"Where you just admiring my girl? She was admiring my ride...How bout me? [The] winner gets me...Make it interesting Clay... guess I've got a new date to the prom."
"Have you been racing Sean? You're outta here...You don't get it do ya? If it doesn't workout here, you have nowhere else to go...This isn't a game [son]."
"Can you drive? You know what DK stands for? Donkey Kong? Drift King."
"Can't you [just] go & find a nice Japanese girl like the rest of the white guys around here?"
To be completely candid with you, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about regarding the Fast & Furious film franchise which keep getting cranked out like gum in a pez dispenser man. Look, the formula is pretty straight forward: Miniskirts, bras, tan lines, brawds, & booty as men display their masculinity & testosterone through muscle car racing on city streets late at night. You can be bodybuilder buffoon with no job & and no common sense, but as long as you can screech your tires & fly past other competitors at over 100 MPH without wrecking your ride, you too are eligible to land the prettiest honey on the block & be labeled the Drift King. God Lord!
I decided to watch "The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift" released in 2006 & directed by Justin Lin. I've always been fascinated by the country of Japan ever since I was a little munchkin. This 1 hour & 44 minute picture hits all the stereotypical highlights--arcade gaming facilities, eating unknown seafood with chopsticks; bicycles & bullet trains as far as the eye can see, & a grease monkey's utopian dream of high octane RPMs, a masterful use of the emergency brake, & a rush of nitrous oxide into your car's fuel injection system for maximum engine speed just to prove that you can live on the edge as a driver & throw caution to the wind. As I watched this flick, I wondered why it wasn't sponsored by Goodyear Tires, a major bodyshop company, every car insurance industry you can think of; & an international chrome organization to say the least.
Plotline: We start out at a large high school in Arizona. A snot nosed rich kid brat named Clay [Zachery Ty Bryan] gets upset when his blond haired, floozy, cheerleader girlfriend starts making googly eyes at Sean Boswell [Lucas Black] driving a white 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. In retaliation, Clay throws a baseball through Sean's rear windshield & as a result, Clay challenges Sean to a race in which if he loses, he promises to give Mr. Boswell his $60,000 red 2006 Dodge Viper. They end up crashing both cars at a housing development site Clay's oil tycoon daddy owns. Clay avoids any criminal record for his reckless behavior while Sean is forced to leave AZ & relocate to Tokyo, Japan where his naval officer father, Major Boswell [Brian Goodman] now works & resides. Side note: I found it interesting that Clay--the football jock--actually starred as Brad Taylor on the 'Home Improvement' TV show from the 1990's that made comedian Tim Allen a household name. In addition, the hero of this picture, actor Lucas Black who plays Sean Boswell, starred in the movie Friday Night Lights & he currently has a leading role on the CBS television 'NCIS: New Orleans.' Mr. Black sucks as a big screen presence though. The dude cannot act period. It's like the Fred Flintstone cartoon suddenly came to life with a lousy, southern drawl man. Jesus. It's just atrocious man. It really is.
Our resident evil villain is a bad guy named Takashi [Brian Tee] whose uncle is a kingpin leader in the Yakuza family or Japanese mob named Kanata [Shin'ichi Chiba]. All Japanese businessmen in Tokyo pay extortion money to Mr. Kanata every single month & his nephew Takashi collects all the fees & handles all the bookkeeping duties for his crime boss uncle. Takashi learned everything he knows about money laundering & shaking down owners by his closest friend Han Lee [Sung Kang ]. By the end of this picture, we learn that Han has been ripping off the Yakuza & pocketing proceeds under the table & off the books for himself. This betrayal & stain against Takashi's professional reputation as a account enforcer/overseer leads to cat & mouse race whereby Han is violently killed in a car accident.
Is it just me or do Tokyo Drift character names coincide closely with 'Diehard I' movie names?
Takashi vs Joseph Takagi & Hans Gruber's character used the fake name Bill Clay once he bumped into Lt. John McClane inside the Nakatomi Plaza & discovered that the cop from New York was barefoot with no shoes on. Clay is the first NFL wanna be we encounter in this film as well. Okay sure, there is no direct link between Diehard I & Tokyo Drift I know, but they do rhyme in close proximity to one another though.
Meanwhile back in the Far East...there's always a drop dead gorgeous hussy to chase after right? Of course there is. Her name is Neela [Nathalie Kelley]. She is easy on the eyes originally from Down Under AKA Australia. Neela came to Japan with her mother, but sadly her mother got pulled down into the seedy, underbelly world of human trafficking otherwise known as prostitution. The only thing that saved Neela from a similar fall is that Takashi took pity on her, watched over her, & made him his woman & primary love interest. Sean Boswell is the new, foreigner wrinkle that causes Neela's loyalty & eye to wander. Sean totals Han's blue 1994 Mazda RX-7 Veilside as he tries unsuccessfully to drift in a street race against Takashi. Eventually, Han shows his young, American protege how to drift with precision & pinpoint skill. What the hades is drifting you ask? Sliding your muscle car sideways at a high velocity like driving over black ice that the driver regains steering wheel control of as your vehicle straightens out. Think of it like doughnuts in a parking lot while trying not to bounce off any cement structures at lighting speed with no room for reaction time mistakes that could lead to the driver's own demise.
Our stud muffin hero Sean gets his bombshell beauty Neela back by rebuilding Major Boswell's 1967 Mustang wheels from scratch. Sean uses 1 of Han's old engines to transform this rusty, old bucket of bolts into quite the mean machine. Sean returns the mob money that Han stole from the Yakuza & he is able to convince Mr. Kanata that there needs to be one last race between him & Takashi. The winner gets to date Neela permanently & the loser must leave Japan forever under a cloud of disgrace or death whatever happens first.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. There's a tiny, minney me, black side kick deal maker who can get anything you need for the right price named Twinkie [Bow Wow.] Twinkie? Like the cream filled junk food? Oh brother. It gets better folks. Our vertically challenged, teddy bear dude drives a green 2005 Volkswagen Touran with fist indentations markings all over it with an anime theme painted across the whole hood. Why anybody would take this little man seriously as a leader is beyond me. He looks like a 12 yr old kid who has hit puberty yet.
The dangerous race bobbing & weaving; slipping & sliding down a dicey, mountain pass road under the moonlight was actually entertaining in a campy or cheesy way. Takashi rolls off the pavement crashing through a metal guard rail flipping end over end several times. That's the other problem with Tokyo Drift. It's indifferent attitude about mortality & the carnage these car wrecks cause to innocent bystanders & other drivers throughout Japan. There is a warning at the end of the film before the credits roll stating not to duplicate any of these stunts for their own safety etc. etc. However, it feels empty & without merit to me. Look, I know it's just an action adventure escape for over an hour, but the film feels like the XBOX Game Grad Theft Auto on heroin. I'm not making any moral judgements here just thin on the substance speedometer I guess.
Besides the smoked rubber & skid marks, how do I grade The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift? Let's roll with C- on the slapstick comedy scale. Universal studios tries to market these muscle car sequels as a brotherhood bonding exercise with a side order of petroleum, exhaust, & spark plugs but really all this is macho madness on crack.
"I can't turn left" is so bleeping hysterical to me. LOL!