Monday, July 11, 2005

Initial D - not too bad ... if not a bit flat .. 71%

Watched Initial D over the weekend. I went in with zero expectations. I have never read the comics. I am not a car fanatic. I didn't really plan for the movie until a few friends wanted to watch and asked me along.

Well, simple story. This kid is the son of a car racer legend. He turns out to be better than his father. And the along the way he fell into love, and out of love. But 2 characters who stole the show, are the father "Bunta", and his best friend, Itsuki" who brags too much. The kicker of the movie are the racing scenes. They are very compelling, and really cool to watch. But somehow, the focus on "drifting" seems to have been over emphasized, that makes it seems like who ever can drift better will win the race. The races are well choreographed and considering that the story is running around 1 single track, and the fact that they can make it interesting enough for more than 1 hour is quite an achievement already.

But how about the flaws? I am not sure about how the actual character is supposed to be, but watching Jay Chou's interpretation, it seems like Takumi's a rather boring dude, who really doesn't have much way of expressing his own feelings. Like I said, I didn't read the comics, but while there are overacting seen in actors, he's a case of underacting. I didn't understand how the girl could get so excited over him for? And it wasn't explained what she sees in him. Also, she mentioned that she has known him for years and they always talked, until recently. Why? Did the main character go through something that turned his personality into the passive, quiet type?

The father "Bunta" played by Anthony Wong is the character to watch. He's dynamic and it seems like he's having fun playing the role. Same for Kenny Bee, but he's not having the most screen time. "Itsuki", played by Chapman was the usual, having all the loud talking always seem by him in other movies, maybe he's chosen because he is ultimately just natural at being a loud mouth brat.

What I learnt, Initial D was a Japanese Comic that got translated into Chinese and then made into the movie. What I would truly like to see, is whether the script was written originally in Japanese, then translated and localized, or was it the other way around. I would wanna watch the Japanese dubbed version to see how it works out. It would be kinda weird to see a bunch of Chinese acting as Japanese - if I were a Japanese. And the fact that those "gang" members who are so blatantly "lineless" just made the movie kinda flat to a certain extent. The inability of the main chinese characters to interact with the rest of the obviously Japanese team members (for instance, the relationship between "Ryousuke" and his gang") is strikingly obvious.

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