Two weeks ago I had to go to DC to coach one of BU’s moot court teams at a competition. Said competition was over by Saturday afternoon, and after spending the afternoon walking around and visiting with an old friend, I decided to camp out in the (fancy) hotel room, get takeout, and watch TV. I really, really like staying in hotels. Also I was coming down with a cold.
Anyway, I went out, found thai food, and came back to start flipping channels. I got to TNT and it appeared that something terrible was on. Something terrible and maybe Japanese? Oh, no, wait! I had happily stumbled upon The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. YES. As any thinking person knows, the final chapter in the F & F series comes out this week. I KNOW! The first two were very entertaining, but I’d skipped Tokyo Drift on account of it seeming totally unrelated to the other two, and lacking the fine acting spectacle of either Paul Walker or Vin Diesel. But now that it was on TV and I had nothing better to do, I decided to watch. And I would like to provide sort of a “liveblog” of what I saw.
The below was written in an email while watching the movie, and only slightly edited for you:
I missed the first 10 minutes but it seems Slackjaw, our hero, is in Tokyo because his dad is in the Navy? People keep accusing him of being an Army brat and he keeps denying it, and then we got a shot of his dad in a Navy sweatshirt. See what they did there? Not really? Me neither.
Slackjaw was eating lunch, and then a sassy black dude befriended him and took him to an underground race at a parking garage. Slackjaw hit on this dude’s girlfriend and then that dude, who is apparently yakuza, was a dick, so Slackjaw decided to solve this problem by agreeing to race him even though he has no car. But wait! Then some other yakuza dude (I am going to call him Candy because he is always eating candy) said Slackjaw could borrow his. This turns out to be a bad idea, as Slackjaw does not know how to “drift” and totally he smashes up Candy’s car.
Slackjaw got home and his dad was mad. “Are you racing? Answer me!” His delivery was WAY too intense. Also for some reason, this is the “last stop” for Slackjaw, and if he gets kicked out he will go to jail? Unclear why.
Candy has decided that Slackjaw can pay his debt (from wrecking Candy’s car) by being his driver sometimes when he goes out to collect money for the yakuza, and also by being the person who has to get the money from people. Some hilarity with a sumo wrestler in a sauna ensues.
That other yakuza guy (Angry Face, that’s his name) is pretty mad that Candy is having Slackjaw do this.
Um, now they are all at school? Sassy friend, Slackjaw, and the girl, anyway. Is it a school for 30 year olds? It must be.
Heart to heart between Candy and Slackjaw. “I have money. What I need around me is trust and character. And one car in exchange for finding out what a man’s made of is a price I can live with.”
Thank GOD. Candy has agreed to teach Slackjaw how to drift. He learns in what appears to be one training session lasting 3-5 hours.
Heart to heart with girl! “I realize now, outsider or insider, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is going after what you really want.”
We just heard the boring story of how Girl learned to drift. Also I think she’s British? And we learned that Slackjaw got his first ticket the day he got his license, and then won his first race the next day.
Uh oh! Angry Face just showed up and started beating the shit out of Slackjaw, I guess because he was hanging out with his girl. Also, we learned earlier that Girl’s mom died when she was two and Angry Face’s grandma took her in (for some unknown reason). So they grew up together, but now are dating. Gross.
Ohhhhh! Girl is trying to break up with Angry Face! Apparently he has changed. Oh! He just accused her mom of being a whore!
But then I guess he let her go, because here she is at the garage where Slackjaw is.
Angry Face’s actually scary Yakuza uncle just showed up to check on business and grab his cash money. He looks like a 20s gangster. And apparently Angry Face’s partner is stealing from them, and he failed to catch it. Yakuza Uncle just gave the WHOLE “for want of a nail” speech. In Japanese. Slowly. With subtitles.
Oh! The partner is Candy. Ok.
Oh! Fight! Angry Face pulled a gun on Candy, and some quick thinking by Sassy Black Friend distracted him long enough for Candy to knock the gun away. Now they are in a car chase through the streets of Tokyo.
It appears that “drifting” is accomplished using the same maneuver you would use in Kart to get blue sparks.
This is the longest, most boring car chase ever. It involves a lot of drifiting, and Slackjaw’s and Candy’s cars are getting pretty messed up! Oh no! Candy just got hit by an unrelated car, HARD. His car flipped. over. Oh shit, it just exploded! He didn’t look good before that happened so I suspect he is dead. Slackjaw and Girl are running away.
Angry Face was waiting for them at Slackjaw’s house, and when Slackjaw and Girl got there, pulled a gun on Slackjaw and tried to make Girl go with him. Slackjaw’s dad showed up in the nick of time and pulled a gun on Angry Face. But then Girl went with him anyway. Slackjaw’s dad wants to send him home but: “I’m responsible for this mess. I gotta do this. Can you understand this?” “Please do not redo my mistakes.” Uh, then Slackjaw walked away. Hey! Thank your dad for saving your LIFE!
Duuuuude, Slackjaw showed up at Yakuza HQ with something for Uncle! Oh, he is returning the money Candy stole. And he is apologizing. For embarrassing himself along with Angry Face. Hee! He is offering a “peaceful solution,” specifically, a race that will settles things once and for all. The loser will leave town! For good!
For SOME REASON Slackjaw’s dad is helping out with this insane idea by giving his son a Viper car body to use. You know, since Slackjaw wrecked his car as part of the chase that also killed Candy.
I am tired of this Bones commercial.
Dangerous race on curvy road commences. Slackjaw pulls ahead. Angry Face tried to run him off the road. Kids with cell phones are lined up all down the road shooting video and apparently streaming it to the people waiting at the finish? I don’t think phones work that way, guys. Maybe in Japan? Ok, this race has been on for like 20 minutes. Oh! Angry Face just went off the road, hard, and over a cliff edge. As Slackjaw went around the next bend, Angry Face’s car nearly fell on Slackjaw’s. There was some slow-mo. Uncle says Slackjaw and Girl are free to go. Having learned no lessons, they are hanging out back at the garage where they usually race.
Some was has turned up to challenge the new “Drift King”! He knew Candy! So they will race. Hey, it’s Vin Diesel! Hi!