This movie actually happens somewhere during the credits of Furious 6. :P
There's an all new cast this time around, mainly focusing on an adrenaline and car-racing junkie (Lucas Black) and due to getting into trouble early on is sent to live with his dad in Tokyo. He quickly gets into old habits and gets himself into trouble with yakuza because... Japan! And ultimately learns to take responsibility for his actions. It's a pretty basic plot, but at least the different setting is refreshing. Don't expect to have escaped the "gansta" music though - now you just get it in Japanese. Obviously there's some Japanese spoken too.
Positives: It looks like they learned their lesson from last time and have less "talking while racing" as well as less "special FX while racing" with pretty intense and impressive stunt work happening - mostly focused on drifting as the title might give away. Also, despite being pretty "late" in the chronological order of things because it was made earlier than the in between movies it offers almost no spoilers. What I like most about it is they aren't shy about showing what happens to cars when you crash. There is a -lot- of automotive damage in this movie. I also quite liked the Initial D feel of the mountain race. Han is very cool.
You might not know it yet, but I'm actually the main character.
Negatives: There are also -lots- of party scenes. I mean LOTS (possibly more than the last two movie combined), most of which could have been cut out since they serve just as background while main characters walk from point A to B. This is probably to get the most out of all the scantily clad extras everywhere. Think Miku from the last movie x50. Also, while there is less "talking while driving dangerously", they didn't get rid of it altogether. One of the silliest scenes for me is two characters having a heart to heart while drifting down a mountain at speed, and the "driver" is obviously not driving thanks to her poor position.
All up I think those two sections balance each other out so I'm forced to just give this film two tires out of five. I also have no intention of watching it again.
Takes the gear to the next level... down. Possibly two levels down.
I'm not sure what the point of this 20 minute little film is as the plot basically focuses on Vin Diesel recruiting people for the next movie below. It also does a pretty poor job of explaining why he is targeting oil - because the price is going up so he's going to give it away ala Robin Hood to the poor.
Logically, if you do that the oil companies would just increase the price even more? Moron. Anyway, there's no racing to be had here and most of the average camera work film is in Spanish. I don't know why, but despite all that I kinda enjoyed the slower pace of it. I guess I've taken a liking to his crew! Still, I can only give this one tire out of five, and don't really have a need to watch it again. You won't miss much for skipping it.
Fast and Furious
Welcome back Vin. We missed you!
In this fourth film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is up to his old tricks again with a few familiar faces in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, his decision to try protect his girl friend by leaving her (really, that's a stupid move) goes incredibly bad and leads to him on a vengeance quest again an unknown cartel boss. Cop guy from the first movie is also back and happens to be hunting the same guy so a team up sounds pretty logical, but only after they get their machisimo out of the way.
Sports cars vs 4 Wheel Drives?
Like movie number two, this movie has the bad guy hiring drivers to deliver stuff which happens to be their "in" to the organization - pretty damn convenient if you ask me. Also, you are now treated to Mexican "Gangsta" music. Admittedly I'm getting used to hearing this genre now, which quite made the more regular acoustic songs of Los Bandoleros a refreshing change.
They also learned from the overuse of party scenes from Tokyo Drift and made an interesting, compressed one where you actually are still interested in what's going on. At the same time they kept the car destruction high which is awesome. Anyway I think this one is back on the same level as the first movie so I give it three tires out of five but again, have no interest in giving it a second watch through.