The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Bomb Rating: 

If "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" video game isn't out in the stores already, somebody is missing a serious cross-promotional opportunity since, for all intents and purposes, this movie IS a video game and might have well been produced entirely on an Xbox 360. There seems to be little more point to the film than watching cars skid around amidst neon lights, which these days looks almost as good in a video game as it does for real.

And frankly, in a movie of this type, the less plot the better and the more racing the better. I'm only pointing this out to place the movie in its own context, not to say that anything in this movie is better, per se, than slapping my penis down on a hot grill. It's just that the worst one can do while watching the cars spin about is sit in confused silence, but whenever a character speaks or somebody tries to explain part of the plot, laughter is most often the byproduct.

First of all, how good a driver can Shawn Boswell (Lucas Black) be if, at the beginning of the movie, he confidently boasts "I only race for pink slips" and he drives a crappy, albeit souped up, old hunk of junk? I mean, if this guy is racing for pink slips and he's the great driver we are supposed to think he is, then he ought to have a better car. Anyway, his race ends with him wrecking and destroying a few construction sites, inspiring his mom to ship him off to Japan to live with his dad where he promptly races again and wrecks yet another car, only this one is owned by Han (Sung Kang), which puts Shawn in Han's debt.

Needless to say, poor Shawn has picked a bad hobby and until the very end, his driving skills don't seem to support his choice of activities. Fortunately, Han teaches him how to drift so he can have the big showdown with the Drift King (Brian Tee), impress friends like Twinkie (Bow Wow), win the heart of the girl, Neela (Nathalie Kelley) and escape death at the hands of the local Yakuza boss (Sonny Chiba).

Issues of money and language are apparently of no concern to this movie, which is oblivious to how Shawn pays for anything in Tokyo, especially given he attends a Japanese school and knows zero Japanese (though he impressively picks it up by the end of the film). I suppose that since he's from the South, he doesn't really know much English either and the film just supposes he communicates through gestures and hand signals.

To me, the film's most offensive moment was crediting Sonny Chiba as JJ Sonny Chiba. How to make Sonny Chiba cool for a new generation? Make him sound like some kind of DJ. Fuck, if Sonny Chiba isn't already cool enough for this movie, then screw everyone associated with it.

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