Redline Review — B

When Redline first came out, there were a lot of comparisons to Wacky Races floating around. If you haven’t seen Wacky Races before, do yourself a favor and go watch an episode now.

I loved Wacky Races when I was a kid. It was in the running with Roadrunner and Coyote for my favorite cartoon (you can probably see a theme here). So I was absolutely pumped for Redline‘s release. Unfortunately, all the hype left me a bit disappointed.

Wacky Races is… well… wacky. In the short segment I linked to, we have stop lights delivered by rockets, lassos, vehicles floating on top of geysers, and cars driven by bears, the mafia, and southern belles. Redline isn’t wacky in the silly way that Wacky Races is. A better word would be crazy— they bring things such as speed and danger beyond the point of ridiculousness. But the film never descends ascends into silliness and wackery. The only point of commonality between the two shows is a no-holds barred race. What is Wacky Races without being funny? It isn’t Wacky Races, that’s for sure. In its essence, Redline is not a film about a wacky race, but a drop of distilled manliness in its purest form.

Problematic comparisons aside, Redline is a fun movie. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled action flick, Redline‘s got pretty much everything you could ask for: absurd speeds, manly shouts, guns, girls, eternal friendship, betrayal, explosions, deranged robots, orbital bombardment, and battles between giant space monsters. The race takes place in the middle of a war zone. The film is certainly wild, if not wacky. In the end, the guy gets the girl, and our heroes win the race by literally a hair’s breath, running across the finish line at mach speed while their car explodes in the background.

The visuals are downright spectacular.  But the actual story and characters are decidedly less so. Much of the narrative comes across as an excuse to create explosions (not to imply that there is anything wrong with explosions!).

A few of the characters are mildly interesting, and I did enjoy seeing the relationship between JP, the mechanic and the junk dealer unfold. The spider mechanic coming to the junk dealer’s rescue was my favorite scene. I thought he was either going to defuse the bomb or shoot the junk dealer, not rescue him.

Sonoshee was the film’s weakest link, from my perspective. She began as a strong and independent woman, but ended up as JP’s long lost childhood friend, winning the race while sitting in his lap. Kind of sad. As for the rest of the racers… well, suffice to say that I couldn’t name a single one.

Redline’s an enjoyable watch, but it’s just not my thing. If you love action shows, though, be sure to give this a spin.

  • Plot / Script – 8 / 10 – Action-packed with lots of explosions. Don’t watch this for the story.
  • Characters – 8 / 10 – The lead and his two friends are interesting to watch, but the rest of the racers are neglected.
  • Production – 10 / 10 – In the running for one of the best animated shows I’ve seen. Madhouse spent a lot of time on this, and it shows.
  • Overall – B

Recommendations – Dead Leaves, Wacky Races

Since I’m late to the party on watching this, I have the opportunity to share a few interesting takes on the movie by people with better taste other bloggers.

  • Yi examines oral sex and lips in Redline
  • Animekritik discusses the names, robot writing system and Leijiverse tie-ins
  • E Minor explains how the narrative fell short
  • Ogue Maniax looks at fanservice and the “man of action” in Redline
  • inushinde found Redline a ton of fun, but not a classic
  • ghostlightning explains how badass Redline is
  • Mr. A thought Redline was “visually splendid” but lacking story-wise
  • psgels found Redline a “visual orgasm”, albeit not the best movie ever

4 thoughts on “Redline Review — B

  1. Cool review. Not only do I agree with your assessment of Sonoshee’s “devolution”, but on reading your description of it I am struck by how much it reminds of me of how Yuki gets treated in live-action Yamato.

    I watched the film a second time the other day, after watching other shows from the same creators, and I will be doing a mega-blogpost on it next week. It might go someway to providing some depth to the shallowness 🙂

    1. I sense some hinting that I need to hurry up and finish Yamato. 🙂 I’m at episode 13 right now, still loving it.

      Looking forward to reading your post!

  2. This is the first Redline review I’ve read that mentioned Wacky Races! Those were the days… Admittedly, I remember more of Redline’s animation than the plot, so…

    1. Really? I remember reading a ton of posts about how this is Wacky Races in space when it first came out. But yeah, brings back some great memories. 🙂

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