By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures.
Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
I’m really disappointed they couldn’t carry on the clever titles like 2 Fast 2 Furious. Alien got to Alien Cubed before they started using subtitles. Once you set up 2 Fast 2 Furious, it is your obligation to continue the tradition.
Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Movie Review
Juvenile delinquent racer Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) gets shipped off to his father in Japan because he keeps destroying property in his street races. Right away, he riles up the Yakuza boss’s son over a girl. Fortunately, he’s mentored by the bad guy’s right hand man, Han (Sung Kang) so he can learn how to drift race and save the day. What he’s saving the day from is never really specified.
The driving in this movie is insane. If you’ve never seen drifting, you will appreciate how graceful a style it can be. Even the CGI enhanced shots glorify the subtle nuances of drivers willfully losing control in order to achieve the greatest control. The races have plenty of obstacles, smooth moves and big crashes. The stunts make drifting look totally badass, as characters communicate everything with their vehicles.
There’s also plenty of PG-13 titillation. A bra is the flag drop, lots of scantily clad girls bend over and we see plenty of low angles of miniskirtted legs from behind. There are also plenty of hot cars to look at, including a green SUV molded with animal shapes and a plush purple interior.
Lucas Black is charming, winking at the girl he doesn’t even seem to really want in the beginning, and smiling a bloody smile. But once he gets to Japan, all charm is lost. He starts pining for a girl with no personality. What does a badass need her for when there’s plenty of hotties around?
The love interest is supposed to be another sort of outsider with whom he finds a connection but she’s just a pretty face. Hearing about her troubled past doesn’t make her anything more. Everyone has a story and it’s clear she’s just reading lines meant to force a connection because nothing in the way she carries herself suggests anything more than a typical self pitying teenager.
Justin Lin’s idea of mood seems to be filming guys looking up through their eyelids. Okay, bad guys are sinister. Thanks for the help there.
A Fast and the Furious movie does not have to have a good plot. They pretty well established that it works as long as it’s fun. Tokyo Drift isn’t fun for a long time. If they just stopped trying to explain themselves and accepted that it’s all about mindless action, it would have been perfect. Now, when you get the DVD, you’ll have to scan to the good parts.