Sunday, June 11, 2006

Movie Review: Too Fast and Furious - Tokyo Dreams

A few times per generation, a movie comes out that challenges the very foundations of our society. The latest movie to do this was Crash, an effective and startling ensemble piece examining racial tensions in L.A. Not only has this movie great on its own, it also paved the way for the mind blowingly artistic vision of director Justin Lin and his movie Too Fast and Furious - Tokyo Dreams. When you were watching Crash, were you thinking to yourself, "I agree with what Paul Haggas is saying here, but there is a distict lack of high speed street racing to illustrate his points." Well Tokyo Dreams is the movie for you. It is a movie of intense fascination; we understand quickly enough who the characters are and what their lives are like, but we have no idea how they will behave, because so much depends on high speed racing, and occasionally, time travel. Most movies enact rituals; we know the form and watch for variations. Tokyo Dreams is a movie with free will, and anything can happen. Because we care about the characters, the movie is uncanny in its ability to rope us in and get us involved.

The movie seemlessly drifts between 13 different time periods, including the opening scene in 8th century Peru, an oft overlooked era in time travel - street racing - racial tension genre films. We come to learn the main character was in fact born and raised here, which mercifully ties up a few loose ends from the previous two installments of this epic trilogy (Remember the sheep shearing scene at the end of the second movie??? It made no sense, right? Well, Minton was a sheep shearer in his earlier days, and the regions best. He was up for an award, but was tragically mauled by wild dogs on his way to the ceremony. That also explains his facial scars.)

After this we are led through other eras in time, and occasionally, other planets. The movie's most interesting scene was on a planet three galaxies over and two centuries in the future. On this planet, the language kept turning into pure music, because the creatures there were so enchanted by sounds. Words became musical notes. Sentences became melodies. They were useless as conveyors of information, because nobody knew or cared what the meanings of words were anymore. So leaders in government and commerce, in order to function, had to invent new and much uglier vocabularies and sentence structures all the time, which would resist being transmuted to music.

It is hard to see how this could all be made to fit into a movie, let alone, the best movie. But it does. So, if you are like me, and are eagerly awaiting for the sequel to Bring It On Again, then I promise you that this movie will hold you over until that glorious day.


Blogger BT said...

Ha Ha. Funny post, well written. In case you care, I found your blog from FCP.

1:14 PM  

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