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As glossy, and as deep, as a coat of paint

June 20, 2006|by ROWAN COPLEY

My biggest problem with "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" wasn't the fact that none of the stock cardboard characters evolved at all; it wasn't the completely predictable second half of the movie; and it wasn't the cartoonish Tokyo with hardly even token Japanese spoken.

My biggest problem was just that there wasn't much meaning attached to anything that happens.

OK, sure, maybe meaning is too much to expect in this throwaway macho summer flick. But if the filmmakers had actually tried to make something more than a by-the-numbers sequel to "F&F" No. 2, it would have added an impact that this film is just missing.

There's no reason to root for the "good guy" American, Sean Boswell, because there's nothing special about him. He screws up a lot. His motto is, "If I want something real bad, I'll try real hard to get it."

During the climactic race scene, there's nothing going for the hero that gives him an edge to win. Really, "Tokyo Drift" is all about the sexy cars, the speed, the crazy camera work. Overall the movie is like a fresh paint job - shiny, slick, expensive, very shallow, and nothing more than nice to look at. It's an entertaining popcorn muncher, because the race scenes are cool, and Tokyo is a great multicolored backdrop.

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Still, it'll make you want to burn rubber all the way home.

PG-13 for reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language and sexual content.

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