Requiem for a Speed Racer: In Praise of ‘Bad’ Wachowski Movies «

Posted: February 5, 2015 in Movies, Scifi
Tags: , , , , ,

Aside from Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas and the upcoming Jupiter Ascending, one would have thought they had done more movies since then. As for V for Vendetta, it did involve the Wachowskis’ but only as screenwriters but still I see this movie as theirs and not the director James McTeigue (who has worked with them on the Matrix and Speed Racer as first assistant director and second unit director; respectively). Dollar wise, their movies worldwide did make enough to cover their budgets but not enough to be considered huge success like the Matrix. The question in my mind, can the Wachowskis’ make another movie like the Matrix that had huge appeal?

I think the Wachowskis’ have a unique appeal that will not translate to big office numbers after the Matrix. Even I was hesitant about watching Cloud Atlas. The storytelling using multiple storylines appealed to me along with their a wonderfully scored soundtrack by Tom Tykwer and Johnny Klimek. Speed racer was a colorful tech noir movie that despite the heavy CG usage still manages to create a very compelling and unique world. As for Jupiter, I want to believe that the Wachowskis’ made another film that few of us will enjoy immensely. However, my prediction is that SpongeBob will beat Jupiter over the weekend and will spell the end of the Wachowskis’ feature films as least in the short-term. Again, this is not to say that their vision will be over it just means that will have to tell their stories differently and with way less money.

There’s still a chance the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending isn’t a bad movie, but there’s almost no chance it won’t be received that way. It’s had the appearance of badness ever since Warner Bros. bumped it from high blockbuster season to purgatorial February. Your more-on-top-of-things film-blogger types undoubtedly already have their “Can the Wachowskis Be Saved?” think pieces locked and loaded, with TKs where the disappointing opening-weekend box-office numbers go. It’s a movie about a Chicago cleaning person with a Very Special Destiny (Mila Kunis) and the extraterrestrial albino half-wolfman (Channing Tatum) assigned to safeguard her from malevolent immortal cosmic oligarchs in funny hats (Eddie Redmayne, playing somebody named “Balem Abrasax” and possibly Pluto Nash–ing his shot at an Oscar). The words “ridiculous” and “Waterworld” have cropped up in early reviews. It might still become a cult film; it probably won’t make back the $175 million it reportedly cost.

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