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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Wait just two more weeks for the Superman Returns release
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Lucas Black in "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"
OPENING WEEKEND: $33,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $85,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 20th, 2006: Shaun Boswell (Lucas Black) is an unhappy outsider, whose only connection to society is as an underdog street racer. To avoid trouble with the police, the hotheaded rebel is sent out of the country to live with his estranged father in Japan. Cramped in a tiny apartment in downtown Tokyo, Shaun begins to feel even more alienated, especially by the foreign culture. Soon he meets a fellow American named Twinkie (Bow Wow), who introduces him to the underground world of drift racing. The dangerous sport is characterized by a combination of speeding and gliding on city streets filled with hairpin turns. Not one to resist a racing challenge, Shaun unknowingly takes on “the Drift King” (Brian Tee) his first time out. Following the loss, he learns of his opponent’s ties to the mob and is surprised to find himself pulled into a dangerous criminal underworld.

What to Expect: First Vin Diesel leaves the series and now they can’t even get Paul Walker. Whatever their reasons are, the filmmakers have opted for a completely different storyline with brand new characters. The original The Fast and the Furious was an engaging summer movie that was able to deliver the feeling of an adrenaline rush, despite the compelling, but sometimes derivative storyline. It was packed with metal, beginning to end and in an era where most action is done with computer effects, it was good to see a film that was able to thrive on the energy and reality of its machines. The sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious had a huge opening weekend, making over $50 million, but fizzled quicker than most movies with such box office numbers once word of its mediocrity got spread. Even the once acclaimed director John Singleton couldn’t pull off the tired undercover cop storyline a second time in a row. I think that the producers’ choice to take the series in a new direction was dictated more by the fact that they had no other choice than by any creative inspiration. However, Tokyo drift racing could add some much needed excitement to the almost dead franchise.

Article continues below

With wunderkind director Justin Lin in charge, the movie did show some potential at one point. The Taiwan-born prodigy burst onto the scene in 2002 with Better Luck Tomorrow, a film that chronicled the mischievous behavior of A-student Asian-Americans. It was a Tarantino-like movie, escalating in violence as it progressed, and toying with preconceived notions of how we expect good Asian-American kids to behave. Unfortunately, it seems that Lin has since chosen to sacrifice his talents to make glossy unimpressive Hollywood pictures. His clichéd Annapolis, which was just released at the end of January, has received absolutely atrocious reviews and performed very poorly at the box office on its opening weekend. Perhaps Better Luck Tomorrow was only a fluke and Lin was never the genius he was touted to be. Most of all, I fear that he will bombard the new The Fast and the Furious with canted angles, jump cuts, and an MTV-like style that will make the entire experience unpleasant. Additionally, with two very inexperienced writers working on the screenplay for the second sequel, the summer flick no longer appears as promising as it once did.

This really seems to be a final desperate attempt to cash in on the Fast and the Furious name as it has little in common with the previous two movies. The banal plot replaces the already predictable storylines of the first two. It will undoubtedly head toward a final confrontation where the underdog rebel Shaun will finally redeem himself and escape the mafia underworld. I can’t really think of too many good things that this third installment has going for it. The main cast reeks of a direct-to-video release, but somehow the studio is going forward with a theatrical run. I have seen most of the movies Lucas Black (Sling Blade, The X-Files, Cold Mountain, Jarhead) had parts in, but I honestly cannot recall who he is. With 18-year old rapper Bow Wow (Like Mike, Johnson Family Values, Roll Bounce) in the cast, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift loses all credibility. And how desperate must the filmmakers be to cast Zachery Ty Bryan in the movie. You might remember him as the dumb one of the three Taylor kids on “Home Improvement.” I have nothing against Bryan, but his history on the sitcom will immediately cause a knee-jerk reaction to his presence on the screen.

In Conclusion: The whole project is intended to pull in some money from fans of the series, but it should prove to be a complete miscalculation in the end. Unless you are hopelessly desperate for a racing film and your daily habits consist of browsing through car magazines or accessorizing your dream vehicle, you probably will not find anything remotely enjoyable about The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. There is still some glimmer of hope that Lin could utilize his knowledge of the Asian culture and really generate some excitement with drift racing, but it grows fainter as the film nears its release date. It’s more likely that the summer blockbuster will go out with a whimper, ending the whole franchise for good.

Similar Titles: 2 Fast 2 Furious, Biker Boyz, Torque
June 16th, 2006 (wide)
September 26th, 2006 (DVD)

Universal Pictures

Justin Lin

Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Nikki Griffin, Brian Tee, Sung Kang, Jason Tobin, Nathalie Kelly, Zachery Ty Bryan, Brian Goodman

Total: 133 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language and sexual content.

104 min






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