Redline (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus watches as Wacky Races gets reduced to Calm Drive in comparison...
"Sweet" JP is an underdog racer and despite not winning the Yellowline race (due to his best friend Frisbee ruining his chances) he still manages to snatch a spot in the Redline finals. Held on the dangerous Roboworld with their military prepared to take out any racers attempting to compete, JP presses his pedal to the metal and goes for the win he's dreamt of his whole life.
There's extreme racing, like say in Speed Racer, there's fun racing, like in say Wacky Races, there's fast racing, like in say Podracing, but if you take all of that cram it all together in one hell of a high octane anime package it will explode out the other end as Redline, and good god it's a hell of a race.
I've had Redline sitting on the shelf to review for a while, I had no real idea what it was and throwing it on and witnessing the high energy OTT visuals of the pre credits race already had both hooks into me for the whole ride. With wild characters, comic book good looks and absolutely insane racing action, Redline tapped into my love of high powered sci-fi racing, cobbled it together with what seems to be drug inspired visuals and the enjoyment factor kicked into high gear.
From JP's crazy hair, cutie Sonoshee's cool '78 T-shirt, the two hotties that drive their car/robot from the boobs all the way through to the crazy military officer who thinks he can win the race while chasing the other drivers, Redline is a world of madness. Characters are either crazy laid back or crazy insane over the top. Military officers yell constantly, explosions get more chaotic, the racing visuals to depict speed boosts are absolutely nuts, there are even a couple of giant monsters fighting mid race, yet all of this is totaly acceptable in the world of Redline. At the centre of it we have JP and his yellow racing machine doing the craziest twists and turns at the craziest of times in any given race all of this in amongst the wackiest race in the world of wacky races combining to absolute giddy joy, with its thumping beats, crazy Japanese songs and animation that punches you in the face and then drags you back for more. Redline is so much damn fun it's almost criminal.
With visuals this colourful and frankly trippy, I wish this was a Blu-ray review as I'd imagine it would shine. That said the DVD is still a solid effort. The image never feels sharp enough but the colours do pop, especially with those deep black lines giving it the genuine comic book feel throughout. Glowing beams of light and explosions look pretty good but again miss the HD pop they deserve. Edges are a little soft and really deserve to be a whole lot sharper but to be honest the imagery moves so fast at points all we get is a sensory overload of colours and movement and small moments of cool that make Redline super exciting. This DVD looks pretty great but is does feel quite restricted at times.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track thumps all the action home. Big engines, big effects and big smashes all sound good, atmospherics like commentators tripping balls over the race or crowds cheering or shouts from other drivers feel well positioned and when races really get going all this combined with the thumping music sounds very effective. Sometimes at extremes it feels like a wave of noise as opposed to each element having its own space to create an energy but Redline is chaos as a whole really so it all works well enough.
'Quick Guide to Redline' (24:09) is essentially loads of clips from the film but there's a making of hidden in here sort of. There's small looks behind the scenes but really it's a guide to the drivers and the world of Redline.
The 'Redline 2006' trailer (04:51) is really a mini attack of the senses. If you see the trailer and like that, it's exactly that for an hour and forty minutes in the full movie.
I have to say I had a freakin' blast with Redline. It was pure escapism with enough crazy good visuals coming at you at lightning speeds to feel every twist, turn, flip, explosion, transformation or nitro hit the movie has to offer. The disc looks and sounds great, has highlight reels of the movie it tries to pass off as features and should sit well with anyone who likes their anime kinetic, fun and beautifully extreme to look at.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 14th November 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digtial 5.1 English, Dolby Stereo 2.0 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Stereo 2.0 Japanese
Extras: Guide to Redline, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Takeshi Koike
Cast: Takuya Kimura, Yu Aoi, Tadanobu Asano
Genre: Action, Animation and Sci-Fi
Length: 102 minutes
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