Initial D: Driftracer

Film, Action and adventure
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Initial D: Driftracer
This road-racing exploitation escapade is based on a popular manga series but, with the action entirely centred on a single mountain pass and the mise en scène alternating between scene-setting flyovers and multi-angle in-car race-vision, it feels like a gaming adaptation. Takumi (Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou) is the local lad who has unwittingly mastered the art of drifting (driving round corners really fast) while delivering tofu in a battered old Toyota; his prowess attracts various boy racers into a series of hotrod-measuring contests. Although the races are reasonably adrenalised, they’re all much the same, and Takumi’s emotional baggage – deadbeat dad Anthony Wong, drippy love interest Anne Suzuki – is even less zippy; no wonder he looks bored. Despite helming the impressive ‘Infernal Affairs’ trilogy, directors Lau and Mak struggle with the narrative and of the cast only Chapman To (playing half his age as Takumi’s clownish classmate) makes any impression. The climax involves some kind of three-way race-off, but it’s hard to tell what’s at stake and harder to care.

By: Ben Walters


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday May 12 2006
Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Andy Lau, Alan Mak
Screenwriter: Felix Chong
Cast: Jay Chou
Anne Suzuki
Edison Chen
Anthony Wong
Shawn Yue
Chapman To
Jordan Chan
Kenny Bee
Kazuyuki Tsumura
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