I thought Asians were supposed to be good, studious influences?
Not really. TOKYO DRIFT isn’t awful but it’s not good either. Some of the racing is fun to watch, thanks to the practical stunts and lack of (at least obvious) CGI. However, as expected, things like story, character and acting are all pretty much crap. I knew I was in trouble when the film opened and the main character started racing the oldest kid from “Home Improvement” set to a Kid Rock song from 1998.
Lucas Black is a decent actor, but his overtly southern “charm” felt bland and bizarrely out of place here for a lead character, especially when he’s paired up with so many traditionally Japanese mentors (save for Bow Wow). They don’t really cover how the American kid adapted so quickly to the Japan culture and learned the language so fast, but you do get multiple drift training montages and wise Japanese sayings from Mr. Miyagi-like characters! And don’t get me started on the romantic subplot. At least the filmmakers realized the leads had no chemistry together and made it so that they, despite falling in love, never kiss or even hug each other during the movie.
But of course, nobody cares about these movies for anything other than to see cars going fast, of which there are many here. If you’re in it for that, you should be mildly entertained during parts of TOKYO DRIFT. The Vin Diesel cameo at the end actually lends the movie some credence and saves it from feeling like a transition to straight to video FAST AND FURIOUS movies.
Commentary by director Justin Lin: Lin has no problem going for the entire run time and he’s helped by having a lot of naturally interesting stuff to talk about given the subject matter (the cars, Tokyo, etc.) .
Deleted Scenes (19:15): Twelve scenes cut for time I’m guessing. Nothing stands out too much although we do get more of Sean in fish out of water situations that help explain how he adapted to Japan so well.
Drifting School (7:39): The actors go to driving school and learn how to do some of the tricks in the movie. Lucky.
Cast Cam (4:23): Pretty much what you expect when you give a bunch of actors and extras a camcorder.
The Big Breakdown: Han’s Last Ride (8:30): A fun behind the scenes look at the film’s pivotal race through Los Angeles…I mean,Tokyo
Tricked Out To Drift (11:04): The driving team discusses the film’s vehicles and how they went about procuring and pimping them.
The Real Drift King (3:42): Meet Keichi Tsughiya, Tokyo’s legendary “drift king,” who actually did some of the driving in the movie.
The Japanese Way (9:48): Cast and crew talk about how different Tokyo is from America. Duh.
Don Omar’s Conteo music video (3:54): I don’t know who or what this is but it’s awful. Making of the FAST Franchise: Some old EPK footage from previous films thrown together. Don’t waste your time.
Drift: A Sideways Craze (59:59): An hour long documentary on the sport of drift racing. Fans of this kind of stuff will love it.
Extra Tidbit: The big third act chase that takes place in downtown Tokyo actually was shot in Los Angeles.