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Rally Road Racers (2023) Review: The fast and the furryious

Hot on the heels of the Gran Turismo movie comes Rally Road Racers. I was minding my own business on YouTube until I suddenly stumbled upon its trailer. What attracted me to this trailer is my continued love for racing video games, especially the Mario Kart series and other go-kart racing video games such as Crash Team Racing and Jak X: Combat Racing. It also helps that I grew up on the rerun of the extremely old Hanna-Barbera cartoon — Wacky Racers — which aired on Cartoon Network during the 90s.

Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64 is what sparked my love for the racing genre and quenched my thirst for the need for speed in terms of the racing video game genre. Despite platformer video games being my bread and butter — the racing video game genre is my forte.

Rally Road Racers is produced by Riverstone Pictures, Kintop Pictures, Vanguard Films and Animation, and Virtuso Productions FZE. It’s distributed by Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Vertigo Releasing, Viva Kids, and various other distributors across the world.

The fact this film is produced by Ross Venokur, who is best known for Shrek, people may be willing to give this movie a chance.

On Your Mark

“The film follows the story of a slow loris called Zhi with a need for speed. Due to his interests, the whole village shuns him except for a female slow loris named Shelby. When Archie Vainglorious comes to his village and threatens to demolish it, Zhi stakes a bet with him. Archie accepts and thus, Zhi enlists the help of the former champion, Gnash, to assist him in training him to compete in the Silk Road Rally.”

Speaking of the story, it’s generic, by-the-numbers, simple, mundane and predictable. Similar to the Gran Turismo movie, Rally Road Racers contains an underdog story. There is always a rival gaining on the racer who is in the pole position, similar to what usually happens in all racing video games and movies.

The fact that I was the only one at the screening at the Odeon Cinemas at The Trafford Centre in Manchester, UK is a red flag. It felt like a private screening, but the absence of an audience pretty much says all I need to know about how the film is going to perform at the box office. All it comes down to is how marketing and brand recognition can affect the movie. Without marketing, no one is going to know the existence of a film and no one is going to know if the film already came out or not. Lightyear, Strange World, and The Little Mermaid (2023) are three recent tone-deaf, out-of-touch movies (produced by Disney and Pixar) bombed at the box office.

Get Set

The characters and their names are, unfortunately, unmemorable. The only characters’ names I remembered are Zhi/“Speedy” (“Speedy” as his love interest, Shelby, calls him) and Shelby. The fact that I had to look up the names of the characters and their voice actors on the internet very much says it all.

While I’m still on the subject of characters and their voice actors, the voice acting performance is okay and serviceable, but the aforementioned voice acting performances are nothing to write home about. Out of all the voice actors and voice actresses, John Cleese, who provides the voice of the main villain, Archie Vainglorious, steals the show. Although, his voice sounds husky nowadays. Back then, he was well-known for his performances as Princess Fiona’s father, King Harold, in Shrek 2 subsequent entries.

During the Bonza Rally and the Silk Road Rally, every racer or team of drivers represents each nation in the world to compete in them, similar to each athlete from every country in the globe competing in the Olympics and countless singers and bands representing each European country, including Australia, Israel and Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest. Coincidentally, this also happens in the Gran Turismo movie and in the entirety of the Gran Turismo video game series.


The animation is eye-popping and fluid. Furthermore, the colors are bright and vibrant, but that’s all there is to the movie. The film sadly does the bare minimum, most likely due to time and budget constraints, coupled with the fact that Riverstone Pictures, Kintop Pictures, Vanguard Films and Animation and Virtuso Productions. FZE isn’t well-known compared to already well-established animation companies and studios such as Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and Sony Animation.

Sadly, I can’t say much about the technicalities of racing because I’m not well-versed in it. Anyway, in regards to the music and the soundtrack, I still don’t understand the implementation of “Take On Me” by a-ha. This song has previously been featured in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. On the other hand, I enjoyed the unexpected inclusion of 2D animation in the film. However, this part foreshadows something big. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it’s forgettable, seeing as I can’t remember any of the background music aside from one song which is irrelevant to racing.

Finish Line

What makes up for its flaws are the charm and the exhilarating, high-octane racing, making it a light-hearted alternative to other racing movies such as the recent Gran Turismo movie for instance, albeit the occasional crashes, but the crashes are part and parcel of racing. In my opinion, Rally Road Racers is often compared to the Mario Kart franchise, other go-kart racing video games, and Wacky Racers.

If you’re looking for a hardcore, realistic racing movie, then you’re better off watching something else. On that note, if you’re looking for a movie to invoke a thrilling adventure in achieving combative speed, you won’t find this kind of feeling in this film. However, this movie will teach children and adults that there is more to racing than winning or losing.


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