Movie Review: "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers.
I actually liked "2 Fast 2 Furious", I felt that sequel had some likable elements and interesting entertainment value to it, despite Vin Diesel's absence. In the third film, "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift", everybody is pretty much absent. Instead of Paul Walker, we have some guy who looks almost like him named Lucas Black.
Black plays a character named Sean. He's a high school outcast and tough guy all rolled into one, living in Arizona. He doesn't get along too well with the local authorities and a street race with a high school jock gets them both arrested at the start of the film. The incident drives his mother to send Sean to Tokyo, Japan where his father is a stationed United States naval officer.
Strangely enough, there's a black kid named Twinkie (Bow Wow) and hot spanish chick named Neela (Nathalie Kelley) who are going to the same Tokyo high school as Sean. They all befriend him without question, but Neela's crazy Japanese boyfriend, DK, isn't too happy about it. Cue the car races, cue the half-naked women, then roll credits.
The one positive thing I'd like to say about "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift" is this -- Whereas Jaden Smith had no 'real' business in China in "The Karate Kid" remake, I can actually give Lucas Black's character some credit as he has a more legitimate excuse.
The Big Easy
"The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift" relies heavily on plot convenience, or as I like to call it when it comes to films, 'The Big Easy'. I will present two prime examples from this film.
For starters, our white protagonist moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Tokyo, Japan and immediately runs into a spanish love interest and black guy friend -- All in Tokyo, Japan. Hmm, that sounds a little too convenient, me thinks.
Furthermore, there's the case of the film's villain, DK. Somewhere at the end of the second act and the beginning of the third, Neela comes to Sean with a long face and tells him how DK has changed, he's treating her bad, and that he's not the same anymore.
You think so, little lady? News flash, DK has been nothing but the ego-centric a-hole since the start of the movie and you were still with him then. How has he changed? Why are you still with him? What is this, "Twilight: Tokyo Drift"?
DK has been the same during the entire movie, the filmmakers just thought it would be convenient at this critical point in the movie for Neela to realize that he really is a jerk and come crying to Sean about it.
Take a Bow... Wow
I'm really not surprised to see somebody like Lil' Bow Wow... I mean Bow Wow... in a film like this. I mean the 'Fast and the Furious' franchise in general is one of the few safe places for lame acting rappers that's left, other than another 'Big Momma's House' sequel or a Tyler Perry comedy.
Seriously, try putting this guy in a film like "Inception" and his fellow cast members would probably eat him for food in between takes. To be fair, Tyrese Gibson starred in the previous film, "2 Fast 2 Furious", back in 2003. But honestly, Tyrese is a far better actor than Bow Wow could ever hope to become.
So I'm not saying that all rappers and singers can't act, it's just that Bow Wow simply isn't one who's capable of delivering a performance outside of his own personality.
Myth of the Sex Women
While I do know that many films do this, "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift" just hit that button in me and now I really have to say something about it. This series, and many other movies, are guilty for portraying women as unrealistic sex objects who have no mind of their own. Call them F-Buddies if you will.
Either I'm on the wrong planet or, realistically-speaking, F-Buddies are nothing more than a myth. Who are these half-naked girls that are standing around the cars during the pre-race scenes? Seriously, who are they? If they are not hookers, then what?
These movies give off the impression that, if one were to go to a nightclub where there's plenty of scantily-clad women standing around, they are all there for sex -- Which is far from the truth in real life. Nowadays, F-Buddies are really not as common as you think. Most of it is just talk and rumors. I don't know about the 1960's decade, but that is the case for today.
Most women will only accept a friendship or a romantic relationship, nothing less than that. So the next time you meet a guy friend who claims to be a player and won't stop yapping about "Oh I hit this girl and this girl last night at the club", take it with a grain of salt.
These films must put an end to this. Speaking of which, why not have a 'Fast and Furious' movie where we have a lead female protagonist in Paul Walker's shoes for a change?
Random Things That Make No Sense
- During what could be called a WTF moment, Sean and Twinkie drive around in an Incredible Hulk-mobile, complete with bright green paint and some of Hulk's body parts sticking out at the sides and back of the vehicle. What was the point of this? Why not just have a hoochie-mama mobile with pop-out T&A? I'm sure that would have made this film box office gold.
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