This movie failed to capture the excitement of the car race scenes which should have been the focus of this movie.
Based on a long running comic series by Michiharu Kusunoki, "Wangan Midnight" is about a high school student Akio Asakura who one day finds a decrepit 240Z at a junk yard (The Z at this point has already been modified to a twin turbo machine with 280Z's engine in it). He finds strange attraction to this Z and decides to buy it. Coincidentally, the previous owner's name was also Akio Asakura. Feeling the hand of fate, he puts his entire energy into restoring this Z back to its pristine condition. The Z was infamously known as the "Devil's Z", and was rumored to be "cursed" and would kill its driver eventually. After full restoration, Akio goes out to Tokyo's expressway that runs along the perimeter of Tokyo bay, known to the locals as "Wangan". He meets many people through interaction with his car, and theirs. One of them was Tatsuya Shima who drives a black Porsche Turbo nick named the "Black Bird". His girlfriend happens to be the sister of the original owner of the "Devil's Z". The movie revolves primarily around these three individuals with supporting casts that makes up Akio's high school life, and the people who works on his Z.
The actions in this movie were very average. The only thing the "Devil's Z" did throughout this movie was to be involved in one sort of accident after another, never showing its true performance. It would have been more appropriate to have the "Black Bird" Porsche as the main character rather than the Z. There're bunch of talks about the curse of the Z, how exotic its performance, what a wonderful talent Akio is and all that, but none of those materialized in this movie.
Sadly, they've left all these good parts out of the movie.
There's an anime version of this story with stunningly beautiful artwork, and a story that's exciting. That series is recommended over this movie for dramatic car action.
On the brighter side, the cinematography was superb on this movie. The color coordination of the characters showing up is carefully coordinated with the scenery to highlight the beauty.
This movie is not recommended for its lack of car action. If you're looking for a lively car action, and true to the original story, the animated version is recommended over this one.
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