A lot of people think animation is just a medium for very stupid kid films with fart jokes and cute talking animals when clearly animation is much more than that. Animation is a tool for limitless storytelling without the painful limitations of live action and with this medium, filmmakers experiment many ways into creating strange worlds to be put on the big screen while enchanting the audiences with all it's wonder and imagination. With animated movies like Akira, Secret Of Nimh, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Paprika, The Triplets Of Belleville, Tokyo Godfathers and Beauty and the Beast, animation proves not everything about animation is just for kids only but also for adults to dwell into. This statement has been said to death for decades (myself included) and it is very annoying to sound repetitive when talking about the decline of creativity in Western film animation but in a world where every animated movie looks, talks and acts the same as every modern animated movie made like forcing the folks to become sheep to society's high demand on anything successful must stay the same to win more money, it's becoming more apparent the never ending recycling of CG flood gates is getting out of control and what better way than to show you the other side othe world still making hand-drawn animation films like France, Europe, Japan, China and even North/South Korea! (Well, this was made in Japan but you get the point I'm making)
Enter the film Redline! Not the live-action Redline movie which shamelessly rips-off The Fast And The Furious but the anime film Redline released in Japan in 2009-2010 while getting released in the US in 2012. Redline is an anime film produced by Madhouse as it took 7+ long years to perfect the animation which makes Akira look like a kid's book in comparison. I watched this movie years ago and what followed was an animation orgasmic experience that will blow your mind into giant piles of Skittles while getting the biggest acid trip seizure you parents may or may not have warned you about. Redline revolutionizes the medium to new heights while also being the most thrilling ass-kicking ride of a movie I ever sit through.
The plot centers around JP, a hardcore lone wolf racer who wants to compete in an illegal racing event called "Redline" and he almost won in the Yellow-Line race to qualify for the race but lost due to his vehicle being sabotaged by Frisbee, his friend and mechanic who placed a explosive mine under his car. Why? Because he and JP use to fix races for the mafia for the past 10 years but both want out of the deal despite knowing the magia will kill them both if they do. During his recovery at the hospital, JP has been qualified to compete in the race because of popular demands while two other drivers withdraw from the competition as JP recovers and decides to compete in this grand epic race of awesomeness to be the first racer to win Redline.
"I think I just stumbled into animation heaven"
Let me just say the animation in Redline is one of the greatest achievements in studio history. No CG and no cheap animation tricks were used into making this movie, Redline is purely hand-drawn with over 100,000 animators perfecting the art and style of the movie for years in development. It's a tremendous task Madhouse pulls off and Redline is their biggest masterpiece yet. The art of the movie is mind-blowing with incredible detail on both the imaginative character designs and the stunning background arts putting stuff like Akira or Blood The Last Vampire to shame. Not only that but the action scenes are phenomenal and if you think the Fast and Furious movies can pull off over the top action then you haven't seen nothing yet with Redline. Missiles going boom, cars accelerating into maximum speed of destruction, giant biological titans of destruction fighting each other while racers are racing on the tracks and lots of colorful explosions, Redline has a lot of entertainment value for the action and breathtaking visuals alone. Top it off with a badass score by James Fimoji and the greatest climax to a film ever made, Redline keeps you on the edge of your seat with so much intense baddassery, you will sweat with joy until it's over.
A lot of people complained on the story and characters which a lot of people thought twas the weakest part of the movie I'm sorry but I thought the story and characters were great. Sure, it's very simple but it does have a lot of charm to it and it does develop it's two main leads JP and Sonoshee, JP's love interest in the film. JP is the typical cool guy we grown to know in movies but for some reason, I care for the character because JP had a very sh*tty life and all he wants is to compete in the race to feel what it's like to be the winner of a big race which is something all of us can relate or sympathize with. Sonoshee is also a good character and while not as much developed as JP, she clearly has a passion for racing and wants to compete in the race because deep down she was meant to be in Redline and has an unstoppable determination to be the best no matter the cost giving us a reason to care for both JP and Sonoshee to win the race together as the intensity keeps ranking up and the stakes go out of control by cheering for their victory in a climax so emotionally powerful, it made me cheer with so much goddamn joy (*sniff* It was beautiful! *sniff*). I also liked the side-characters and surprisingly, I didn't hate one single side-character in the film. I love the 2 weird women with a car that can turn into a sexy Transformer, the guys who yell like crazy cranky men, the badass mechanic with the 4 arms and the princess who creates the huge race which is a little girl and apparently loves to troll the military in their daily lives... Fucking hilarious. Simply put, all the side-characters are wonderful and each have their moments of coolness in the film which I will not spoil cause it's best for the viewers to see for themselves whenever or not they will like the side characters.
"his eyes are so pretty, it turns the heat up"
Redline is the movie showing the industry the way out from mediocrity and proves hand-drawn animation is alive and well for other countries brave enough to test new things. Not only is this movie amazing but it's bound to be one of the most important anime movies to be ever released from the industry as it may usher a new future for the animation industry to future generations as they witness the power of what animation alone can do.