August 15th 2012 22:55
Original story by Katsuhito Ishii
Director: Takeshi Koike
Screenplay by: Katsuhito Ishii, Yoji Enokido & Yoshiki Sakurai
Producers: Kentaro Yoshida & Yukiko Koike
Starring: Michelle Ruff (Sonoshee McLaren), Patrick Seitz (JP), Liam O’Brien (Frisbee), Steve Kramer (Old Man Mole), Laura Post (Bosbos), Lauren Landa (Boiboi), Tony Oliver (Shinkai), Joey Morris (Trava), Derek Stephen Prince (Little Deyzuna), John White (Lynchman), David Roach (Johnny Boy), Michael McConnohie (Tetsujin), George C Cole (Gori Rider), David Lodge (Roboworld President), Doug Erholz (Secretary of Defence Titan) & Jamieson Price (Colonel Volton)
English Language Version by: Bang Zoom! Entertainment
Released by: Madman Entertainment
Running Time: 102 minutes Rating: M
High octane drama is a phrase that could be used to describe Redline, a feature length anime that was one of the features screened at Madman Entertainments Reel Anime 2010 showcase. Now available on DVD I managed to pick this up at a recent opening sale for a major national electronics goods chain, essentially one can look at this flick and regard it as something along the lines of a typical race flick, cars speeding along with drivers seeking to win the prize and use whatever tactics necessary to get across the line. So high octane is a fairly apt phrase to use but that’s only if you want to see Redline as simply just a race movie…and it most certainly isn’t simply just a race movie. In fact it isn’t even just your ordinary anime either…
And although racing is an element within the overall story it isn’t the sole element, in fact it would be more appropriate to describe racing as the backdrop against which the drama unfolds. A drama that is one part racing, one part romance, one part intrigue and the final part sheer full scale seat of the pants crazy arsed action. Once things start to roll with this film you will be hooked…in fact as I watched it on my laptop I regretted not being able to see it at the Dendy in Newton, a missed opportunity as I reckon this flick would have been purely spectacular on the big screen.
So what the heck is going on in Redline? We have two friends, JP and Frisbee, JP is a slick, leather jacketed racing car driver with a hair style that captures the style of Elvis Presley whilst his comrade in arms Frisbee is a mechanic who designs and builds the cars that JP races. It isn’t all cream and peaches though, whilst JP and Frisbee are tight so to speak there is a bit of shadiness going down, in particular involving race fixing as Frisbee in order to get parts for the vehicles JP drives ended up getting in hock to the Inuki crime gang. So in terms of form JP is known as a good driver who relies predominantly on his innate driving skills and the car than weapons, booby traps and other similar devices, he hasn’t managed to complete a race. In the Yellowline, a qualifying event for drivers to get into the prestigious Redline race JP ends up by a strange twist of fate making the cut for this momentous event…
So too has Sonoshee McLaren, the love interest of JP, a young woman who even though she’s had the backing had to work her way up to carve a niche for herself in the cutthroat world of racing. Unlike JP though she has a souped up vehicle that comes with various weapons and countermeasures…she knows that this can sometimes give the driver the edge, especially in an event as momentous as the Redline. And especially considering the venue selected by the Redline Committee for the upcoming event…Roboworld, a planet ruled over by a militaristic regime, a regime that is definitely opposed to Redline taking place on their sovereign territory. So it looks like Sonoshee, JP and the various other racers are going to have their hands filled with not only trying to beat each other across the line, but live to do it as the Roboworld military has vowed to kill them…
What the Roboworld President and his cronies don’t realise is that the various racers are more than ready to deal with the problems that the regimes military presents, up to and including acts of military sabotage against major league satellite weapon systems that the regime hopes to use to prevent the racers from arriving. When they do hit groundside though the racers are able to keep ahead of the opposition and focus on trying to get ahead of each other…until they hit a region of the planet that conceals a dread secret. A secret that has been disturbed by the fact that the non military populace who are rebelling against their regimes efforts to stop the race and prevent betting on the race. This secret is none other than Funky Boy, a bioweapon being developed by the Roboworld regime, though they’ve been keeping it under wraps have they have no desire for anyone else finding out about it. Sadly though the events of the race, the internal revolt of their citizens and the loss of control of the situation prompts the deployment of Funky Boy in full audiovisual view of the entire galaxy. It’s not the cleverest of moves and certainly spills the beans on the situation on Roboworld…still rather than preventing the race from continuing it only serves to up the ante.
As mentioned earlier Redline is a feature that could be described as high octane drama, though frankly to that phrase should be added knuckle bitting intensity and sheer jaw dropping action and carnage. Redline just shows that the Japanese can take anime and continually improve it in various ways and just keep lifting the bar higher and higher. And at the end of the day when the fumes have dispersed and the dust settled this is a good thing as it means audiences can always expect high quality product. If you like racing flicks or if you like anime then you can’t go past Redline…definitely an anime worth getting your hands on and watching…
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