Warner Bros. // 2009 // 132 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 22nd, 2010
The fate of the world is riding on the Battle Force 5.
Remember when Hot Wheels were just small, toy cars that we drove off of the couch and pretended they exploded in mid-air? Yeah, those were good times. These days, Hot Wheels means douchey twenty-somethings driving future supercars really fast through dimensional portals and shooting lasers at talking animals.
It all starts with a guy named Vert Wheeler, who is exactly as lame and oblivious as someone with a name like "Vert Wheeler" would be. One day, while driving really fast through the desert and causing pursuing cop cars to get into horrifying car accidents, Vert is intercepted by an explosion of scifi/fantasy and bright lights. It's Sage, a blue alien lady who wants to recruit Vert to face off with an interstellar animal/barbarian horde called The Vandals. To do this -- and, ultimately, save the world -- Vert is going to have to go to war with a team of multicultural hipsters, all of whom will be given future supercars that go really fast and shoot lasers.
I confess, I enjoyed Hot Wheels: World Race, but after sitting through these six episodes I have arrived at the conclusion that brief, enjoyable tryst was lightning in a bottle. Battle Force 5 is like any other ADHD kid-targeted cartoon brain-buster, big and loud and packed full of explosions, smarmy one-liners, and nonsense storylines.
But who cares? The kids will devour that insanity, especially if there are awesome toys that one can buy at the local department store. And then they can play with the toys and watch the DVD and continue to shovel in whatever chocolate-coated cereal they might be eating at the time. Good times for all.
Finally, a shout-out to the animation, which is genuinely cool. The animators went with a CGI look, much like World Race, and it works extremely well. Since episodes are about 85% future supercar action, the quality of the rendered mayhem counts, and the sequences pop.
The DVD is stripped to the essentials, featuring a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround and no extras.
Even if I say "Guilty" no one cares, right?
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 132 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated