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eX-Driver the Movie
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 11/24/2004

In the near future, cars are no longer driven by people but are controlled via AI (Artificial Intelligence). Ever so often, a car's AI malfunctions and causes it to go out of control. Lorna, Lisa, and Souichi are all members of eX-Driver -- a special unit that goes after and stops uncontrollable cars. This time, the three are sent to the United States in order to represent Japan in a prestigious race amongst other eX-Drivers from around the globe. But there's more than meets the eye in this particular event -- it seems that some underground gambling is taking place. The stakes are high and the bets are on the eX-Drivers!
Nevermind the hype and high budget... since I wasn't really impressed with the eX-Driver OAV series, I wasn't in any way excited about eX-Driver The Movie.
eX-Driver The Movie gives us more of the same thing we saw in the series -- pretty girls and fast cars. It's just that everything is depicted on a grander scale. Main characters Lorna, Lisa, and Souichi are whisked off to Los Angeles, where they immediately encounter a wild-riding young girl named Angela. As fate would have it, Angela is the daughter of Rico Gambino, an Italian businessman who sponsors the American eX-Driver team. Mr. Gambino is grateful to the Japanese eX-Drivers for saving his daughter's life, but Angela herself is less than thrilled. After some chasing around and chit-chatting, Souichi discovers the real reason behind Angela's rebellious ways. Angela thinks her father is involved in illegal gambling that involves betting on the results of the upcoming eX-Driver race. Souichi is determined to help Angela, and he in turn enlists Lorna and Lisa's cooperative efforts.
One of eX-Driver's flaws in general is the cookie-cutter Kousuke Fujishima characterization -- Lorna and Lisa are just like diluted versions of You're Under Arrest's Miyuki and Natsumi... and if we go back even further, Lorna and Miyuki's personalities are similar to Belldandy's of "Oh My Goddess". Besides that, I found that Lorna, Lisa, and Souichi all lacked impact and oomph as main characters. They came across as little else than just necessary parts of the story, and it was actually more enjoyable to watch the cars and the supporting characters.
Visually, eX-Driver The Movie takes a step in a different direction with the incorporation of computer-generated imaging ala Initial D, albeit eX-Driver's CGs are more refined. The character designs remain as attractive as they originally were in the OAV series. Car chases are faster, more furious, and better choreographed as well.
While eX-Driver The Movie is nothing to write home about, the pacing is decent and you do get a whole lot of cool car race and chase scenes. There are also a few brief moments of comedy scattered about here and there. Watchable and mildly entertaining.
A six-episode OAV series precedes this movie.

eX-Driver the Movie
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Review Title:
eX-Driver the Movie
60 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Shounen,
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