Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

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Plot: A teenager becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America.

Rating: 6/10

Well, we’re back. 2 Fast 2 Furious was a 9 on the Richter scale of cinematic disasters, and I had plenty of concerns about watching the third one, ominously titled Tokyo Drift. I persevered, remembering that (at the very least) the last three films in the franchise have been excellent entertainment. I sneakily contemplated just skipping this and coming back at the end to watch it, but I know myself and would have ended up not watching this at all. I also really wanted to see this in the setup of the franchise and how it fits in.

Tokyo Drift is firstly much better than the load of crap that is in the second movie. The acting is surprisingly better. There is still Asians everywhere, one of the franchise most favorite groups. There are still scantily clad girls starting the races, there are still fights that can miraculously be solved with car races. It was really amusing, as it is every single time it happens, that movie makers create storylines to make teenagers think they actually have a real say in the world. They don’t, but it is sweet that people are humoring them. Anyway.

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Sean Boswell certainly doesn’t inspire the loyalty that Dominic Toretto inspires. I enjoyed him however, and as the film continues he grew on me. He certainly was a little punk kid without a real cause, and that was annoying. I had the most sympathy with his dad – imagine with being tasked to take care of that rugrat.

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Neela, however. If you grew up as a child in Tokyo without your mother, HOW on this earth do you still have an Australian accent? It frustrated me so much. Her character, as has become typical in the franchise at this point, could not save herself and was content to run between men for safekeeping.

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Han, played by Sung Kan, has always been a favorite of mine. He has such calm eyes and SPOILER: I can’t believe he is dead. I really loved how he took Sean in (a bit bemused by how trusting film characters are, but anyhoo), and how he taught him to drift after that hilarious first loss against D.K.

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Oh, D.K. You really were the most tepid of all the villains. Didn’t really hate him, he was just amusing and not really scary. I do however think his uncle should have been in a bit more, as he had a slightly more menacing presence.

Tokyo Drift should have been between six and seven, true, but the film simply isn’t good enough to fit into the powerhouse drama that the franchise has become so I guess it is a good thing that it was released third. Nothing really bad to it, but I am supportive of a world where Dominic Toretto rules with his truck highjacking, vault pulling, band of misfits. I don’t want a FF film where there are other stories going on I’m sad to say – the franchise has a particular recipe that must be followed.

To finish off, I was cheering like a mad woman when Dom’s face appeared in the last scene!

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#IFoundDominicToretto

Movie Review: Fast Fridays: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

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Plot:Former cop Brian O’Conner is called upon to bust a dangerous criminal and he recruits the help of a former childhood friend and street racer who has a chance to redeem himself.

Rating: 4/10

Okay, wow. 2 Fast 2 Furious is bad. Like, Shitfest bad, Pappy. Of the original cast, only Paul Walker returns for this one, and it was probably the biggest mistake the franchise ever made – not that including Walker was a terrible idea, it was a good one, but completely removing the other cast members? Disastrous.

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It took me three tries to sit through this movie. It seemed like the biggest waste of time the second I got to unconvincing facial expressions and a story that doesn’t fit in with the entire damn franchise. To be honest, neither the cars nor the racing impressed me much in here. The tile offends my grammar, the outfits offends my sense of aesthetics, the plot line does not appeal to my good sense and bloody hell, can someone not have given a few acting lessons?

However, I forced myself to just get it done because I really want to watch everything in the franchise. It didn’t improve in my estimation throughout though. It is as bad in the end as it is in the beginning.

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The acting is painful to watch. Walker is at his worst, Tyrese Gibson is about as convincing as a satsuma pretending to be a carrot – terrible comparison, I know! Devon Aoki as Suki has one important role and that is to be the stupid, prototype Asian girlfriend (and how obsessed is this franchise with Asians?!). Mark Boone Jnr, most notably the scary Bobby in Sons of Anarchy, has a teensy role where he appears wimpy and contributes nothing to the story.

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The best part of this is Eva Mendes. She’s the only one vaguely capable of saying her lines without looking really stupid about it. However, she’s an FBI agent who waits on an ex-cop to save her ass, and that was really hard to get over.

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So much lameness and cheese ensues. I honestly don’t know what these guys were doing. It was ridiculous. I was not really sure most of the time what was happening, who were the villains, why on earth the story was in the franchise and what the hell Paul Walker was wearing? I’ll call them acceleration scenes for a lack of a better name, but they looked so improbable and fake. And seriously, showing the speedometer clocking 100km/hour? THAT’S NOT EVEN SPEEDING.

I hope the remaining two before I hit the films I know are good is better – this is horrible, and I think we all deserve better in life.

PS: I thought I would have an aneurism the six hundred and eighty eight time Brian O’Connor said “bro” and tried to walk like a gangster.

#whereIsDominicToretto

Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

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Plot: Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalties really lie when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

Rating: 6/10

Mini blog run alert! I will be reviewing the entire Fast and the Furious franchise each Friday for the next seven weeks, starting today. It is one of the most longstanding franchises and one of the most successful ones. It is also the largest case of audiences repeatedly flipping the bird at critics, because the first couple of films have terrible ratings online and yet the films just kept on rolling till everybody couldn’t help but to love and accept them. Today I am reviewing the film that starting everything, the 2001 installment titled The Fast and the Furious.

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  • Before we start anything, can we just discuss Lettie’s clothes (especially the shoes?) Life. Changed. Her attitude is also so bad. She doesn’t care what anybody think! I’ve never been a huge fan of Michelle Rodriguez, but she is tailor made for this role – that bad attitude transcends screen and into real life.

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  • Oh gosh, Paul Walker, so young and sweet and fresh. His acting is still a bit flaky in this film, but I enjoyed his undercover cop story and falling in love not only with Mia but the whole underground car scene and the strong family ties Dom so obviously believes in.

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  • Dom is so sexy. And feisty and family orientated and badass. That scene where he is introduced he is so impressive looking.
  • I can’t reconcile Dom and Mia (Jordana Brewster) being related. They look nothing alike.
  • I enjoyed Mia’s pretty and clean look in this movie, but not the acting of Jordana Brewster.
  • They try so hard to be ghetto. It is the best. The racial stereotyping is pretty bad in the first few films and I know for sure it would have gotten a lot of flak in today’s hyper sensitive everyone-needs-to-feel-included climate.
  • The cars are ridiculous. I thoroughly laugh and enjoy that you can solve everything in this franchise with a car race!

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I’m beginning to realize that I’ve probably only seen four movies at most in this franchise. This certainly felt like the first time I saw this particular movie, but I’m sure I must have seen it as a teenager. The Fast and the Furious is without a doubt really corny, very predictable and sometimes ridiculous, but the franchise has managed to become one of my favorite because it spans so many years and has managed to improve with time

The first installment to this franchise is ridiculously bad. I enjoyed it because I am so fond of Dominic Toretto and his band of misfits, but it is no secret that the series only got much better later on. This movie is still clearly low budget and was probably constructed as a once off event, but it clawed into our hearts and remained there forever.