The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Release Date: June 16, 2006
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Movie of the Day for Friday, February 3, 2006
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The second film was not without its charms.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
56/159 David Mumpower Much closer in terms of quality to the original than its heinous follow-up.
70/200 Max Braden The music selections are really good.

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Bro, you know what movie sucked? Bro? 2 Fast 2 Furious. Presumed cyborg Paul Walker's robotically stiff attempts at acting caused critics to run away from theaters screaming in agony. He was thrust to the forefront after Vin Diesel, the charismatic villain from the first film, had a falling out with Universal Studios. Diesel tried to use the original's financial success as a springboard to a much higher payday. When that failed, Diesel and director Rob Cohen took their ball and went home.

Undeterred, the studio moved forward without them, although the sequel was instantly denounced by many (myself included) as an inferior production doomed to failure. Thanks to a powerful marketing campaign, that did not happen...exactly. The 2003 release managed a sensational $50.5 million opening weekend before flaming out. The film would manage only another $77 million in the rest of its domestic run, making it one of the worst performing $50 million openers of all time up until that point.

To say that word-of-mouth destroyed the sequel would probably be too kind. Recognizing this, Universal has made another bold decision. They have not invited Paul Walker back. In fact, they're not inviting anyone from the first two films back, including directors or writers. Instead, they've put Better Luck Tomorrow's Justin Lin at the helm and will start from scratch with an all-new young cast. He'll work from a screenplay by Chris Morgan as he takes the story to the streets of Tokyo. This time around, the story will center on an American named Sean Boswel. The wild eyed southern boy with a significant drawl has been evicted from the U.S. because he loves street racing too much. When Sean arrives in Tokyo, he learns about a different sort of sport - "drift racing". In this type of racing, the cars accelerate to high speeds, then spin out of them, leading to highly risky races around the city.

In reality, none of this matters. The Fast and the Furious franchise is all about sleek cars and reckless driving. Walker, Diesel and even Black are irrelevant to that equation. What matters is that the vehicles are shiny and the trailers make enough MySpace users to shout "Oooh!!!" (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Main Cast Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Brian Tee
Supporting Cast Nikki Griffin, Nathalie Kelley, Sung Kang, Jason Tobin
Director Justin Lin
Screenwriter Chris Morgan
Distributor Universal
Rating PG-13
Running Time 104 minutes
Screen Count 3,026
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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