May 31, 2015 at 9:04 pm (10 Heads, Redline) (, , , , , , , )

Redline – 2009 – Japan

In a Star Wars-like interplanetary future, aliens and robots drive hyper-powered cars in deadly races. The biggest race ever is happening on the planet Roboworld, a military dictatorship ruled by fascist cyborgs. Hell-bent on stopping the race, the cyborgs deploy an armada of warships to kill everyone. The hero of the racers is “Sweet” JP, a suavely brash dude with an immense pompadour and an anachronistic Trans-Am. He must survive the race, thwart the Mob, and win the love of his sexy competitor Sonoshee “Cherry Boy Hunter” McLaren.

Anime often demonstrates style over substance, but Redline may be the most extreme example of this. Redline’s straightforward plot is irrelevant, but its imaginative, wacky, and outrageous style is highly compelling. The detailed, dynamic animation is unsurpassed, and hyperactive pacing and pulsing music strive to make each instant more radical than the last. This is not hyperbole. I cannot think of another film with an equivalent explosive sensory impact. Redline is awesome, in the literal sense that it left me awe-struck.

Redline is more farcical than speculative. Other than the strange aliens and their futuristic machines, it could take place in the twentieth century. The setting is detailed through television broadcasts featuring irritating talk show hosts and sports commentators. The racers have inexplicable nicknames, dress like pro wrestlers, and are maniacs in an endearing way. The huge cast of characters includes an ambiguously gay man with furry ears, twin princesses with magical powers, an abusive cop who tenderly loves his wife, lots of anthropomorphic dogs, and a Kaiju-like monster called Funky Boy.

While Redline is not the best movie ever, it is probably the most audacious movie ever. I will never forget it, especially the final scene which may reveal the meaning of love.

Rating: 10/10 Shrunken Heads. “Love!”


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