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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.19%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Average: 23.44%
Pretty Bad26.56%
Total Crap: 20.31%

6 reviews, 28 user ratings

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Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The
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by brianorndorf

"Even without Paul Walker, it's still a pain in the ass to watch"
1 stars

If you meet a fan of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise who is over 15 years-old, run away screaming. The latest installment of this depressing series caters even more, if it’s even possible, to the Maxim magazine sensibilities of pre-teen boys who love nothing more than slick cars, short skirts, and squealing noise. This can be fun, in the right hands, but Universal hired Justin Lin to direct, and he’s as far from the right hands as it gets.

After totaling his car while racing a school bully, Sean (Lucas Black, “Friday Night Lights”) is sent to Japan to live with his estranged father to keep him out of vehicular trouble. Immediately after he arrives, Seas meets up with a school buddy (Bow Wow, “Like Mike”) and is introduced to a race world called “drifting.” Finding himself seduced by the glamorous Yakuza life that thrills him and the gangster’s girlfriend (a frighteningly vacant Nathalie Kelly) he desires, Sean struggles to find a way out of danger and save his own life.

Losing star Paul Walker to avoid a big payday, the “Furious “ franchise had the opportunity with “Tokyo Drift” to reinvent itself as pop entertainment with little more grit and nourishment to please the hordes of teenagers who worship at the altar of these films. Instead, middle-aged hipster producer Neal Moritz (“XXX,” “Stealth”) voted to simply get a Walker look-alike and amp up the already agonizing plastic thrills that made the first film depressing and the goofball 2003 sequel unwatchable.

The recipe for “Furious” hasn’t changed one inch for “Tokyo Drift.” This is still a three-ring circus of hot wheels, short skirts, and horrific acting, but this time around the budget is smaller, the ensemble filled with (rightfully) unknowns, and the enchilada is swallowed whole by its misogyny. Seriously, would it kill the series to find a female character that isn’t just set dressing and fodder for jailbait upskirt camera angels?

Moritz, for a reason that I don’t want to investigate too deeply, has brought in director Justin Lin (“Better Luck Tomorrow,” “Annapolis”) to helm the sequel. Lin hasn’t shown the ability to even assemble a static scene of dialog much less orchestrate ten-minute-long car chases swollen with special effects. Working from a script that’s hopelessly filled with head-slapping dialog, and a lead actor cursed to sound like Gomer Pyle’s illegitimate son for the rest of his life (Black is the opposite of what typically constitutes a compelling male lead), Lin has no choice but to bathe “Tokyo Drift” in noise.

Yakuza money dealing and halfhearted love interests aside, “Tokyo Drift” is mainly about how deafening each new squealing car sequence can be. Backed by what sounds like the greatest hits of Dance Dance Revolution, Lin spanks the audience into the world of drifting, but fails to let us get a solid gander at the balletic properties that make up this subculture of stunt driving. Everything is lost to the visual gunfire of quick edits and shaky cameras as Lin frantically tries to drum up a boiling point for Sean’s racing adventures, or perhaps he’s covering up his inability to put a single scene together with even a thimble of grace. Either way, it makes my eyes bleed.

Drifting itself isn’t all that tantalizing a subject to circle a film around to begin with. Having lived through many a Minnesota winter, call me unimpressed to see a bunch of toy cars swerving wildly around city streets. Around here, it’s commonly called “morning rush hour 30 car pileup.” Not nearly as catchy a title, I know.

When “Tokyo Drift” isn’t trying to smother your senses, it’s unintentionally hilarious. There’s a villain who prefers to be menacing simply by glaring through his eyelids, a rather unenlighting snapshot of Tokyo nightlife made up of chirpy camera phones and funky food, and enough homoerotic tension filling up the frame that Lin stops just short of having a Sean do push-ups for the camera to keep the testosterone alive and kicking.

However, the simple absence of Paul Walker makes “Tokyo Drift” aces over the last film, “2 Fast 2 Furious.”

As Moritz chases an even younger audience with this sequel, his template for trendy four-wheeled midway thrills is wearing thin. How much clatter can an audience stand before they wince in pain and turn in shame? I guess we’ll find out if a fourth installment (promised at the end) comes calling.

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originally posted: 06/16/06 14:51:09
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User Comments

7/23/12 cr my favorite of the series behind part 1, great scenes and story. 4 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner My kind of film. 5 stars
3/23/08 Hadi This movie is so awesome me and my friends watched twice in a row!AWESOME 5 stars
11/11/07 cody better than part 2 as far car action lack in story cool soild flick that edge of your seat 3 stars
5/15/07 David Pollastrini PRETTY DUMB 2 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Simalar to having your balls squeezed between 2 blocks of ice. And slightly less apealing. 1 stars
1/19/07 frankie g freakin awesome!! i went home and drifted my super van after i saw this movie!! 5 stars
11/11/06 Woody lol this movie sux cornhole, honda sux cornhole, and carbon fibre sux cornhole 1 stars
10/25/06 pacman It had a plot to interest ladies and skilled racing that interests the guys. 5 stars
10/11/06 arif sayed very good and interesting 5 stars
10/09/06 ad take it as a joke and you might find yourself liking it. Cars real cool 3 stars
10/04/06 mad n furious!! bad bad bad bad movie!!!!!! 2 stars
9/11/06 Agent Sands There is nothing even remotely positive to say. You feel dumber after watching it. 1 stars
8/25/06 Al Guy Next, will cars drive upside down? Stupid movie. 2 stars
8/04/06 CoMMy Man... one name.. Vin Diesel FOREVER!!! Love that guy! 5 stars
7/04/06 Kelly Brilliant!! 5 stars
6/27/06 KingNeutron Things they did make sense, IN CONTEXT OF THE MOVIE. Critics too harsh. 4 stars
6/26/06 Trev This movie brought us back to the very first feeling we got when we saw part 1.EXCELLENTJOB 5 stars
6/26/06 Chris Insufferably Stupid And Souless, I't TOTAL GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
6/25/06 Evil Wolfie It's souless and empty. 2 stars
6/24/06 Ole Man Bourbon Lots of unintentional comedy. The actors appear aware of how crappy their lines are. 2 stars
6/24/06 adamski best film i have seen in my life 100% 5 stars
6/22/06 Rohan excellent movie 5 stars
6/22/06 rashaad its the best 5 stars
6/19/06 Adrian A visually fun film...and that's pretty much everything. 3 stars
6/19/06 donald Never has a DVD purchase said so much about the purchaser than with any F&F movie. 1 stars
6/17/06 Agent Sands I cannot believe I saw this movie. It is so bad. I feel like I am now dumber for seeing it. 1 stars
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  16-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Sep-2006



Directed by
  Justin Lin

Written by
  Chris Morgan

  Lucas Black
  Bow Wow
  Brian Tee
  Sung Kang
  Jason Tobin
  Nathalie Kelly

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