Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

  Justin Lin's first entry into the well known franchise is just flat out fun. Its maybe not better than 2 Fast 2 Furious, but definitely on par with it. In short, it has the same weaknesses but, a whole new set of strengths. Its not as action heavy as the first two giving way for some respectable stabs at character development. Its less about crime lords and cops, than it is more of just a fish out of water story, set in the underground racing scene of Tokyo japan. Alot like the very recent remake of the Karate Kid, only instead of karate or kung fu, its car racing.  It works pretty well too.

  The protagonist is a fresh face to the series, avoiding the typical kinds of 'heroes' seen in the previous two. He's just a guy. Not a criminal or a cop. Just a high school guy who happens to be very good behind the wheel of a car. But theres a catch, in THIS racing scene in Tokyo, its not JUST racing. Its drifting.

  Where according to wikipedia drifting is when a driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed.  It looks way more interesting that it sounds. Well this new guy has to learn how to drift or he's pretty much useless in the racing world here. Its pretty cool and fun. But again... ridiculous dialog, plenty of overacting, and hammy characters. Except by now, those feel less like flaws and more like trademarks of the franchise. Is that a good thing by now? Or a severely bad one?

Well, I'm still unsure. But I had a good time watching the movie. Its nothing spectacular, or even anything special, but its fun. And isn't that all we really want from a movie like this?

  I don't have as much to say about this one than I did about the first two, because it doesn't feel like there is as much to critique. Also in some respects there isn't much to say because it sticks out like a sore thumb in the series. We're not really catching up on Dom Toretto or Brian O'Connor, so I can't really measure the movie next to the first two.  It feels very different. Better? I'm not sure. But its definitely not worse.

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