On the evidence of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Cars isn't the only cartoon about gas-guzzling hot-rods this summer. The third instalment in the low-rent, speed-freak franchise, it's the usual mix of dumb heroics and gleaming car porn, with Lucas Black standing in for Paul Walker as the Southern boy up to his redneck in trouble on Japan's mean streets. In a head-to-head with its predecessors, Justin Lin's sequel beats 2 Fast 2 Furious but comes miles behind the 2001 original.
"It's not the ride, it's the rider! " crows Alabama teenager Sean (Black), shortly before totalling his Chevy in an illicit street race with a rich jock rival. The fallout sees him packed off to Tokyo to live with his estranged father - though it's not long before he's back behind the wheel, this time in a car-park duel with 'DK' (Brian Tee), king of the city's underground petrolhead circuit.
Space being at a premium in Japan, though, the locals have learned 'drifting': a high-octane form of skidding that sees them manipulate their motors around hairpin bends and impossibly tight corners. Can 'gaijin' Sean master this skill and prove his mettle in this unfamiliar new world?
"KEEPS THE THRILLS COMING THICK AND, ER, FAST"
Injecting its bouts of tyre-shredding and clutch-crunching with risible Eastern philosophy and the obligatory romantic subplot, Lin's enjoyably stupid action flick keeps the thrills coming thick and, er, fast. And if you make it to the finish line, you're rewarded with a cameo from a muscular favourite whose smirk tells us everything we need to know about this shamelessly trashy enterprise.