First off, it’s always exciting when I am suggested a movie to review whether I’ve seen it before or not, and if it happens to be from Japan and is animated then I’m expect me to be on it like white on rice. The film this time around may not be a film too many of you have heard about, I admit I hadn’t heard of it, but what a gem this film is from the anime studio that brought us staples in anime such as Paprika, Perfect Blue, Wolf Children, and so many more. Madhouse Inc. should be known as much as Studio Ghibli when it comes to the anime films category and it’s not hard to see why, but like many Japanese films in America, we miss some really good ones in the process.
Redline is a not-too-complex racing film about a guy by the name of Sweet JP, a racer who prefers muscle cars over high-tech gadgetry to win his races, but with corruption and violence plaguing this race – that only happens every five years – we see JP race opponents on and off the deadly track through a colorful sensation that is dessert for the eyes. Imagine Death Race and Mad Max had a baby and then that baby grew up to make a baby with both the pod-race from The Phantom Menace and a New York graffiti artist… you got all that? If you do, that’s what this movie is like looking at, but almost cooler.
From the beginning scene, you are brought in to a dystopian future where weird anthropomorphic animals and aliens live among people of the future who all have one thing in common and that’s their love for the highly entertaining Redline races. The intro alone and it’s race scene tell you exactly what you signed up for and you’ll be happy you came. It’s a high adrenaline, stylized, colorful thrill ride that will get you entranced like a moth to the light.
I admit that I enjoyed the plot, but this is not one of those deeply thought provoking fictional stories that you have been given through other animes in the past. This is the equivalent to what The Fast and Furious movies are to live-action, they’re highly entertaining, kinetic, and wildly colorful with characters you want to be or be around. The art design and animation are the winners here and the action comes in a close second as well. It will be a great rainy day movie for the anime fans out there as well as someone who would prefer to ease their way into anime instead of watching something as violent or sad as Akira or Grave of the Fireflies (see those movies BTW!) and should be a great viewing if you want something that slipped under the radar in the realm of anime.