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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (SE)
DVD disk
Apr 21, 2009 By: Jason Adams
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (SE) order
Director:
Justin Lin

Actors:
Lucas Black
Bow Wow
Damian Marzette

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Instead of going to jail for illegal street racing, an American teenager flees the United States to Tokyo, where he gets caught up again in illegal street racing.

I thought Asians were supposed to be good, studious influences?
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I didnt know what to make of this movie. I dug the first FAST AND THE FURIOUS for what it was, a mindless mantastic racing movie with shades of POINT BREAK, but the second one, despite having the great Cole Hauser, was a boring retread. Could the trilogy-making film be saved with the inclusion of Asians and this mysterious drifting?

Not really. TOKYO DRIFT isnt awful but its 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 hes paired up with so many traditionally Japanese mentors (save for Bow Wow). They dont 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 dont 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 youre 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.
THE EXTRAS
Obviously a marketing tie in for the new FAST AND FURIOUS movie, but theres actually some decent material on here for fans.

Commentary by director Justin Lin: Lin has no problem going for the entire run time and hes 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 Im 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: Hans Last Ride (8:30): A fun behind the scenes look at the films pivotal race through Los AngelesI mean,Tokyo

Tricked Out To Drift (11:04): The driving team discusses the films vehicles and how they went about procuring and pimping them.

The Real Drift King (3:42): Meet Keichi Tsughiya, Tokyos 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 Omars Conteo music video (3:54): I dont know who or what this is but its awful. Making of the FAST Franchise: Some old EPK footage from previous films thrown together. Dont 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.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Obviously youre only going to watch TOKYO DRIFT for the car racing and not the expectantly dumb storyand theres enough racing excitement to fulfill your base cravings. However, none of it is that great that youll want to watch it over and over again, so its a rental at best.

Extra Tidbit: The big third act chase that takes place in downtown Tokyo actually was shot in Los Angeles.
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