The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
has all the elements that spelled success for its predecessors: Speed, sex, and minimal dialogue. The plot doesn't need explication; it's a nonsensical series of confrontations and standoffs that serve to get us from one race to another. Tokyo Drift
can most accurately be described as a visual poem about screeching tires, crunching fiberglass, and sleek female skin, set to a killer soundtrack of Japanese pop and hip-hop. The actors are only needed for tight close-ups of narrowed eyes or sweaty hands tightly gripping gearshifts, though Sung Kang, Better Luck Tomorrow,
stands out as a vaguely philosophical hoodlum with deadpan charisma. The curved bodies of the cars and the luscious flesh of the women are both shot with a fetishistic hunger. The "drift" style of racing--in which the cars are allowed to slide in order to take sharp turns at high speeds--grabs your eyes; there's a strange, spectral beauty to rows of cars sliding sideways down a mountain road at night. Also starring Lucas Black (Friday Night Lights
) as our wheel-happy hero; Bow Wow (Roll Bounce
) as the scam-artist comic relief; and martial arts legend Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill
) as a yakuza big shot. --Bret Fetzer
Third film in the action series. Brooding loner Shaun Boswell (Lucas Black) has always been an outsider, his only connection to the indifferent world through illegal street racing. To avoid jail time, Shaun is sent out of the country to live with his uncle, sharing a cramped apartment in a low-rent section of Tokyo. In the land that gave birth to the majority of modified racers on the road, the simple street race has been replaced by the ultimate pedal-to-the-metal challenge ... drift racing, a deadly combination of brutal speed on heart stopping courses. When Shaun unknowingly takes on a Yakuza gangster in his first race, he finds that the only way he can pay off the debt is to venture into the deadly realm of the Tokyo underworld, where the stakes are life and death.