The second sequel to 2001’s runaway hit has little to do with the original other than the cars that go vrooom, but somehow it works anyways. Lead Lucas Black isn’t particularly appealing and frankly, even though I watched this yesterday I’ve already forgotten the villain, but it doesn’t matter: This is a total soap opera for adrenaline junkies and car fans, and its enthusiasm is downright infectious. The car races aren’t as elaborate but they’re a lot of fun, and the Tokyo setting gives the movie a distinct visual look that rejuvenates the franchise by transplanting it to a foreign land and heightening the “fish out of water” vibe of the plot. It’s largely inoffensive and rather tame for its ilk, while director Justin Lin manages to work miracles with a thin script by casting a group of charismatic performers who have surprisingly effective chemistry, and he manages to sell a thin, rote plot as though nothing could be more exciting. So, ultimately “Tokyo Drift” won’t convert anyone to the series, but those who enjoy these types of movies will find plenty to appreciate.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)