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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes
• AcceleRacers™ Ultimate Race Challenge: Test Your Knowledge of the Realms
• Go Music Video
• 4 Bonus MICRO ADVENTURES
• DVD-ROM Weblink to the Online AcceleRacers™ World
“It’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift meets product placement™/time travel/robots/space aliens/cars driving fast!”
Dexter Bell (Nolo Pasaro), Adrian Holmes (Tork Maddox), David Kaye (Deezel “Porkchop” Riggs), Kirby Morrow (Shirako Takamoto).
I can’t do this movie’s plotline any justice through my words (it’s a complex work requiring multiple viewings to fully articulate the Shakespearean plot arcs), so I’m going to defer to the trademark-tacular DVD back cover synopsis on this one: “In the FINAL AcceleRacers™ movie, Kurt devises a plan to rescue his captured brother Wylde, but the Teku™ and Metal Maniacs™ teams must work together to succeed — not an easy task after years of intense and bitter competition! To locate Wylde, the driving teams open the portal to the Cosmic Realm, a gravity-defying course of loops and leaps, and infiltrate the Racing Drones™ Headquarters. But opening this portal proves to be a fateful mistake when Gelorum gains access to the Acceledrome™ and steals the Accele-Charger™. As the Teku™ and Metal Maniacs™ teams race to save Wylde, Gelorum uses the Accele-Chargers™ to speed towards the final finish line to become winner…unless Vert can stop her first. Strap yourself in for the ride of your life with the thrilling fourth and final movie from Hot Wheels® AcceleRacers™!” Yup.
"Created in 3040, Mecha-Anderson Cooper was created to defend Earth 3 from the attacks of the shape-shifting Politicons through well-articulated reporting and eye lasers."
Look, I know I’m not the target audience for a show like this, but it’s not like the shows I watched over a decade ago were any great shakes either. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Human Samurai Cyber-Squad, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Silk Stalkings: the list goes on and on. So I’m not going to cast aspersions on a show as long as it has a premise that leads to ‘cool’ (a relative term, here I’m referring to its target audience’s conception of what it entails) and/or shit-kicking action: TMNT was great because they weren’t just mutated into teenaged turtles with the same basic abilities and rationality as humans, they were fucking ninjas. To that extent, Hot Wheels has got us covered. These guys are AcceleRacers™ (“Live to drive, drive to surviiiiiiive”*). What they bring to the table is inherent in their name. They’re like racers, but moreso. So who cares if the computer graphics look like Reboot through the prism of a homeless man’s ass? And who cares that the comedic relief characters are limited to a guy named Monkey whose sole defining attribute is having a wackier voice inflection than everyone else and a severely autistic robot named Sparky (replete with slightly tilted baseball cap and repeated usage of his own name aloud)? Even though the racing sequences look essentially like cut scenes from Road Rash X-Treme: The Rashening, they flow well enough (the editing on movement in this is actually well executed, all things considered) and feature enough variation on the main theme of racing (adding robots, low gravity, etc.) to keep its core audience enthralled. The plot is as Byzantine as can be possible for a show geared towards adolescents, with numerous interweaving storylines and enough twists and turns (conveniently explained in flashback form for the most part) to distract the viewer from noticing that nothing particularly logical is going on.
Aronofsky excised the animated storyline in which Tom raced against time in his tree-car with the eternally young monkey sidekick, Xibulbasaur, for fear of further convoluting the plot.
What’s interesting is that the two teams (Teku™ and Metal Maniacs™ respectively) seem to embody two different subsets of racing culture that are completely beyond the scope of the younger viewers understanding. The people that comprise Teku™ are primarily of Asian and/or Eastern (think Tokyo, not Buffalo) descent. Meanwhile, the Maniacs™ (I’m legally obligated to trademark even abbreviated forms of their name) are comprised of a husky Viking, a muscular black man, and the aforementioned Monkey character representing more of the muscle car/American standard for driving interests. These groups have been clashing for the three previous volumes as far as I can tell, and they finally band together in this conclusion to fight a common enemy. Could this be writer Mark Edens’ not-so-subtle hint that all the Sunnis and Shi’ites need to do in order to resolve their Middle-East conflict is to band together against a race of robots hell-bent on destruction of the Acceleron race (I forgot to mention this earlier, Accelerons are an advanced alien species of some sort that allows you into their super-cool club if you’ve defeated every racing realm and reached them first)? In this particular case the Accelerons are analogous to, I don’t know, the legitimate successors to Mohammed. Or perhaps on a more literal level, this film is suggesting we need to embrace all different types of people and move past our differences, no matter if we’re black, white, Asian, or Viking. And I think that’s a message we can all get behind in these fractured times. So overall, unless you’re easily distracted by movement captured on a screen or are twelve, I really don’t think I even have to tell you not to buy this. But in case I’m wrong: don’t buy this.
The video is presented in ‘Family-Friendly Widescreen’, which either means a 1.66:1 aspect ratio or that there’s no rape occurring in the periphery of the black bars. The quality is solid, and the audio (Dolby Digital 5.1) will be sufficiently captivating for those enamored of loud noises in rapid succession. In terms of special features the disc is packed full of truly useless content. There’s a generic music video set to footage from the movie (which is a movie packed with generic footage set to music, so you can see the enigma starting to form). Also included are micro adventures (actually, MICRO ADVENTURES) which ostensibly serve the purpose of informing us of things outside of the main narrative of this particular movie but really achieve nothing outside of being a minute or so long. There’s the ‘AcceleRacers™ Ultimate Race Challenge’ which once completed gives a code to print mini-posters through the DVD-ROM content (Be careful faithful viewers, the third question is a doozy!). The disc is rounded out by a gaggle of trailers for the previous three volumes of the series as well as other Warner Bros. animated properties (Teen Titans, Scooby Doo, etc.) Inside the packaging comes a collectible trading card, which, if gifted with the abilities of Bullseye, could serve as a blunt trauma to incapacitate yourself depending on level of boredom. As always, subtitles for the French, Spanish and deaf amongst us are available as well as Francais and Espanol for those unwilling to put the effort into reading the exquisite tapestry that is AcceleRacers™ dialogue.
"Heyyyy, I can see my house from hereeeee.."
4.8 out of 10
For Pre-Teens/Emotionally Retarded Teenagers:
FAST FUCKING CARS out of 10