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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Starring Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Nathalie Kelly, Brian Tee
Screenplay by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin

IN SHORT: Painful . . . unless it's not. [Rated PG-13 for Reckless and Illegal Behavior Involving Teens, Violence, Language and Sexual Content.]

Cranky isn't trying to be clever here. Tokyo Drift is the third in the Fast and the Furious franchise, all of which put style -- car races and car crashes -- above story. Granted, we don't need much story to make us happy. The first two editions were fine and the acting staff was able to bring a lot to the table to keep us happy with the various characters. That isn't the case with Tokyo Drift, whose only brilliant idea is to star a driver who can't drive all that well.

Boy, we hope you haven't seen the TV spot -- ditto that the surprise ending wasn't tipped in the movie trailer, which we haven't seen -- but if you have, well, there's very little to keep you otherwise occupied here. Unless, of course, you're like Cranky and thus determined to get every cent out of the ten or twelve bucks you laid out for a first run ticket. [Yeah, yeah, we've been at this over a decade. We don't have to pay anymore. Get over it.] Tokyo Drift is a tissue paper thin story with on screen talent that has mastered attitude instead of acting. Even the target demo drifted in and out of our screening between races and crack ups.

This year's bad egg is Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) who, after running his mother ragged due to his street dragging habits, is shipped out of country to Tokyo. There, reunited with a father he barely knows, Sean is dropped stranger in a strange land style into a school of other useless kidlets. These include a hustler nicknamed Twinkie (Bow Wow), the easy on the eyes Neela (Nathalie Kelly) and her incredibly jealous and verging on psychopathic Yakuza boyfriend D.K. (Brian Tee). D.K. is out of school, with a mini crew of muscle called Morimoto (Leonardo Nam) and an Uncle, Kamata (JJ Sonny Chiba), uber-boss of the Japanese organized crime syndicates.

So, how does this kidlet banned from all contact with cars, get his butt in a sling this time? He gets a loaner, from soon to be "employer" -- the Japanese Underworld is all over the back story but the Rating pretty much keeps is there we think -- Han (Sung Kang).

And it's on to the races. Perhaps if we were fifteen, or if we hadn't already been through two earlier editions of this series, there may have been some excitement. With actors that can't in a story that barely is, all that's left is the cars. It's time to put 'em on blocks.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, he would have paid . . .


You know if you want to make this a dateflick. Testosterone required.

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