Initial D | Chicago Reader

Initial D

The title's D refers to “drifting,” a racing maneuver the hero, the too-cool-to-emote Takumi, has mastered through years of driving on a mountain road to deliver tofu for his abusive but loving father. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, the team responsible for the diabolically successful Infernal Affairs trilogy, created this slick though featherweight adolescent melodrama, and the story, based on a famous Japanese cartoon but directed and acted by a largely Hong Kong cast and crew, gives it a certain cross-cultural allure that invigorates its tightly restrictive genre. But mostly this is pallid, teched-up mush, as visually flat as a video game, and the battery of Asian hip-hop sounds and double-screen high jinks don't obscure the paternalism, reactionary politics, and crude misogyny. In Cantonese with subtitles. 109 min.

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