No so Fast and Furious
To class "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" as part of the "Fast and the Furious" series of movies is really pushing the boundaries as other than a small appearance by one of the original stars the only common theme is that of fast cars and street racing. In honesty despite being more entertaining than "2 Fast, 2 Furious", "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" really is not a patch on "The Fast and The Furious" and lacks a strong charismatic lead to maintain any interest past the looks of the pimped cars.
Having wrecked a construction site in a street race Sean Boswell (Lucas Black - Jarhead) is sent packing from America to live with his father in Tokyo, in the hope that he will be able to stay out of trouble. Suddenly immersed in a culture he doesn't understand and a language he can't speak Sean feels like a fish out of water until he discovers that the Japanese enjoy racing cars just as much as he does and in an attempt to fit in he not only destroys a super up car but makes an enemy of racer D.K. (Brian Tee) as he attempts to chat up his girlfriend.
"The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" is another one of those movies where it's best to put your brain in neutral and just watch for all the exciting cars, stunts, pretty young girls and not much else. Except "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" does try to deliver some resemblance of a plot which at times actually gets in the way of your enjoyment. There you are just oggling at a suped up car drifting round a tight bend and then some sort of coherent plotline appears which requires you to engage your brain whilst waiting for the next sequence of flashy car action.
Okay that may seem a bit harsh and the plotline which revolves around our young hero Sean learning how to drift so he can not only beat D.K. but also win the heart of Neela the girl he accidentally chats up, actually helps tie all the scenes neatly together. It's just at times the plot slows the pace of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" completely down and for those who just want pimped up rides will start to get restless.
Another problem when it comes to "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" is that the opening action which see Sean racing round a construction site is so impressive that when the movie shifts to the drifting in Tokyo it just doesn't have the impact. Yes the first time you see a car gliding round a bend sideways does grab your attention but by the end of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" it seriously lacks the impact and makes "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" feel a bit like a one trick pony.
In what has become quite common with many movies revolving around teenagers, a lot of the actors are actually older than the characters they are playing, I am sure this should be called "The Grease Effect". Take the lead character of Sean who is of high school age, well he is played by Lucas Black who was I believe 24 when "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" was released. Sean is by no means the only character played by someone older but this doesn't really help the cause when trying to convince the audience that this is what your typical high school student looks like.
One of the strange positives about the casting of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" is that the majority of the actors are not well known. I say it is a positive as watching a star name trying to portray a high school kid would have been even harder to swallow. Amongst the more well known cast members are Sonny Chiba and also Zachery Ty Bryan who sprung to fame on the TV series "Home Improvements", but neither of these appear in the movie for that long. Oh and of course there is the appearance of one of the stars from the original "The Fast & The Furious" which is no more than a small cameo.
What this all boils down to is that giving credit where it's due the camera work on "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" especially when watching the cars drift around sharp corners is very impressive and no doubt the sight of so many cars will have many fans of pimped rides salivating. But in all honest "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" is not brilliant although a vast improvement on the second movie in the franchise but really lacks the continuity to be part of the franchise in the first place.