The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

I saw this last night with my daughter and her boyfriend: pretty much a perfect audience for a movie like this. There’s no real character development, and the lead (Lucas Black) has zero charisma.  However, movies like this are all about the cars—not even the “hot girls” who decorate the scenes like Christmas tensil.

Black, you see, plays a kid named Shawn Boswell, a bad-egg racer who is headed for juvie.  His mom ships him off to his father in Tokyo, where Boswell discovers a new type of racing, called “Drifting,” which is sort of a controlled skid-slide, and quite cinematic.  And it is Drifting that saves the movie.  Watching sexy Japanese cars swivel and slide through hairpin turns in Busby Berkeley choreography is really kind of fun in a dumb way.  Wish that the characters had been more interesting, or the Yakuza sub-plot a bit more engaging.  Oh well, at least they put action hero Sonny Chiba on film for the first time since “Kill Bill.”  Give it a B-.

Yes, rapper “Bow Wow” plays the only black kid in the film, a street-hustler named “Twinkie.”  He is the only character in the film who…well, let’s just put it as they did in an old, classic “In Living Color” sketch lampooning Danny Glover’s character in “Lethal Weapon”:  “He can’t drive!  He can’t fight!  He’s not interested in sex!”

Disgusting how amusing America seems to find  that stereotype.

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