A hero cop accidentally leads his team into a trap from which he is the only survivor. Drowning his guilt in booze, he is eventually assigned a new younger partner who turns out to have his own secrets.
A near retired inspector and his unit are willing to put down a crime boss at all costs while dealing with a replacement inspector who is getting in their way. Meanwhile, the crime boss plots a killing spree on them.
Two mountain road racers, Nakazato and Takahashi, challenged each other to find the best racers, and defeat them in "battles". Nakazato was surprisingly defeated by an old Toyota Trueno AE86 (Corolla in the US) one night, and he searched for the person who defeated him, which lead him to the Speedstars, a local team. But the car who beat him was actually driven by a local Tofu shop owner's son, Takumi Fujiwara, who had unknowingly perfected the art of mountain racing through daily deliveries of tofu. Takumi was able to defeat Nakazato again, showing that he is no fluke. However, winning hasn't helped him home life, as his father, Bunta Fujiwara, was a drunkard (and a racing genius). His girlfriend Natsuki Mogi wants his attention even though she's got a dark and shameful secret, and his best friend Itsuki (who has no talent in driving) wants Takumi to teach him road racing... after buying the WRONG car. In a mountain road encounter, they ran into Team Emperor's Mitsubishi Evo, and ... Written by
For a long period of time, Edison Chen was slated to play Takumi Fujiwara, and Andy Lau was even rumored to be up for the role of Bunta. See more »
When Bunta is driving the AE86 Trueno the camera closes in on the Tachometer. In the background it is clearly visible that the Speedometer is not functioning at all. Later in the movie a close up of the Speedometer shows it working again. See more »
Do you know what a god is? A god is actually human. But he can do what other humans can't.
God, please save me. Please save my car as well.
See more »
This movie is a live-action adaptation of a manga/anime series of the same name. The story is abridged synthesis of the first two seasons of the anime, with details from the fourth(third?) mixed in. Compared to the original work, much of the characters' personalities, relationships and motives have been altered, some in the ways that are hard to agree with, too. Many of the characters have been dropped or diminished. Judging the movie as independent entity, it's not a great deal, but some of the modifications make the story a bit confusing. Casting itself is rather good. Characters have strong resemblance to their drawn counterparts, apart from the main character and her girlfriend. To even things a bit, their characters are best preserved in the screenplay.
What I like in the movie best is it's honesty. The movie does not try to justify the illegal street racing theme with some far-fetched undercover cop/family honor/extortion -subplot, it's only about young men driving fast on downhill. Though the most spectacular stunts are CGI, the races are pleasant to watch, by no means small reason being the relatively calm pace of editing. Drivers' actions while cornering, the toe-heel braking, down shifting and steering, are usually shown in single shot, instead of several split-second extreme closeups. What I also liked was the fact the races are about who was the best driver, not about who has the most outrageous sticker or flashiest accessories on the car.
The movie has been criticized for lack of plot. I don't think it is so. The plot is subdued, not overly dramatized story of a regular kid who learns about downhill racing scene in his home town. The biggest problem with the script is the inclusion of 2nd and 3rd Stage. The plot makes all too abrupt change of direction halfway through the movie because of this. The movie finale is a synthesis of 1st season and rewritten 2nd season finales, it's awkward and not very successful. I can't help thinking the movie could have been better if the writers had made the scope a little less wide and only included the 1st season.
Even so, the movie is rather enjoyable. You don't need to vegetate through the movie to enjoy it, or have a die-hard passion for the subject.
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