The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

The third movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise is fast, and not as furious as its predecessors.  However, it is as brainless and action-minded as the other two, although it does fit a bit neater as a sort-of sequel to the first than 2 Fast, 2 Furious.  The thought here by director Justin Lin (Annapolis, Better Luck Tomorrow) and screenwriter Chris Morgan (Cellular) was to restart using similar concepts (fast cars) with a fresh cast.  The setting moved to Tokyo, and now the focus is now on "drifting," where the drivers send their cars through controlled skids.

All of this is fine and dandy, until they decided to use Lucas Black (Jarhead, Friday Night Lights) as their main character.  Black (usually remembered as "that kid from Sling Blade") is a good character actor with minor roles, but does not yet have the chops to take a leading role.  Black does not have much charisma or range.  He just kind of gives his lines in an angry way, delivered with his Southern accent.  Tokyo Drift suffers further by making his character, Sean Boswell, seem so stubborn and angry that he appears mentally challenged.  Boswell keeps getting in trouble for racing.  A race through an unfinished housing complex at the beginning is the last straw, and his mother sends him to Japan to live with his father (Brian Goodman, Annapolis, Munich).

In Tokyo, he has strict rules to follow.  If Boswell makes another mistake, he has to go to juvenile hall.  So of course, he sniffs out the Tokyo underground racing circuit and begins hitting on Neela (Nathalie Kelly), the girlfriend of DK (Brian Tee, Fun with Dick and Jane, Austin Powers in Goldmember).  The fact that DK stands for "Drift King" bristles Boswell's ego even more.  But, even when Boswell learns that DK is Yakuza, he still thinks with his other brain, relentlessly trying to pick-up Nathalie.  Some things are dumb, and some things are colossally stupid.  This is the latter.

The other large problem that Tokyo Drift has is a lack of an interesting core.  There is the race at the beginning, an amusing humiliation shortly after Boswell arrives in Tokyo, and the inevitable showdown at the end.  The "plot" of Tokyo Drift is much more annoying.  Boswell hits on Neela while working for Han (Sung Kang, Antwone Fisher, Better Luck Tomorrow).  Han's car is the one Boswell wrecked, and Han is also a partner with DK.  Oh, the drama!  There's a lot of uninteresting filler.  It's probably meant to be character development, but instead it's many scenes of watching Boswell act like an idiot.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated PG-13 for reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language, and sexual content.

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