Written by Alfredo Botello & Chris Morgan & Kario Salem
Directed by Justin Lin
Running Time: 1:44
for reckless and illegal behavior
involving teens, violence, language and sexual content.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was a ridiculous film with bad acting and no story, but some cool racing.
Sean is a rebel. He likes to race but continually gets into trouble and is forced to move, with his mom, all over the country. But this time, he's gone too far, and he's sent to Tokyo to live with his father. He immediately finds a racing crowd and falls for the girlfriend of a gangster. Things between them (Sean and the gangster) become very heated and the only thing that can save Sean from being killed is... One. Final. Race. Winner is safe, loser goes home.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift continues the downward spiral of the franchise. None of the films were very well acted but when your headliner goes from Vin Diesel to Paul Walker to Lucas Black, you know you're in trouble. The movie really had no connection to the previous two films (except for a special ending) so the title is basically a way to bring in fans of the first two films. The story is almost laughable, as you have this kid who looks like he's in his mid-20s, at the very least, playing a high schooler. He gets shipped off to Japan where he somehow immediately fits in and knows the language. He falls for the one girl he shouldn't, but manages to make friends with the one kid who can get things done. Within a single day he finds the one crowd he is supposed to not be hanging out with. And within that one night, he wrecks an $80,000 sports car that a guy gives him just for kicks. The rest of the 'story' involves... well, I'm not sure. There isn't much of a plot. Things just sort of happen and Sean is caught in the middle because he really likes this girl. And he really likes to race. Oh, and the gangster's best friend is stealing from him, and gets Sean to help him. And then Sean needs to win a race at the end so the gangster's Uncle, a Yakuza, doesn't kill him. The funniest part was, you have this scene set up where Sean goes to visit the Yakuza to save his own life, and you know the movie has to end in a race, yet when he says it, the entire audience burst out into laughter because it sounds so preposterous. Say what you will about the acting abilities of Diesel and Walker, but Lucas Black is in a whole other category. His southern drawl makes him sound even dumber than the dialogue, so it's been dumbed down to a second degree. Thankfully, you can see a glint in his eye as if he knows how stupid he sounds.
The entire reason the movie wasn't a complete failure was, of course, the driving. I'm not a big car person, but I do enjoy good racing scenes. I'm not sure how you can build an entire movie around 'drifting', which seems to be a fancier way of fishtailing, but they did a decent job. It looked to me like people had to drift mainly because all of Tokyo is so tightly packed, you had to go around corners. Much like in Manhattan, the only space available is up. I didn't find the ability to drift all that special, although I'm sure it does take a special talent to be able to pull it off. But watching people race in an underground garage and down a mountain was pretty cool. The best sequence, however, was the race through the streets of Japan. Again, the city is so tightly packed, there isn't a lot of space to do much of anything, and when you throw in hundreds of people wandering around, it adds to the excitement. The cars all looked cool and the people driving looked like they were enjoying themselves. So even though you know how the movie will eventually turn out, you still get into the racing because the director brings you in close and personal with everyone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, if you're looking for a great movie, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is not it. The acting was horrible and the story was non-existent. But if you like fast cars and cool racing, then you're the perfect audience for the movie, everything else be damned.
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