The Fast and the Furious:... (2006)
Review Date: June 28, 2006
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Producers: Neal H. Moritz
Lucas Black as Sean
Nathalie Kelley as Neela
Bow Wow as Twinkie
A young Southern boy with a chip on his shoulder and a knack for racing the shit out of jacked-up cars, is sent to Japan after his mom runs out of ideas about how to keep him out of trouble. After about 24 hours in Japan, our boy uncovers an underground scene in which dudes race their cars while braking around the turns and “drifting” their car along. Yeah, it’s weird…but just go with it! Speed and furiousness ensues!
Other than its lame title and stale plotline, this film is actually not as bad as I thought it might be, with at least 3-4 very exciting car races smattered about, tons of hot chicks in short skirts and a new environment in Japan, which to me, always looks sweet on film. Yes, the lead guy, Lucas Black, is missing Vin Diesel’s natural charm, Paul Walker’s abs and Tyrese’s tanktop, but he Southern drawls his way through the film without looking like a total fool, and that’s gotta count for something. Bow Wow does his same ol’ shtick here, but it’s the “good Asian” dude who Black hooks up with, that draws a little bit of interest into his character, as the “bad Asian” dude also does a solid job of acting like a big jerk. But between me and you, this film wasn’t greenlit because of its characters, it was made so that the filmmakers can showcase all of the flashiest new hotdog cars on the big screen, and then have them race around for as long as possible, without boring the audience. I liked the opening race and I also had a good time when the other chases splashed against the big screen, particularly the big tete-a-tete across the streets of Tokyo (and if you’re gonna ask where all of the cops were during all of the races, you shouldn’t be seeing this movie!).
That said, as per most teen-oriented flicks these days, the editing was still a little too out-of-control at times, leaving me wondering about what exactly was happening on the screen. The chicks in the film were abundantly hot, even the big-faced lead lady, Natalie Kelley, who despite a lack of chemistry with Black, came through as the trophy hottie at the end of the day. Not much else to report. Oh, I also really liked the one very cool cameo at the end of the movie…nice touch! Other than that, the bottom line with this film, and its two predecessors for that matter, is that if you enjoy the cars (I’m not a “car guy”, but like watching slick races on the big screen), speed, furious behavior and lots of hot guys and girls strutting about like life is nothing more than a race away from kicking ass, you’re likely to enjoy this film, as frivolously as any other sequel of a sequel. Oh, I’m also a fan of Tokyo, so all those beautiful shots of the city and its underbelly, were sweet. Unlike its two previous incarnations though, this one doesn’t necessarily have to be seen on the big screen, as its story is lacking quite some, and its stars, second-rate. So check it out on video if it interests you, turn off your brain, turn on your engine and watch the pretty colors go vroom-vroom. Eye-candy thy name is TOKYO DRIFT.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian