Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Speed Racer
Music by Michael Giacchino
Varese Sarabande VSD6898 (EU)
20 Tracks 60:24 mins

Speed Racer originated in Japan in the 1960s, firstly as a manga series and then moved to anime. The show was acquired for American TV and producer Peter Fernandez set about adapting it for U.S. audiences, also providing character voices and even lyrics for the rearranged theme song. It is presumably this song that composer Michael Giacchino utilises throughout his score for this new big screen mix of live action and CGI, starring Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci.
From the clips I've seen, the film seems a colourful and spectacular cross between Tron, the Pixar movies and a computer game. Totally fantastical, particularly in terms of the cars' impossible manoeuvres, the film is driven by Giacchino's often action-packed music, written in the similar jazzy style of his music for The Incredibles and Ratatouille, sometimes recalling the music of other '60s shows like Batman. There's seldom a dull moment in the score, which is fully orchestral, and features many exciting passages, with suitable doses of tension and menace here and there, and the odd moment of tragedy.
The composer injects a little breezy cartoon-styled music into "Vroom and Board" and some heartfelt strings in "Racing's in our Blood." The dynamic "Casa Cristo" features choir, ethnic vocalist and electric guitar, alongside the orchestra. Vocalist and choir return for another exciting cue "The Maltese Ice Cave," and after some intense action writing in "Grand Ol' Prix," the latter also make their presence felt in "Reboot," with its big, triumphant ending, their voices then soaring heavenwards in the noble and again triumphant "Let Us Drink Milk."
For the album's final (and title) cue, Giacchino's wraps what sounds like parts of the original recording of the "Go Speed Racer" song in an otherwise orchestral arrangement, providing a catchy and satisfying close to proceedings.
In conclusion, another fine score from a composer who is fast establishing himself among the elite in his craft. Can't wait for his music for the new Star Trek movie.


Blogger Patrick Roberts said...

The Wachowski bros certainly put a lot of effort into making Speed Racer... the movie overall looked and felt like a cross between anime, a kaleidoscope, that Flintstones movie, a video game and the Dukes of Hazard

11:06 AM  

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