sage: Okay, this was just a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. At least they tried to salvage this whole situation.
NC: (confused) So, they changed the Racer X character 'cause they thought it’d be too hokey, but...they keep the goddamn chimpanzee?
Sage: (tries to find the right words) Yeah, I’ve got nothing.
NC: (nods) You’ve got nothing.
Sage (v/o): Out of nowhere, “What’s his name’s” sister (Her name is Horuko), who probably has had five lines at this point maybe, grows a conscience and offers Speed her brother’s invitation to the Grand Prix. I’m sure I should be paying attention to Speed and family rebuilding the Mach 6 in preparation for the race and Royalton throwing a royal hissy fit over Speed's entry in the race, but I’m too preoccupied wondering what this guy’s deal is. (We see a close up on the Indian announcer on one of the stadium’s screens, bobbing his head with a big smile) Is he supposed to be an announcer, a pitch man? Why is he just WIGGLING!?!
(Several scenes of the final race at the Grand Prix is shown)
NC (v/o): The race is on, and every racer is bribed to take Speed out, and it almost works as Royalton’s own racer (Jack “Cannonball” Taylor) manages to spearhook him and crash while doing it. While the chicanery is exposed, the Mach 6 is down. But, is it out?
Sage (v/o): Of course not! Speed does a thing that…does a thing.
(Cut to Pops Racer in the stands)
Pops: I ran a patch through the starter to the Bernoulli Convergenator. If he puts the car in fifth gear, he could jumpstart the whole thing.
Sage: Yeah, he does that.
Sage (v/o): Nothing can stop Speed, as he rockets towards first place, crashing through every law of science known to man along the way. As much as I bag on the visuals, the film certainly knows how to build a climactic finish. You just feel spent as soon as Speed crosses the finish line.
(Two of the race cars crash into each other, causing an explosion, thousands of people in the stadium and the commentators cheer! The Mach 6 spins through the explosion looking like it’s in a wormhole of red and white checkers. The spinning stops as it shows the Mach 6 cross the finish line. After that, the Mach 6 comes to a stop as we are shown a closeup of its front wheel as the engine stops running. NC and Sage look like they’ve just orgasm-ed as the Critic smokes a cigarette and nods in pleasure)
NC (v/o): So, it’s happy endings all around, as Speed wins, Royalton goes to jail, and I can finally look at something that doesn’t give me a migraine.
NC: And that was Speed Racer. (pissed) Can you finally understand why I can’t stand this movie?!
(Footage of the movie plays as NC and Sage give their final thoughts)
NC (v/o): The visuals are beyond obnoxious; they physically hurt to look at some points. The pace is erratic, the writing is hokey, and the plot is all over the place. It’s a numbing experience, like being at a rock concert for a band you hate. All you can do is just pray that it'll be over soon.
NC: But what I don’t understand is (turns to Sage) why you’re not with me on this? I mean, you agreed with me on most of the points!
Sage: Yeah, and I don’t like the movie, but... (sighs) All I said was that I don’t think it's terrible.
NC: All right, what do you consider terrible?
Sage (v/o): Terrible to me is not caring, and that’s something the Wachowskis don’t do. You can tell that they loved Speed Racer and they tried to keep as much of the original cartoon in the movie as they could. But, like with most of their movies, they either misunderstand what they love or they misappropriate it. But the love is still there, from the little details included on the Mach... (Sighs) ...6, to their visual cues borrowed from the anime, are some things that don’t come from a project bereft of personal attention and love.
NC (v/o): But you said they didn’t work and they didn’t visually mesh.
Sage (v/o): That I did. Just because something is made from a place of love doesn’t mean it’s automatically good. But it does mean that it makes for a better film than those that come from a place of cynicism and studio mandate. (An image of Dragonball Evolution is shown)
Sage: It’s a failure of a film, no doubt about it, but...a terrible one? (Shakes his head) Nah.
NC: (sighs) All right, I’ll concede that there are some good parts in the movie.
NC (v/o): Lord knows Roger Allam is fun, and there wasn’t nearly enough of him. Also, in the very, very few quiet moments when the actors can actually give a performance, they do a good job. Sarandon and Goodman are especially good as Speed’s parents, even managing a few touching moments here and there. And even though I still find the visuals hard to look at, the ending race is kind of heart-pounding. I just wish the rest of the film could be this coherent.
NC: I still hate Speed Racer, but I will admit, it’s not without (tries to find the word) merit!
Sage: Well, at least we can get to...sort of a consensus. (Hopeful) Does that mean you’re gonna let me go?
NC: (short evil chuckle) Noooo! (Resumes acting very sinister) Who said anything about letting you go?
Sage: (smiles to save face) Right, a little optimistic on my part, I’ll admit.
NC: You are going to be here for quite the long time. (Sage now looks worried) Your days of fucking around with me and other people on Channel Awesome, (in a small whisper) gone! (Regular voice, but still sinister) I have to admit, I don’t quite have the plans of what I’m going to do with you. But I can assure you, we’re gonna have some fun. Well, I know I am!
(He stares at Sage with a creepy grin as Sage looks scared. Suddenly, Rob Walker walks in from the other room)
Rob: (to NC) There you are! I’ve been looking all over for- (spots Sage) Oh. no, not again. (He then grabs NC by the ear, it hurts him) How many times do I have to tell you: (Yells in his ear) STOP KIDNAPPING THE TALENT!
NC: (scared) Sorry, sorry, sorry!
Rob: All right, Sage, tell you what, if you don’t sue us for this (tries not to implicate himself) very legal thing, we’ll owe you one, all right? For right now, we’ll get you back home on a flight courtesy of “Mr. Fuck UP” (The Nostalgia Critic) here! Sound good?
Sage: (hopeful) Well, actually, I’ve never flown first class before.
NC: FIRST CLASS!?! (Rob tugs on his ear) Ah!
Rob: I’m sure Critic would LOVE to pay for a first class ticket! Especially if it means: NOT GOING TO THE KLINK! (to NC) RIGHT!?!
NC: (in pain, says in a high pitched voice) Yep!
Rob: So, deal?
Sage: Deal! (Sighs in relief) Oh, God, finally! Oh, I need to get back home before Gabe screws something up. Lord knows what he’s up to!
(Cut back to Sage’s house where Gabe is making a sundae to "Blue Danue Waltz" by Johann Strauss II. He gets a big mixing ball, vanilla ice cream, Cocoa Puffs, mini marshmallows, Plain M&Ms, Nestle chocolate chips, Trolli: Sour Brite Crawlers, and to top it off, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry on top. He looks at the dessert in amazement, then tears open his shirt and yells, his chest reveals he’s written “#TeamGabe” on it, and then shoves his face into the ice cream. Afterword, he eats some of it with a spoon and even rubs some in his chest and “#TeamGabe” sign before putting his face back in the bowl and dozing off. Sage returns some time later and sees Gabe as we just left him and sighs that there’s not much to do. He then flops onto his bed to go to sleep, only to wake seconds later that he has a Skype call. After sighing in anger, Sage then goes to his computer. It’s Marc Swint a.k.a. The Engineer)
Sage: Yes, Marc?
Marc: Yo, man. Been trying to raise you for the last few days. Where the hell you’ve been?
Sage: (sighs in anger) Long story. Can we talk about this later? I’m exhausted.
Marc: Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever. Take care.
Sage: Thank you. (Prepares to close the chat)
Marc: Oh, oh, wait, before I forget! Before I forget.
Marc: Happy Anniversary, man!
Sage: (confused) Huh?
Marc: You started “Anime Abandon” April 2011-sh, so that makes this your five year anniversary.
Sage: (sits back in his chair and realizes) Hmm.