Redline (Takeshi Koike, 2010)

“In the Far Future. The Greatest Velocity Race Is Decided. Every Five Years. The Festival Returns. Redline!”

Introduction


One thing I thoroughly enjoy is watching a film that I kow nothing about. I am well aware that, despite all my efforts, I will never really know everything about cinema. Do I know about the latest changes in Romanian Cinema? Do I know enough about British-Cinema Silent-Film industry pre-Blackmail? No. One genre I am clearly not versed in is Anime. Off the top of my head, if I was to name a couple of Anime films [that I have not seen, but I know is important] I would state: Ghost in the Shell and Akira. I would not count Studio Ghibli amongst the style – not because it is not anime – indeed Ghibli is Japanese animation – but, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle always feel a much grander and aimed at children – opposed to the teenage market I believe Manga markets itself towards (please, comment below if I am wrong about this). At any rate, I was lucky enough to nab a ticket to see Redline, the feature-debut from Takeshi Koike (the animator behind the animation in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and the World Record short in The Animatrix) as it was screened at the Birmingham Flatpack Festival, screened at the historical Electric Cinema.

“Speed Racer On Crack”

This is the comment Kwenton Balette wrote when describing Redline for Twitch Film. This truly is intense. The film is a mash-up of colour, cutting, flipping-of-switches, engines revving, aliens and false-TV-clips … with a little bit of female-anime-nudity thrown in for good measure. The film is so “non-stop” that, I believe, the only way they could slow down the end of the film was to make it abundently clear the two lead characters have fallen in love by scrawling the word ‘love’, seconds before following this with ‘The End’. Otherwise it may have been too abrupt.
The plot is so random! ‘Sweet’ JP is a racer who, in the opening race (‘Yellowline’), loses out to Sonoshee. He is gutted that he cannot compete in the ‘big race’ – Redline. But his luck changes when the actual venue is announced – Roboworld. Two racers drop out due to this and through ‘Sweet’ JP’s performance in Yellowline, he manages to be substitued into Redline. Meanwhile in Roboworld, the leaders are unhappy – turns out, they were not informed about the race – and will inexplicably attempt to kill all the racers (so you see why the two racers dropped out). This goes a bit mad and, in an attempt to kill all the racers, they unleash ‘funky-bot’ who actually becomes too powerful, and one of the lead military figures transforms into a monster and fights the ‘funky-bot’. During all of this chaos, the race is costly revving-up and then re-revving-up and, funnily enough, ‘sweet’ JP manages to win through jopining up with Sonoshee who he has loved, we realise through flashbacks. They kiss. Love. The End.

Mental.

Its For Kids!

It was a complete assault on the senses. My fellow viewer – Richard Bourne of the Bourne Brain Bafflers – explained how this film was the problem with kids today. Japanese kids I assume. But, put in the most professional way I can put it, this film has the adrenaline and pace of a kid, high on sweets and Vitamin C (I know when I was a kid, Mum would stop me from drinking too much orange juice because I got too hyper) and with severe ADHD. It was relentless. The soundtrack sounded more like a constant bass rather than an actual soundtrack.

There is only so much I can continue with this – Mike from Destroy Apathy noted on twitter how the film was ‘awesome’ (I disagree) stating it the most ‘exhilerating cinematic experience of last year’. I agree wth that. Having said that, he also mentioned that the day he watched it, he had also seen a bunch of very cliche anime and, in fairness, I have not seen enough cliche anime to even know what the cliches are.

I think if you want to be simply slapped in the face relentlessly with a pink, sugar-fused candy-bar then, yeah, this is a recommendation, but if you prefer films that simply slow-the-fu**-down then stay well clear. I sit in the latter category.


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4 comments

  1. Ha ha he he…..indeed this did make me state 'all that is wrong with youth today' but mainly due to the inability to actually concentrate and focus on one thing at a time. This is attention defecit writ large. I began watching the film trying to follow the plot and work out the stories behind the characters that kept popping up. Soon I realised the error of my ways and let myself just be submerged into the world of redline- and thus feel appreciated slightly more than yourself. I did laugh out loud quite a few times and thinking back it was because of ridiculous elements such as over inflated breasts and super fascist police officers , all of which must have been intentional.

    Yes rediculous, yes ADHD but completely knowing and completely original – gotta love it for that.

    P.s. I don't think vitamin c can do you any harm but orange juice is full of sugar / especially if it was during the sunny delight rage that happened In out teens.

    That's it- redline = the film version of sunny d. Full of additives and no substance but bloody refreshing. Let's all get jacked up and watch a screening

  2. Richard, I think that Sunny – D comment should go on the poster, haha.
    Well Simon, your review is a fair one; despite not liking it I'm pretty sure that anyone reading that who is likely to like it will still see it as a positive review. I know I would, like most of the time I read the slating that Guardian reviewers give something like Predators and I just think, 'piss off I bet it's awesome', then go see for myself'. Funnily, I feel the same about Sucker Punch at the minute. I haven't read a single thing about it in depth but I know it's getting slated from all angles, as if it's one of those films that gets a blanket pres release to all critics saying, this is one of the films you should tear apart.

    Anyway, that little rant over, just for reference, this is the day I saw Redline at LIFF. Gintama was amazine, Mardock Scramble was ambitious and Evangelion was a big pile of shite
    http://www.filmandfestivals.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1228:leeds-international-film-festival-anime-day&catid=2:festivals&Itemid=54

    Also your link takes you to somebody else that I've never heard of, my blog is at http://www.destroy-apathy.blogspot.com/
    Don't know who this other Destroy Apathy is, but they managed to get the name with no dash.

    I'm no good at following blogger or anything, do you link to your posts from Twitter? Or even better from Facebook? just so I make sure I catch them when they go up

  3. Well I have my SUCKER PUNCH post up. Suffice to say, I won't be watching it. I will make sure I steer clear of EVANGELION (what does it mean?) and shall change the link asap. I would've thought there would be only one 'destroy apathy'.

    Regarding following, you may have to re-add this site on Google-Reader because the url has changed – it is now http://www.screeninsight.blogspot.com (rather than the more tedious 'knowingviews') funnily enough, that change over has pretty much deleted the vast majority of my readers. Despite the readers still being '73' I have a funny feeling that the vast majority still follow the old site and haven't update dtheir feeds.

    I shall try and posts links on twitter and facebook moreso though … if i said it was just for you mike…. i'd be lying.

  4. Wonder what it would be like watching REDLINE jacked up on heroin or up on cocaine… THAT would be crazy. What about torturing someone by pressing their face, eyes open, against the screen while it is playing – just non-stop noise and colours beating them across the face. Intense…

    I did appreciate the intensity of it, but I'll never watch it again and the lack of substance is a problem.

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