2 Fast
2 Furious
Cinema Signal:
The Fast and the Furious (The original in a Widescreen Tricked Out DVD Edition)

. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"

Between female flesh and fast iron it's no contest. Speed is everything. Pulchritude is pure background. Danger at the wheel is up there with crossing a gangster, and the roar of hot cylinders will freak you out.

Given all that, it's no wonder that Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) shows what he's made of from the starting line. The trouble with this guy is that he's so easily challenged. Like when a 280-pound hulk like Clay (Zachery Ty Bryan) calls him names when he find him talking to his exceptionally pretty girlfriend Cindy (Nikki Griffin) and ends up destroying his hopped up ride in a race with the sociopathic mental case. Well, who's fault it is is very beside the point--Sean's not only being sent out of town when his mom finds him at the police station, he's headed way far out. Like to another country.

The message for this delinquent is, it's either Juvi hall or live with Dad, Naval officer Boswell (Brian Goodman), share his tight quarters and tighter rules... in Tokyo. The rules dictate he dress in an acceptable manner, meaning the uniform dress code of the school, and keeps away from anything that moves on wheels.

No problem, not even a strain, at least at first. His entrance into his Japanese classroom comes with an eye-lock on the girl of his future, Neela (debuting Nathalie Kelley). But, not so fast, she's got a boyfriend, too. (Must be an international disease). One thing leads to another and it's pretty much a mirror image of what sent him here in the first place. Will this boy never learn? The babe's boyfriend, known as DK, is a tough, petty criminal who works the criminal angles for his uncle, a feared mobster kingpin (Sonny Chibo).

The only difference between this situation and the one back home is that these "kids" are all into "drift" racing, the technique of going sideways in preparation for hairpin turns. It works on curved garage ramps and on curved mountain roads on the edge of cliffs. Plus, DK has it down to a science. He's only the best. The "KD" isn't for nothing. It stands for Drift King, a title he earned. He's feared for more than his bullying ways.

So, standing up to the new bully as we know by now our Sean is wont to do, it comes down to whether he's up to the challenge of a drift race. With no wheels, hovever, it's not something he has to prove. A moot point, until... Han (Sung Kang), a business colleague of DK's who sees thing differently, tosses a set of keys to Sean. The race, and the movie, are on!

The rest of it will saturate you in hot rod exhaust, mini clad Asian beauty, tough guy testosterone, and some really great rolling stock choreography. I have a source who informs me that the Japanese government turned down requests to use their overloaded downtown streets for some very serious stunt work required by the script, but cooler heads prevailed. The benefit is to speed loving action freaks for a harrowing sequence in a movie that's a high-test wet dream for the teenage mentality. The major feature of it is a showy style of racing that's something new on the action movie circuit.

The mix might be a tad overrich but, for a film franchise that's all about moves on a track as an answer to crime, these boys (director Justin Lin, writers Alfredo Botello, Chris Morgan and Kario Salem) don't mess around. They deliver what the fans have come for since the original "The Fast and the Furious," (when it had no subtitle) and the first sequel, with a cool guy at the wheel. Plus, there's a wee surprise for fans at the end.

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                                      ~~  Jules Brenner

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Sean Black and Nathalie Kelley
as Sean and Neela.
They get the drift as quick as the cars

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