Redline Takeshi Koike

Redline Takeshi Koike
At a time when animation is becoming increasingly dominated by computers, it's both surprising and refreshing to see anything drawn by hand. Yet that's exactly how Redline was created and as a result, it took more than seven years and 100,000 drawings before it was finished. And it looks stunning. At its heart, Redline is a futuristic racing movie – think The Fifth Element meets Cannonball Run, with a healthy dose of Wacky Races and numerous futuristic racing videogames like F-Zero and Wipeout thrown in for good measure. The race in question happens every five years in a different location and despite the fact that it's illegal, is hugely popular and can be incredibly lucrative for those betting on the outcome. Of course, that also means there's the temptation to fix it and that's the case with Redline's hero, JP, although he still manages to qualify. Naturally, that's when the fun starts. Redline is a bit of a chaotic mess, but that adds to its appeal. During the races, it's hard to take your eyes off the screen, as the combination of frenetic action and incredible artwork is mesmerizing. But while the action sequences are spectacular, the middle section is a bit flat. The story isn't nearly as imaginative as the settings and when the vehicles aren't hurtling along at insane speeds, it isn't difficult to see how things are going to play out. And even when the races are taking place, the outcome isn't in any doubt, although exactly how JP wins is more unpredictable. Redline is high on eye candy and low on memorable story. It's a lot of fun, and gets bonus points for having a couple of character hailing from the planet Supergrass, but once it's over, there's little lasting impact. The Blu-Ray comes with a generous collection of extras that do a wonderful job telling the tale of its creation. "The Perfect Guide To Redline" is a substantial 67-minute documentary that covers pretty much every angle of the movie, from creation to premiere, and when coupled with the 24-minute "The Quick Guide To Redline," no viewer should have any Redline-related questions. Also included is a trailer from 2006, which is more proof of concept than trailer, as there's next to nothing from it in the final product. (Anchor Bay)