I'll go on the record to say that Ghostface's 1996 video for "Daytona 500” is one of rap's most brilliant to date. The song alone is a beast of speaker-bashing magnitude, with Rza's brolic spin on "Nautilus” and the unstoppable triple team chemistry of mid-90s era Ghost, Raekwon, and Cappadonna. Can it be that it was all so simple then? But I digress. What made the video so superior was how poorly it synced its Speed Racer cartoon footage to the verses. Sort of like a Godzilla movie, but much cooler because Racer X spits the line "the arsonist, who burn with his pen regardless.”

Now, those bizarre Wachowski Brothers (Andy and Larry) have turned the old Speed Racer toon into a next-level, 2.5D green screen extravaganza. Who cares that the reclusive siblings shun media, and one of them reportedly dresses in drag? They're responsible for the brilliant mindfuck that was The Matrix—we'll dismiss its pair of painfully flawed sequels for now. And with Speed Racer , they've assembled an ace cast (the highly talented and young Emile Hirsch as Speed; super sexy Christina Ricci as his boo Trixie; and Susan Sarandon and John Goodman as his parents) to deliver the second thumbs-up flick of this fresh summer movie season (the first being another Ghostface-related film, Iron Man. Nicely done, Pretty Toney).

Do know, though, that Speed Racer is a kids/family film, without question. There's no cursing, playful music always accentuates the not-so-violent mischief, and there's a real-life chimp—the almighty Chim Chim—bashing villains in the head with a wrench. Good times, indeed. Sure, it's flawed. The breakneck pacing and editing make it at-times a bit too dizzying to fully follow the kinetic racing scenes, Lost's Matthew Fox's performance as Racer X is about as lifeless as any man's hormones while standing alongside those Miss Rap Supreme gals (save for Nicky2States and Cherry, of course), and it's two-hour runtime is about 20 minutes too long. Yet, the lead acting minus Fox is all grade-A, and the visuals are stunning.

Will Speed Racer win any awards? Hell no, but is it good-natured fun? Definitely. It's not the kind of flick you and your boys go see together, really, but if you have kids or nieces/nephews, take them to this piece of escapist eye candy. Now, I wonder, which big summer movie, will be the first to truly suck? My predictions: Adam Sandler's Borat-light You Don't Mess With the Zohan and/or Mike Myers' Borat-meets-Austin Powers The Love Guru. Place your bets.
**For nostalgia's sake, here's Ghostface's great "Daytona 500” video. They just don't make them like they used to, huh? For kicks, check the Speed movie and then watch this clip. It's pretty surreal.