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Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2010

Format: Movie
By:   Robert Brousseau (director), Rhonda Smiley (writer)
Genre:   Sci-fi action
Review Date:   July 25, 2010
RevSF Rating:   7/10 (What Is This?)

Race is a CGI cartoon movie about a death-race in space, with scrappy good guys, a cackling bad guy, and lots of explosions. That's all you need, really.

Its makers have a sci-fi cartoon pedigree. The animators worked on Roughnecks, the Starship Troopers cartoon. Writer Rhonda Smiley did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. I watched more than my share of all of those, even the one with the girl ninja turtle.

So, they know their stuff. It shows in Race.

There are probably over two dozen different vehicles and robots. I especially liked an army of huge, red bad guys. Their colors leap off the TV.

The Race storyline feels like there is more going on in the universe than just with the four or five main guys the story follows. Like in Star Wars, every alien race and vehicle has a name, even if they only get a few seconds of screen time. I absolutely love that.

If toys come about from this, I'm putting my order in now for the green and purple jet from Team Caldoria.

There's no skimping on behind the scenes stuff. It's on the DVD and a bunch is on the Race site. Like on Roughnecks, humans look odd. In Race, the characters have huge cheekbones. The grizzled mentor Potter has enough room only for for tiny eyes and lips. When tomboy mechanic Stash lets her hair down, she looks like Potter with long hair.

I was reminded of pod racing during some of the race scenes. But I'll get over it, because Race has no kids going "Yippeee!"

The story is a grown-up action flick in cartoon form. There are a few naughty words. Major characters die.

Race has a good chunk of both sci-fi cliches and race car movie cliches. But I like those cliches. I want to see them. I want the scrappy good guy, the scene-stealing bad guy who wears a cloak. If the good guy lost the race in a race movie, I would riot.

Race has all that stuff, along with neat vehicles. Come on, Race people. I need that jet.

Race is buyable now on DVD.

RevolutionSF's Joe Crowe wishes the Ninja Turtles people named the girl turtle Shelly.

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