Movie #74 2020: The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Okay, I need some clarification here. What was the actual point in this movie?

I don’t really understand why the producers of this franchise would take a good thing (or a mediocre thing, depending on where you stand), and choose to make the third movie a standalone. Tokyo Drift is basically a Fast spin-off, à la Hobbs & Shaw (which I haven’t seen yet, so can’t really compare), in which they remove every single character you have come to know from the first two movies, and replace them with a bunch of randoms.

Since watching, I’ve read a few articles that state that Tokyo Drift was actually meant to be for Vin Diesel, but for whatever reason, he didn’t take the offer… And I don’t blame him. At that point, they should have called it off and not bothered.

Yes, some of these characters re-emerge in later movies within the same universe, but it is quite clear that none of them would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things. Because of the complete detachment, it made me not give a single shit about any of them.

It appears that rather than moulding Lucas Black‘s character on Diesel’s Dominic as originally planned, they try to make him more of a Paul Walker type. Alas, it doesn’t work. Why? Black is a good actor in his own right, but he doesn’t come with near enough charisma to carry the movie as well as Walker does. Instead, he comes across as a Southern drawl-y, car racing version of Eli Manning. And Eli’s not even the most charismatic Manning. (After watching this, I realised that he plays pretty much the exact same dude in Friday Night Lights, so it’s no wonder I thought that).

As for the plot? Meh. It’s snoozy. The only interesting thing about it is the racing. I like the introduction of the ”drift” of which the movie is named after. But the rest? Utterly pointless and tedious.

I am, however, waiting for Bow Wow, a.k.a. Shad Moss, to materialise from the shadows and stage a comeback. He’s definitely the best thing about this entire fruitless debacle. If I’m clutching at straws, it also gets points for the well put together garage/mechanic sequences.

Other than a sexy muscle car, I can’t really find anything else to praise. Sorry, FastBros.

The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift is available to stream/download on Sky Go/Cinema and NowTV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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