Tau Man Ji D
2005 / 107m - Hong Kong
Action, Comedy, Romance
Initial D poster


December 08, 2005


One of those somewhat uncanny attempts where Hong Kong tries to adapt Japanese anime. It rarely works very well, but Initial D is one of the better efforts. In the hands of Andrew Lau, one of Hong Kong's prime genre/blockbuster mixers, it delivers impressive car chases and decent production values. I admit I never watched the anime this is based on, but I don't think fans should worry too much going into this film.

Fujiwara used to be a tofu deliverer for his father. To meet the delivery deadlines, he became quite the driver. Fujiwara develops an affinity for the racing sport, and after winning his first race, he feels determined to make it his ultimate life goal. He directs his focus on drift racing, but becoming the best will require more than just technical skill.

It's a bit odd characters kept their Japanese names, but the solid cast is sure to make you forget about that quickly. Jay Chou, Anne Suzuki, and Jordan Chan are perfectly cast. The races are lovingly shot and edited, the drama is a little light but it doesn't annoy and the pacing is on point. Quite a bit better than I expected going in, Lau did well.