Gao and his friends are the happiest kids in the city of Galilee. Living on the rooftops of this bustling metropolis, sometimes life can be tough, but they still churn out songs all day, ... See full summary »
Picking up right after the events of 'First Stage', 'Second Stage' continues to follow the underground Road Racing career of high-school student/delivery boy Takumi Fujiwara and friends as ... See full summary »
Fang Shijie is found as a baby in the garbage and raised at a martial arts academy. With the help of a man, he gets into college and is promoted to the basketball championship as he searches for his real parents.
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
A group of close friends who attend a private school, and they all have a debilitating crush on the sunny star pupil, Shen Jiayi. The only member of the group who claims not to is Ke Jingteng, but he ends up love her as well.
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
Tsui Hark was originally set to direct Initial D, but there were "creative differences." After he left, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak signed on instead. See more »
When Bunta is driving, there is a close-up of the tachometer where we can also see that the speedometer is not functioning at all. Later in the movie, a close-up of the speedometer shows it working again. See more »
It's most important to find a world that belongs to us. Life is meaningful only when we can find this world.
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.
20 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?