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Question: What did you think of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift?
*****   -1 (12.5%)
****   -0 (0%)
***   -1 (12.5%)
**   -2 (25%)
*   -3 (37.5%)
I'd like to see it.   -0 (0%)
I'm not interested.   -1 (12.5%)
Total Voters: 8

Author Topic: Movie Review - The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)  (Read 84 times)
Dave Gray
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« on: February 23, 2021, 09:48:21 am »

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Premise: An American high-schooler and car enthusiast escapes legal trouble by moving to Japan, where's he's thrust into the unfamiliar world of the Yakuza mob and drift racing.

Rating: An all new cast unshackles this film from the restraints of the predecessors and is largely able to overcome an uninteresting main character with stylish direction, cinematic action and a fish out of water story.

I had heard pretty bad things about this movie, and considering the step down from the original that 2 Fast 2 Furious was, I was expecting a turd.  But, I definitely enjoyed this film more than the one prior.  I thought that the lead was an unlikable dope.  He's pretty bland, but he's also just a meathead.  His aggressive nature and refusing to get shown up just isn't admirable.  With Paul Walker, you felt that there was a little bit of cunning there.  This guy is a dingus.

However, the supporting cast of character, on the whole, is better.  Bow Wow is most definitely the best of the rapper cameos.  The love interest fits into the story more naturally and has a little bit of agency and lends the film some perspective on being an outsider.  And the mentor role, Han, is my favorite character in any of the movies so far.  He's just cool and likable.  This movie lacks a quirky tune-up character that I've liked thus far, but I think it's a fair trade-off.

There isn't so much a traditional crime plot in this film, so the details of what's happening, though thin, aren't really important to understanding the story.  The characters actions are more about turf and existing gang agreements than acquiring/stopping a big score.  If I'm being consistent, I have to be critical of the hierarchy of the street racers and Yakuza guys and what their roles were.  Though I liked Han on-screen, I didn't really understand what his job was, what conflicts he had, and why he had so much money that he didn't care about losing it.  I took the film at face-value and got past it, but it was definitely missing from the narrative.  Like I said, because these details weren't all that important to the character relationships, it was easy to overlook.

The direction of this film was the best so far.  3 more years of CG advancement means a lot.  You could still recognize the seams here and there, but it was much improved and only used in sweeping shots or overly dangerous stuff that wouldn't be easily done practically.  The majority of the stunts seem to be real and I think that drift racing and sliding all around through plumes of smoke is inherently cooler looking and more cinematic than outright speed.  Justin Lin also used a lot of stylish camera movements and clever ways to show the action.  I'm not sure if it's due to an Asian director, but the way that this movie treats Japan is also welcoming.  Seeing the lead try new foods and not be grossed out, experience new things like wearing slippers in school, ...seeing the differences in car culture -- it's all done without mockery and in a way that makes you want to go see Japan, not as if the American Midwest is the better way of doing stuff, which I can easily see this film becoming.  (And there are even hints of that with car choices near the finale.)

The final action sequence is cool visually, but a dumb way to settle the score, but whatever.  And the film does seem to setup a more interesting future with its ending.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 01:36:40 pm by Dave Gray » Logged

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Fau Teixeira
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 11:08:20 am »

5 star!
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pondwater
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 07:14:39 pm »

5 star!
Negative 5 star. After the 1st one it sucked ass....
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Spider-Dan
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 10:38:00 pm »

This is the only Fast & Furious movie where the primary plot is actually about racing, instead of some criminal caper.  And ironically, Tokyo Drift is the most disparaged movie in the series.

I've seen every F&F movie in the theaters except this one.  I don't know if I'd say it was bad, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
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Brian Fein
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 09:25:34 am »

I have been re-watching the movies along with you and re-watching this one made me hate it a little less.  I typically avoid this one altogether.

But it has its place in setting up Han's character which becomes more critical.  You'll learn more about the open origin story about him in the next movies, so stay tuned, it will make sense in a later "a-ha" moment (although i suspect you already know what's up).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 09:29:08 am by Brian Fein » Logged
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