A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia and Eastern Europe.
An American teenager named Sean Boswell is a loner in school, however he challenges his rival for an illegal street racing, and he totals his car in the end of the race. To avoid time in prison he is sent to Tokyo to live with his father who is in the military. As soon as he arrives he discovers a new, fun but dangerous way of street racing in the underworld of the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Written by
Target audience stuff - noisy, full of rootless action, devoid of characters and convincing plotting , it sounds and looks like nothing more than an extended music video
When yet another town sees Sean Boswell getting into trouble with the law, his mother sees no choice but to send him out of the US to live with his father in Tokyo, Japan. However it is not long before Sean gets involved in the illegal racing scene yet again. Taking in by Han, Sean immediately clashes with DJ, the son of Yakuza Kamata over the racing and also the latter's girlfriend Neela.
Three films into this franchise and nobody is really even pretending that anyone is here for the characters or plotting subtleties. So instead we have a choppy script that expects us to buy the laziest and nonsensical plot devices yet witness the way that Sean gets in with Han, it makes little sense but the script doesn't let that bother it as it blunders onwards. What it blunders towards is the thinnest of excuses for lots of car chases, load music, male posturing and sexy girls in skimpy clothes. That the plot is poor is a given and it is probably not worth getting into it because I don't think the makers were aiming for more.
It is also perhaps unfair to criticise them for this because they hit their targets with ruthless efficiency. Knowing their target audience the makers deliver the goods when it comes to what male teenagers will be looking for and it does it in noisy spades. There are lot of shiny toys and lots of races full of unlikely moves and screeching tyres. Personally I found them repetitive and lacking the tension and involvement that comes with action built on top of strong characters and stories but if all you want is the gloss then I can see why it would appeal. What I found a little less easy to swallow was the film's treatment of women. At best the women are love interests with a bit of history but the majority of skimpily clad and dancing quick to flock to the male characters and always ready to give out phone numbers. Lesbians kissing in a corridor are thrown into the mix for no reason other than titillating the male viewers. It is nothing new in this type of film but it is tiresome to see it is this the message we want to send to teenage boys!? The cast are average to a man. Black is pretty poor and I quickly tired of his accent and his character. He rarely manages to hold the attention when sharing the screen with anyone and is thus not a great leading man even at this level. Bow Wow is at least fun and he benefits from not really taking it too seriously in the more serious moments he is weak but that is to be expected. Tee is a solid presence in the baddie role but, with more dialogue to undermine him, Kang is not up to much. Kelley is cute but is not given much more to work with. I thought she did the job but not much more than that. Sonny Chiba buys the movie cult points in a cameo. Lin directs like one big pop video but not a very imaginative one since he revels in the obvious touches of flair and lacks imagination in his delivery; good for what the audience wants but is that all he wanted to achieve?
Overall then a film that does what you expect of it, which will either be a good or bad thing dependant on your viewpoint. It is noisy, full of rootless action, devoid of characters and convincing plotting and at times sounds and looks like nothing more than an extended music video which is just what it is I suppose. Knows its target audience really well (depressingly well) but will have little to offer those outside this limited demographic or seeking more.
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