I have to start off by saying that I loved the Initial D anime series (and I will write a review on it soon I promise). I remember a few years back when the live action movie was released, I was excited to see it but lost interest after Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift. I thought that this movie would be another attempt to break into the whole North American fan crazed street racer market. I finally managed to get my hands on an English dub of this film and decided I would give it a shot since the anime was so interesting to watch.
This film had a lot of very strong elements in the way that it was developed. To begin with, the racing scenes were awesome. It was also good to see the cars from the show done in the movie exactly as they appear in the cartoon series. But cool graphics and music aside, the story telling of the film was the strongest aspect that was delivered. I really liked the fact that the events in the movie followed the first two seasons of the show accurately.
I tend to find in the North American film market that our movies end up sucking huge when it comes to films based on games or cartoon series (Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., Dragon Ball Z; to name a few). I like the Japanese approach to creating films off of already successful franchises of keeping things consistent with the original stories. When you look at films such as the original Dragon Ball Live Action or Yatterman Live Action, they are a lot more like the shows that won us over as fans, as oppose to the bastardized North American Holllywood style films that get shoved in our faces week after week.
Anyone who is a fan of drift racing, or the Initial D anime or manga should definitely check this film out. It covers all of the main events of the first couple of seasons very nicely in a 2 hour time window. I only wish that they would release a second movie because the first ended on such a good note. And if anyone does know if they are making or have made a second movie please comment and let me know.