Making the Grades
This infamous franchise featuring speeding cars, loose women and illegal activities is back on the road with a third installment. This time it's the streets of Tokyo that are being subjected to the criminal, recreational activity of street racing.
Featuring a new cast of faces, the film focuses on high school student Sean Boswell (Lucas Black), who just can't stop himself from tearing up the pavement. After a confrontation in the school parking lot between Sean and a hot rod bully, the pair agrees to settle their differences in a race. They also decide the winner's "trophy" will be the slick kid's girlfriend. Minutes later, the boys and their gang break down the gate of a suburban housing development and turn it into a high-speed course. Needless to say, massive property damage results, along with a huge lack of consequences thanks to a police force easily bought off with money and cleavage.
The only fallout from Sean's experience is his poor mother (Lynda Boyd) who sends him to Japan to live with his father (Brian Goodman). To make room for his son in his tiny flat, Dad is obliged to ask a visiting prostitute to leave. The next day, the boy is packed off to school where he immediately finds fast friends, fast women, and -- only a few hours after his first day in class -- fast cars.
Following his new acquaintance Twinkie (Bow Wow), the young hooligans enter the land of underground Japanese racing... and it's literally underground. Convening in a parking lot, a huge group of young men with shiny cars and half-dressed girls offer Sean just what he was hoping to find. Before long another confrontation is in gear between Sean and a bad looking dude called DK (Brian Tee). When another girl is proffered up for the top prize -- DK's girlfriend Neela (Nathalie Kelley) -- the competition is on. But in Tokyo, where space is precious and corners are tight, the art of drifting is a necessary skill for navigating through a concrete garage. Unfortunately our pompous protagonist hasn't a clue about this method, and destroys an $80,000 car, which was loaned to him by DK's partner Han (Sung Kang).
Of course, things get worse from there, and Sean finds himself working for the Japanese mob in order to pay back the wrecked car. By the time the movie is over he and Han develop a strange friendship, and audiences are supposed to distinguish between good crooks and bad crooks, as well as be entertained by a cast of supposed teenagers ripping through city streets.
If the plot isn't enough to deter your kids from racing to this movie, then try this angle: The performances are pathetic, the script is contrived, and the only thing worth the price of admission are the stunt driving sequences, which Universal Studios notes at the start of the closing credits, shouldn't be tried at home.
However, if you have a teen who is a car aficionado, you'd be better off watching some racing on ESPN, that won't include female objectification, profanities, violence (extreme car crashes and conflicts result in bloodied injuries) and an infuriating message that illegal racing and other activities are fun and exciting.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift.
The lack of consequences in this film many provides starting points for many discussions, such as: What are the financial costs of street racing? (You may want to look at the price tags of the vehicles, the tires—thanks to the effect of “drifting”—and the property damage.) What other costs and risks are associated with this illegal form of entertainment? Are those who chose to race the only ones who may be affected by these dangers?
What does Sean learn from his experience in Japan? What do you think his future will hold?
How are women portrayed in this film? What stereotypes are used? What opportunities for decision-making or taking control of their destinies are the female characters given?