Actors: Terry Diab, James Hereth
Director: Robert Brousseau
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Phase 4 Films
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
Run Time: 99 minutes




Think Clone Wars . . . but on a tight budget and you’ll know what to expect of this full-length computer animated sci-fi adventure produced by an independent California-based outfit named Hyper Image.

Although the movie has a production date of 2007 – it took this long to get a DVD release! – the computer-generated animation looks a lot older than that. Don’t expect Pixar quality, or even Clone Wars quality for that matter.

The animation is downright clunky, especially when it comes to human faces and movements. Spaceships and hardware are beautifully rendered though. In fact it’s roughly on the same level as the 1999 Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles TV show. (It should come as no surprise that the movie’s director, Robert Brousseau, also worked on episodes from that show.) But Roughnecks is already ten years old by now!

The story involves an intergalactic pod race like the famous one in The Phantom Menace. Our heroes – an Earth racer named Trance Caldron and his pit team – inadvertently uncover a plot by an alien overlord who wants to take over the galaxy. Things get a bit a bit muddled. Somehow it is imperative that the heroes win the pod race, but it is never exactly clear why . . . except that they really want to and that it’d be good for their self-esteem.

The animation is seriously outdated, which means that teens used to better graphics in their computer games will probably sneer at it.

Normally we’d say that smaller kids won’t mind the animation because there is loads of Star Wars prequel-style action to distract them. The only problem is that the movie has been slammed with a PG-13 rating for “some suggestive images and action violence”. To this we’d like to add language: Race is littered with mild profanities.

Unless words such as sh*t, bullsh*t goddamnit and bitch are already part of your eight-year-old’s lexicon I wouldn’t recommend showing it to them. This is a pity. Race really ought to appeal to smaller kids. Perhaps the producers should consider bringing out a “clean” version in which they scrub the language and deflate the pneumatic female figures a bit, who knows?



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