Coming out of the theatre, you will realize the most important thing about this film as I have, which is: Not To Take It Seriously.
In fact, I propose we put that right beside the PG13 rating. For example: The Fast And The Furious: TOKYO DRIFT. PG 13. Do Not Take It Seriously.
Yes that would work. Either that or, ‘If you’re looking for a good story, or an in depth look at the human soul, then look elsewhere’, but I guess the first one would do just as well, and besides it’s shorter.
The premise speaks for itself. Miscreant white boy (with a Texan drawl to boot) who drives too fast gets kicked out to his Dad in Tokyo, the worst actor they can find this side of the Pacific. You know the rest. He meets up with some bad elements, challenges chief bad guy to a race (even if he doesn’t have a car. Beat that.), and gets his butt kicked at first. He is then taught by a master, and triumphantly returns said butt-kicking to initial butt kicker.
He also gets the bad guy’s very hot girlfriend, who like most eye-candy, actually has a heart of gold, and always hooks up with the fastest guy. I mean, what if white boy didn’t show up? She’d still be with bad guy, right? Where have I seen this before? Mr. Miyagi, is that you?
Having said that, why would I still recommend it?
Firstly, it is unashamedly a promotion of Need for Speed, the video game. Truth is, the game will probably make more money than the movie, turning the tables and making the movie a promoter of the game and not the other way around.
As such, it has a lot of what the game has, which is fantastic cars, pretty girls, buffed guys with bad attitudes, and hot techno tunes in the background. There is no story explaining why those guys turned bad. There’s no story involving how those cars turned out the way they did. The pretty girls always wear clothes that would get them arrested, or picked up. And the techno music with nonsensical lyrics like this:
I wonder if you know
How they live in Tokyo
If you see me then you mean it
Then you know you have to go
Fast and furious (Tick, Tick, Tick)
Fast and furious (Tick, Tick, Tick)
This can only mean one thing: This is going to be a cult classic. And a ‘Tokyo Drift’ search on Youtube already confirms 570 results and growing.
Therefore, watch this movie, to pander to the shallow side of you. The one that doesn’t want to be left out when your friends start talking about how terrific that Mustang or Z-car looked in this movie, or how the character was too old, or about Lil’ Bow Wow’s latest movie (now known as just ‘Bow Wow’) or how hot and banging the theme song is, regardless of the fact that it doesn’t make any sense.
Watch this to get some level of pop culture, of which there are no better initiators than the Japanese, who come up with such things as Drifting, which is a race won not by who gets to the finish line first, but by how well you lock your rear wheels when making a turn, or songs with lyrics like above.
Watch it to say goodbye to the good old days, when car races were won by the fastest car, and not by the flashiest one. There used to be a time when drifting was a bad thing, as it wasted tires and just made a lot of noise and smoke. If this were basketball, it’s like winning because you’re wearing flashier shoes and celebrated better after a point, as opposed to scoring more than the opponent.
Watch it for the ‘surprise, special guest star’ ending, featuring an impromptu appearance with the lamest excuse for a guest appearance I’ve ever heard, hard-wedged into the final scene, almost as if the directors and scriptwriters are saying ‘hey we’ve fooled the audience this far, so why not?’
Watch it if you’ve got P130.00 and time to spare, if you’ve got nothing else better to do, and you like looking at nice flashy things going fast. Just remember to park your common sense along with the cars in the parking lot.
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