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Fine, Let’s Talk About ‘Tokyo Drift’

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2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 3LT Z51
2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 3LT Z51

During a recent spell of sleeplessness, I decided to bite the bullet and finally start watching the “Fast & Furious” movies. The first entry was a perfectly enjoyable action romp that actually had some effective moments, and the second was basically the first one regurgitated back onto the screen with a notable lack of charm and less likable characters. Then I got to “Tokyo Drift.”

And boy howdy, is it ever a wild ride.

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The “Plot” of ‘Tokyo Drift’

“The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift” is easily the most brainless film in a series that couldn’t pass an IQ test if it tried. In fact, it’s one of the few franchises that may believe it’s even possible to fail an IQ test, were it sentient. But where later titles leaned into their inherently ridiculous premises and turned out to be pretty fun, “Tokyo Drift” is just plain stupid.

The story — as near as I can remember — follows a 30-year-old actor pretending to be a high school student. He likes cars. One day after school, he goes to his car, where a mean jock wearing a football jersey so you know he’s a mean jock, gets mad at our “hero” for talking to his girlfriend.

After an exchange filled with some of the finest dialogue ever penned, the 30-year-old high school student and the mean jock decide to race in a construction lot that’s apparently right next to the school. “What are they racing for,” you ask? That would be for, I guess, possession of the mean jock’s girlfriend. I don’t think I need to explain how enormously problematic that is.

Then they race, wreck their cars, and the 30-year-old high school student is shipped to Tokyo to live with his father. He’s instructed not to race cars anymore, so the first thing he does is find an underground drag racing ring and total someone else’s car by driving real bad in a parking garage.

Then the Yakuza gets involved for some reason, the 30-year-old high school student learns how to drift, and defeats the Yakuza by drifting real good on a scary mountain.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Cool cars, cool drifting

As absolutely nonsensical as the plot may be, “Tokyo Drift’s” driving sequences are actually really impressive. The drifting is absolutely wild, and all of the cars on display look suitably snazzy. Plus, the signature neon lighting of both Tokyo and more than a few of the vehicles works almost well enough to distract you from the fact that nothing you’re watching makes any sense.

So, my suggestion would be to avoid “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” unless you’re a connoisseur of so-bad-it’s-good cinema. Or just find a highlight reel of the races on YouTube.

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