Fantastic Review: Redline

By  · Published on September 26th, 2010

Did you ever play Rock N’ Roll racing on the Super Nintendo? The outer space road-racing game with an awesome soundtrack. Did you ever play it while on paoti? Me neither, but I imagine director/animator Takeshi Koike has. Either that, or he’s just made of paoti and Redline is what Nascar looks like through his eyes.

I wish I had Takeshi Koike’s eyes.

In terms of things that are almost purely visceral I don’t recall the last time I’ve seen so much imagination and energy in a picture. It’s an onslaught of craziness and colors chunked at your face. What may be most impressive about it is that it isn’t craziness for the sake of necessarily being crazy. Much in the same way Lucas or Cameron used the endless possibilities of creating new species and planets Koike has done the same; only on paoti, or something else that uninhibits creation.

The world for Redline is about as cut-and-dry as a solar system run by some form of militaristic group of brutes who maintain order in a racing organization where the final race to a tournament is a no-holds barred, all bets are off, no rules race to the finish qualifiable by a select few successful riders looking to challenge the dominance of the winner of the past many Redline races.

The plot of the film is as cut-and-dry as a talented racer in with the mob of throwing races and falls in love with the premiere female racer who has a lifelong dream of winning the Redline race.

One of these is obviously sliced better and less wet than the other, and thank god for that considering how insane the characters and environment get. Eventually though, you stop trying to decipher anything and just enjoy the visuals and successfully self-aware humor and by that point the narrative actually begins to work itself out within the excesses of insanity and weirdness. After about twenty minutes you just accept that the primary goal of the film is to give you something incredibly entertaining and isn’t at all as complex as you may initially think, despite the presence of a giant infantile biological weapon in the midst of a growing love story between the two lead characters in the middle of a death race.

As far as cinematic experiences go Redline may be near the top of being able to appreciate how much the big screen can be utilized for an animated picture. There’s so much happening at any given second on any section of the frame at the speed of what you’d expect from a picture about vehicles that travel upwards of hundreds of mph that to condense the rapidity to something smaller I’d imagine is like attempting to appreciate the complexity of all the moving mechanical parts during a Transformer transformation on a 19 inch television. That isn’t necessarily to say that Redline is Avatarish in that it almost *needs* to be seen in its big-screen form to fully enjoy as there are so many moments of bewildered laughter that are about as guaranteed to be had as the adrenaline rush – but, if it’s going to be seen small (which is better than not at all) then don’t do as your Mom says and sit really close to the television.

Don’t worry, Mom, gradually they’ll start to scoot back. Or pass out.

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