Initial D (2005): Jay Chou Pulls Off Looking Cool All The Time and Looking a Lot Older Than 18

I read the a little bit of the manga when I was in seventh grade and that was about the extent of my exposure to Initial D, other than the fact that I knew that my dad liked it.

I was a little more familiar with Jay Chou. I’ve seen a couple of his movies and I’m pretty sure we have the majority of his discography somewhere around the house.

Although he manages to portray youth through mostly overlarge T-shirts and sweatpants, he still looks a lot older than 18, the age he was supposed to be.

Initial D (directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak) tells the beginning of the story of Takumi Fajiwara, a tofu delivery boy who drives up Mt. Akina every morning, resulting in amazing racing skills, as he has to drive fast and not destroy any of the tofu he has in his trunk. Although relatively unnoticed, Takumi begins to catch the attention of others as he beats a GTR (I guess that’s a really good car–I don’t know anything about cars) with his AE86 (which I guess is a not-so-good car), which was shocking to the racing community.

Netflix only had the dubbed version, which kind of got on my nerves, but other than that, I was surprised that I wasn’t absolutely repelled by it.

I mean, I kind of, almost, liked it.

I just didn’t think I would.

Okay, I did like what I read of the manga when I read it, but most Taiwanese movies don’t make really impress me and I was definitely less than impressed when I watched many of Jay Chou’s movies (although he does write good songs–I’ll have to give him that).

However, the plot, as intriguing as it is, was just too caught up in the corny acting and very anime-ish flair that just didn’t fit a live-action movie.

It looks like a comic book literally came to life. And look at how old Jay Chou is.

There was just nothing remarkable about this movie.

Other than Jay Chou looking old, there wasn’t much to stand out. Honestly, I can hardly remember any specifics of this movie other than the basic plot line. It was just…flat.

Honestly, it wasn’t a bad movie, not really. It just wasn’t very good.

Although the there was diversity in characters and they were all different to a certain extent, many of it felt based off of common stereotypes. The cool, supposedly-awesome main character, his annoying best friend, and the love interest is this angelic girl who’s at the mercy of life. And also the mean rival gang member with a weird fashion taste.

They just weren’t interesting.

Nothing stood out as particularly bad, but nothing caught my attention either (other than Jay Chou being old, but that was forgivable–many movies cast much older actors for roles).

Maybe I’ll read this next.

This review is also only at 500 words right now, which almost never happens. I’ve always had to go back and cut some parts because it got too long. Not ramble to make it my usual length.

I think this says something about the movie as well.

Conclusion: Although not a bad movie overall, Initial D still was unimpressive as its characters seem to only embody tropes with the anime flair that seemed awkward and misplaced, especially with the not-so-spectacular acting, but its downfall was ultimately the fact that it fails to interest the audience. 4.5/10.

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