Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift


In the beginning, there was Andy Hardy. Okay, maybe there were teen movies before that, but I don’t know them. Andy was just so … so gosh-darn enthusiastic! By golly, you wanted to smack him around some! “Hey, kids, we can use Farmer John’s barn, and we can … put on a show! What do you say, Judy?” “Gosh, Andy, that would be swell!”

Then there was Frankie and Annette. Annette had boobs and she wore a swimsuit, and the girls around her were real babes in bikinis. Eric von Zipper provided the comic villain. They danced in the sand to that crazy rocking roll music and our parents probably hated them. They brought sex into teen movies. Well, not actual sex, Annette was a Mouseketeer, and you can’t get more wholesome than that. Just necking sex, and stay-away-from-my-girl head-butting, males staking out territory, females crying about their fickle boyfriends … just look and don’t fuck, Playboy magazine, stare-at-the-belly-buttons-and-butts sex, but a lot more than Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

There must have been gradual stages between F&A and this current kind of teen movie, which is basically a video game with short pauses for “plot,” but I missed them. Whew! I feel like I dodged a bullet. The boys are a lot more macho, the girls are even more brainless, and they drive really expensive, really fast cars, really badly. There were two car races in the first 30 minutes, and “our hero” (a world-class loser who never, never, never backs down from a fight or a race) loses them both and totals both cars, one of which isn’t his. Excuse me? I thought the point of a race was to win, and then race the car again. Especially if it’s an $80,000 Viper.

30 minutes was as long as we lasted. Lee was ready to go while the credits were still rolling, but I wanted to see one race … and then the asshole was banished to Japan (don’t ask why; it made no sense) and for a while it at least got visually interesting. Downtown Tokyo looks like another planet, and if even a fraction of this stuff is to be believed, their kids are so far more wired into cyberspace that, by comparison, the kids back here with cell phones surgically attached to their ears might as well be communicating with tin cans and a string. Oh, yeah, I wanted to know what “Tokyo drift” was. Apparently (and I have no idea if this is done in real life) it’s racing in multi-story parking garages in a sort of perpetual skid. Whoopee! Now I know! This is the 3rd in the F&F franchise. I hope they last as long as the Andy Hardys. That will be a long list of movies I don’t have to go see.