The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

 
(i)

 

Car crashes, drinking, guns. You can do better.
  • Review Date: September 25, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

High school kids race cars, smoke, and drink, Yakuza villains deal illegal merchandise and beat up rivals.

Positive role models

No positive role models here.

Violence

Cars crash repeatedly, sometimes flipping over horribly, and in one instance, exploding and killing the driver; boys beat each other up, leading to bruised faces, crumpled bodies, bloody mouths.

Sex

Girl takes off and waves her bra to start a race; high school age girls wear short skirts (schoolgirl outfits) and show cleavage; boys and men adorn their arms with pretty girls; two girls appear very briefly, kissing passionately (elicting comment by passing boy); sinuous dancing with focus on girls' bottoms.

Language

Tough guys talk hard: several uses of s-word, occasional "damnit," Bow Wow boasts he's such a good salesman he "could sell a rubber to a monk."

Consumerism

Cars galore (including Volkswagen, Mustang, Toyota, VeilSide autos and Toyo tires), Tabasco sauce, neon billboards in Tokyo (Sanyo, KFC, McDonald's, Citibank, Il Primo); iPod, Snickers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Villains smoke cigarettes repeatedly (and a cigar); background smoking in clubs and at races; high school students drink in clubs and parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that movie includes frequent car racing and crashing, including a car that flips over and explodes, killing the driver (with a disclaimer advising viewers not to try such tricks at home). High school-aged boys fight (a beatdown in the schoolyard), a Yakuza gangster threatens violence; gangsters show guns (inspiring the kids at risk to jump in their cars and drive fast again). High school-aged girls show much skin and dance provocatively in brief party scenes. High school kids smoke cigarettes and drink liquor; the adult villain smokes a cigar. Some language (s-word and suggestive soundtrack lyrics).

What's the story?

Young Sean (Lucas Black) is in fast trouble, racing a bully in order to "win" a girl, which leads immediately to Sean's punishment: he's sent to live with his grumpy father (Brian Goodman, who played the grumpy father in director Justin Lin's last movie, Annapolis). When dad, a Navy lifer, lays down strict rules, Sean disobeys immediately: he finds the jaunty car scene and a new form of driving called drift (a photogenic form of racing where the car slides along the pavement sideways, the driver shifting, braking, and steering like a madman, typically undertaken on parking garage ramps). He also makes two new friends, an "Army brat" and charming super-salesman named Twinkie (Bow Wow), and a philosophical crook and playboy, Han (Sung Kang, who also appeared in Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow as a guy named Han). Encouraged to think through his choices (why does he race? Why does he rebel?), Sean becomes a better racer and smarter rebel. He also falls in love with a girl, Neela (Nathalie Kelley), who happens to be attached to the villain, D.K. (Brian Tee).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Slick and shiny, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT is part coming-of-age tale, part auto show, and part parade of girls in high school uniforms. The eye candy is generic, but the race scenes are terrific, inventive and witty (even as they occasionally end in crashes).

Because D.K. is the nephew of a Yakuza (Sonny Chiba, looking dapper in white suit and fedora), he has money and a sense of privilege, which means he's determined to take down Sean. They race repeatedly, make mean faces at each other, and compete for Neela's loyalty. While the movie pays some attention to Sean's "outsider" status as a Gajin in Japan, for the most part, he's another triumphant American in a strange land. Upfront about its generic stereotypes (villain is grim, hero earnest, girl pretty), the film glories in its gorgeous action sequences: plot becomes irrelevant.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Sean and his father. How does Sean's rebelliousness mirror his dad's stubbornness? How does the movie point out differences and similarities between U.S. and Japanese kids' interests? Does the movie paint a realistic view of high school life?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 16, 2006
DVD release date:September 26, 2006
Cast:Bow Wow, Lucas Black, Zachery Ty Bryan
Director:Justin Lin
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language and sexual content.

This review of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byfoxirox March 23, 2010
 

ehhh

this one isnt so good. not much action but it had good acting. no shootouts!!! really?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byPrototype79043 April 11, 2010
 
This movie was great. The messages may not be positive, but the movie was great
Adult Written byracerhd12 April 9, 2008
 

Failure

This movie is terrible. I would not recommend it to any age. It promotes the terrible ideas of ricers (or "imports" as they want to be called), drifting, and "NAWS". A uneducated child may get the idea that replacing a Mustang's engine with a Nissan's is smart. Just keep this movie away from anyone who has little common sense. This applies to the rest of the series as well. It hurts to just think about all the people who were ruined by this.

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