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'Red Line' Review

Since I’m procrastinating, let’s review the movie ‘Red Line’ today.

Interstellar machine race ‘Red Line’ is apparently the hottest event in the galaxy. Due to a technical ‘malfunction’ devoted racer Sweet JP narrowly avoids qualifying, but lucky for him, he’s voted to take the place of another qualifier, who dropped out after being informed that the race would be taking place on the militant (and extremely hostile) Roboworld. JP’s challenges include his shady partner Frisbee (who has an excellent reason to seem him lose), Machinehead (the 4-time King of the Red Line) and the all the military might of Roboworld itself?

'Red Line' is the masterpiece of Takeshi Koike (also known for 'Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine') and was released in 2010 by Madhouse Studios. Taking more than half a decade to produce, the movie proves the old cliche: good things do indeed come to those who wait.

First, the animation. The movie is a visual feast. Everything, from the characters to the cars to the environments, is over the top and brilliantly executed. This is sci-fi at it’s most luxurious. No subtle, next-year-but-not effects,the cars, the spaceliner and Roboworld could have come from the mind of James White (Surgeon General series) or Michael Bay. Perhaps even more impressive, it’s all hand-drawn! Anyone who believes that traditional animation methods are dead needs to see this movie, if only to eat their words.

The plot is a bit campy and the characters are all incredibly large hams. It’s a race, and sure their using missiles and bombs on each other and taking everything as serious business, but it’s not like the fate of a world is at stake. Also some of the characters (Machinehead, the Superboins and Gori-Rider) are really just caricatures of stereotypes. But the movie lightens things up with plenty of humor, and frankly, the plot can be a relief from more serious films. There’s a bit of romance attached, but it’s not the main focus and can be ignored in favor of other aspects. All in all the movie is very cheerful (only a few named characters and mooks die, all antagonists) and the ending shows that all the major competitors were graceful losers (despite all the trash talking that went on during the race).

The final highlight is the soundtrack. Every single piece is awesome (Volton Unit) or funny or even sweet (Red Line Day Ending Theme). Even if you don’t watch the movie, you should at least purchase the soundtrack.

But you should definitely watch the movie. Grade: A