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
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is far better than I expected - but I had low expectations. Enjoyable but not critically appealing
I was quite surprised by The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Of course, I expected it to be a pile of steaming garbage, particularly with the formula of increasingly dodgy sequels. So when I went to see it with some friends, I had obvious misgivings. These misgivings, or at least the worst ones, such as the movie being unbearable to even look at, were fortunately unfounded. I kept my eyes on the movie the whole time, mainly because of the souped cars, but the fact that I went through the movie without flinching (a lot, except at some of the bad dialogue that was prevalent), says quite a lot. Maybe my view of The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift is heightened by the fact that I cracked a few jokes during the movie.
Now down to business. Sean, a 'dude' who loves to race at high speeds for no apparent reason, is sent to Tokyo to live with his military dad and ends up being drawn to the racing circuit again, witnessing a new style of race called 'drift' (as seen in Need For Speed Underground, to those that don't know). Sounds stupid? Well, it is, the casual viewer can detect a plothole or two from even reading those two lines. To go on, except to state that Sean ends up making friends with a guy named Han, is pointless. I will admit that no-one looks for a good plot in a Fast and the Furious movie, but still, the less said, the better.
The dialogue, as I stated, can be funny - because of its stupidity. This is shown by one piece of dialogue where some guy asks Sean: "You know what DK stands for?" and Sean replies "Donkey Kong". At least its original, I guess.
The acting is OK - far from turgid, which I expected it to be in the first place. The guy who plays Han is surprisingly good, going through the movie without looking as if he was hired from a nearby sushi bar. Brian Tee as DK is a bit of a joke, he is more comedic than menacing. Lucas Black is OK as Sean, but his Southern accent makes his character more irritating to watch. The love interest does well as eye candy. That's about all that matters I guess.
The most important part of The Fast and the Furious is inarguably the racing sequences and their overall effectiveness. I will admit that the sequences themselves are well-filmed and eye catching, highlighting the cars, as they should. However, except in a few fleeting moments, they are not as enthralling as they should be and this is one of the most disappointing aspects of The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. The final confrontation, for me, is pretty good to watch, but only arouses the senses once in a while.
Time didn't drag though, which is a clear sign that The Fast and Furious is indeed quite watchable, despite its other pre-eminent faults. I admit that I didn't really get bored during the film, which may lead to my rose-tinted view of it (compared to my original perception of what it would be like).
So let me summarise my thoughts: "Didn't expect much, got more than I bargained for." The acting is satisfactory (for a racing film, otherwise it would more or less suck), the plot and the dialogue are predictably terrible, the racing sequences are satisfactory and the cinematography is somewhat effective, with frequent close-ups of the cars. What compels me to give The Fast and The Furious a (relatively) favourable rating is the fact that it is, like I said, quite watchable. However, it is still little more than satisfactory, so it's rating cannot therefore rise above:
3/5 stars (If you don't like cars the rating is obviously much lower)
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