Monday, July 21, 2008

Megalopolis Expressway Trial

Before Fast and Furious and Legend of Speed, there was Megalopolis Expressway Trial (shuto kousoku toraiaru), renamed Freeway Speedway for the U.S. consumer. A series of 5 movies based on the underground freeway racing scene in Japan. I seen the 5th installment of the series about 15 years ago when a friend brought it over. I didn’t really know the name of it except that it had a number 5 on it. It didn’t have any subtitles and I didn’t have any fobby Japanese friends so I had no clue of what the story was about. I liked it cause it had modestly done up Japanese cars, my favorite was the FC3S RX7. I was also exposed to the not yet discovered driving style of drifting. Back then it was all about Hondas and drag racing.

For some reason I had stumbled upon it during my many random searches on Wikipedia. From there I found out that this # 5 had a sequel and prequels. And there were subtitles so I can understand what it was about. So next search led to ebay where I found and bought the whole set.

After watching it, I come to the conclusion that this is a really cheesy movie. Maybe along the lines of F & F, but I had never seen all the F & F movies. None of the movies have a connection to each other. But they had the same basic premise of street racing and Keiichi Tsuchiya giving them a lecture about how street racing is bad. In the end he belittles them at the track and shows them why he’s the king.

If you like the old R32 Skylines and JZA80 Supras, this movie could be for you. If you like to see the AE86 Corolla and other 80’s era cars, this movie could be for you. If you’re into 80’s fashion from Japan this is definitely for you. The only reason why I continued to watch is due to random 80’s cars that show up like the beloved AE86 and of course some of the drifting shots. The story itself is something you could just fast forward through. My personal favorite is still the 5th one after all these years.

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