The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Wild Speed X3 Tokyo Drift in Japan) is a 2006 film directed by Justin Lin and the third installment of The Fast and the Furious film series. The film features an all-new cast and a different setting (Tokyo, Japan) from the previous two films. The movie was shot in Tokyo and in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, the latter often covered with props and lights to create the illusion of the Tokyo style.
Sean Boswell (Lucas Black), a young man with a talent for auto mechanics, has led a life of getting into trouble. His monoparental mother has had to relocate to different cities with him every time his problems at school or with the local authorities escalated enough. One day, Sean ends up flirting with the girlfriend of the school quarterback, resulting in him angrily throwing a baseball into Sean's rear window just as Sean tried to drive away and avoid confrontation. Upon damage of his car, Sean gets out and pulls out a 16mm wrench, threatening to fight. Fortunately, the two decide to duel on who gets the girlfriend, with the quarterback driving a Dodge Viper and Sean in his 1971 Monte Carlo.
The race eventually turns awful as Sean smashes through houses that are currently under construction and the quarterback ends up crashing his car. Both end up at the police station, injured. The girlfriend is furious with both and the incident almost lands Sean in jail, and his mother, deciding not to deal with moving again, sends him to Tokyo to live with his father, stationed in Japan as a U.S. Naval officer. Upon reaching Tokyo, Sean's father warns him to not go near another car or he will be sent back to the US to serve jail.
Sean awakes the next morning realising he has been enrolled into a private school in Tokyo. After class at lunch, Sean meets Twinkie (Bow Wow), a fellow American, who hustles pre-owned goods to their Japanese classmates. After Shawn notices several automobile related wares Twinkie has, Twinkie introduces Sean to the world of drift racing by bringing him to a drift carpark where a race party is going on.
Sean soon runs into Takashi (Brian Tee), also known as DK (short for Drift King), and his close friend Han (Sung Kang), who was born and raised in America. Sean is seen by Takashi talking to Neela (Nathalie Kelley), Takashi's girlfriend, and when Takashi tells him to back down, Sean challenges him to a race using Han's car, a Nissan Silvia. Takashi wins with his Nissan 350Z, and Han's car is totalled due to Sean's inexperience with drift racing, so Han tells Sean that he is not to leave Tokyo and must work for him to repay the car. Embarrassed from the race, Sean realises he has to. He soon learns that Han is involved in a business partnership with Takashi.
Han becomes Sean's friend, and takes him under his wing, teaching him how to drift, and providing him with some financial support. Sean slowly builds a reputation in the drift scene, slowly improving and eventually beating one of Takeshi's lackeys Morimoto, who fumed in frustration after losing to Sean in his 350Z. Sean continues his training and befriends Neela, who is also Sean's classmate. She reveals that she, like Sean, was also considered an "outsider" once, not being native to Japan. She explains that she and Takashi grew up together after her mother died. However, after seeing Sean with Neela and learning of their time spent together, Takashi beats him and warns him to stay away from her. Angry after seeing Sean's bruises, Neela angrily leaves Takashi, to be with Sean.
Takashi's uncle, Kamata, a high ranking Yakuza (portrayed by Sonny Chiba), told him that there is a discrepancy in the account books, and that cash flow was not right. Kamata then tells Takashi that Han must have been cheating them out of money. One night Takashi confronts Han and his group with this discrepancy, and Han, Sean, and Neela flee before Takashi threatens them with a gun. Twinkie sneaks to the back to close the shutter doors, allowing a diversion for Sean and Neela to get into Sean's car and Han to get into his, as they escape. A car chase ensues through the Tokyo streets, with Takashi chasing Han, and Morimoto chasing Sean. Morimoto tries to wreck Sean, but a car comes at him in his lane and he attempts to dodge to the next lane but results in colliding with another, presumably killing Morimoto. Takashi, seeing Morimoto's car in a massive car pile up, smirks and leaves him behind as he catches up to Sean. He too tries to wreck Sean but is unsuccessful after Han slows down and allows Sean to take the lead, allowing Han to deal with Takashi.
The chase leads onto downtown Tokyo, where Sean was alerted by Neela he was about to run into a crowd. Sean immediately horns to the crowd, signalling them to move. In the commotion he turns, with Takashi and Han following suit. Soon Takashi shoots at Han throughout the chase, with Han maneuvering to avoid getting shot. Han manages to knock Takashi to spin him out, but drives across a junction where he is unknowingly hit by a Mercedes S Class, causing Han's car to flip over. The car begins to leak gasoline from the crash, while Han is unable to move from his injuries sustained. Just then Sean notices and he too gets collided at his car's rear by a truck. Sean and Neela leave the car and as they finally catch up to Han's wreckage, the gasoline leaked from the car reaches a nearby fire, triggering an explosion which also ruptures the nitrous resulting in a bigger explosion and killing Han. Devastated, Neela pulls Sean away as they leave via subway. Sean and Neela go back to Sean's father's house, and Takashi comes to take Neela and threatens Sean with a gun, but Sean's father appears and does likewise to Takashi with his own gun. Neela voluntarily goes away with Takashi to prevent further mishap, along with Takashi taunting Sean that he will deal with Sean away from Sean's father.
Sean's father, knowing the situation, immediately berates Sean and tells him that he will be dispatched back to the US, but Sean tries to reason. Sean's father relents after Sean said that he had caused the matter and it was only right he fixed it back. The next day, Twinkie meets up with Sean and asks what the plan was, which Sean telling Twinkie. Knowing the situation, Twinkie decides to aid Sean financially by providing cash for the returning of the laundered money.
Sean attempts to make amends by heading to the Yakusa hideout and appealing to Kamata, returning the money Han stole, also offering to an "honour race", a duel where whoever loses is to be exiled from town. Kamata agrees, and sets the race location. It is on a touge (mountain pass) that Takashi has the advantage on, since he's supposedly the only one to ever make it down to the bottom in one piece.
Sean, Twinkie and Han's crew return to their safehouse to find it under police investigation and everything had been confiscated, including any remaining cars. However, the wreck of the Silvia Sean first used to duel Takashi was left, and the engine was still intact. They take it, and Sean's father fixes them up with his old Ford Shelby. Sean then equpis the car and modifies it for the race, and after many tests and mods, the car is ready.
The race takes place at night atop the mountain pass, with Sean and Takashi ready. As the race progresses, Takashi constantly plays dirty by tackling Sean many times. Sean was able to withstand the hits and manages to swerve Takashi which allowed him to take the lead.
Nearing the end of the race, Takashi tries to knock Sean out again, but Sean smartly brakes and Takashi was sent flying down the mountain. Sean wins the race, but from the crash Takashi's 350Z wreck was falling onto the road. Fortunately Sean closely manages to dodge the wreck by drifting. Arriving at the finish, Takashi barely survives, however his loss causes him to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sean, whom Takashi still considers an "outsider". Kamata tells Sean he is free to go, and Takashi presumably leaves Tokyo. Free from the Yakuza, Neela gets back with Sean.
Time passes, Sean is the new Drift King and is hanging out in the underground parking lot from earlier in the film with Neela, now his girlfriend. Twinkie comes up to Sean, saying someone wants to challenge him, which Sean accepts only after finding out the challenger apparently knew Han. Sean takes his new drift car and heads to meet the mystery challenger who is none other than Dominic Toretto (portrayed by Vin Diesel, from the first The Fast and the Furious movie). Toretto and Sean hold a brief conversation, with Toretto saying that Han once rode with him and liked muscle cars, the one currently driven by him was won from Han. Sean knew Toretto's reputation and said that the race they have won't be any "10 second race", with Toretto saying he had "nothing but time". Neela counts off the race, the cars take off as both head on for the first straight.
Box office performance
Despite mixed reviews, Tokyo Drift brought in over $24 million on its opening weekend. The movie itself was in limited release in Japan (released under the name Wild Speed 3). As of January 28, 2007, the domestic box office take has totalled $62,514,415 with another $95,886,987 from the foreign box office, resulting in total receipts of $158,401,402. Tokyo Drift did, however, gross lower than its predecessor films.
The film holds a rating of 34% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 46 out of 100 on Metacritic. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, giving it three stars (out of four), saying that director Justin Lin "takes an established franchise and makes it surprisingly fresh and intriguing," adding that Tokyo Drift is "more observant than we expect" and that "the story [is] about something more than fast cars." Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun felt that "the opening half-hour may prove to be a disreputable classic of pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking." Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that "it's not much of a movie, but a hell of a ride."
Michael Medved gave Tokyo Drift one and a half stars (out of four) saying: "There’s no discernible plot [...] or emotion or humor." James Berardinelli from Reel Views also gave it one and a half stars out of four, saying: "I expect a racing film to be derivative. That goes with the territory. No one is seeing a Fast and the Furious movie for the plot. When it comes to eye candy, the film is on solid ground—it offers plenty of babes and cars (with the latter being more lovingly photographed than the former). However, it is unacceptable that the movie's action scenes (races and chases) are boring and incoherent. If the movie can't deliver on its most important asset, what's the point?"
Richard Roeper strongly criticized of the film, saying: "The whole thing is preposterous. The acting is so awful, some of the worst performances I’ve seen in a long, long time." Similarly, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said that Tokyo Drift "suffers from blurred vision, motor drag and a plot that's running on fumes. Look out for a star cameo—it’s the only surprise you'll get from this heap." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said: "[The main character] has no plan and no direction, just a blind desire to smash up automobiles and steal a mobster's girlfriend. [...] As for the racing scenes, who cares about the finesse move of drifting, compared to going fast? And who wants to watch guys race in a parking lot? For that matter, who wants to watch guys race down a mountain, with lots of turns?"
Vin Diesel makes an uncredited appearance as Dominic Toretto (his character from the original The Fast and the Furious film), claiming to be a friend of Han's. This was explained in Fast & Furious, a sequel to The Fast and The Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Toretto and Han used to steal fuel tankers in the Dominican Republic together.
Real-life "Drift King" and drift pioneer Keiichi Tsuchiya also makes an appearance during the scenes where Lucas Black's character (Sean Boswell) is learning how to drift. He appears as an old fisherman who makes a side comment on Sean's lack of proper drift technique, which is obviously an inside joke. Drift driver Rhys Millen can be seen talking to a Japanese couple during the transition from America to Japan.
In the uncut edition of the film, Ben Sinclair makes a brief appearance as the famous drifting champion Quinn Jackson. Sean has a short conversation with Ben, whose wisdom helps inspire him to keep trying to make it in the Tokyo underground.
The RB26DETT motor found in the Nissan Skyline GTR, which powered the Mustang in the film, has been subject to much criticism by automotive enthusiasts. The criticism grew when it was revealed that the car itself barely had any screen time, and regular stunt Mustangs used for the drifting scenes were powered by 351cid Windsor V8 engines. Hot Rod Magazine lamented the possibility that tuners might swap in Japanese motors into American cars. According to SCC, one Mustang received the RB26 swap, while five other Mustangs were created for drifting purposes of which two were destroyed in the process. In addition, the RB26 Mustang was shown to be faster than its V8 powered kin, with times of 0-60 in 5.38 seconds, and the quarter mile in 13.36 seconds at 109.83 MPH.
The S15 Silvia which Black's character trashes in his first race in Japan is depicted as having an RB26DETT engine swap which itself is donated to the Mustang. However, the car used was actually powered by the S15's base SR20DE engine. The Veilside Fortune body-kitted RX-7 driven by Sung Kang's character was originally built by Veilside for the 2005 Tokyo Auto Salon but was later bought by Universal and repainted (the original was dark red, not orange and black like in the film).
Notable drifting personalities Keiichi Tsuchiya, Rhys Millen, and Samuel Hubinette were consulted and employed by the movie to provide and execute the drifting and driving stunts in the film.Tanner Foust, Rich Rutherford, Calvin Wan, and Alex Pfeiffer were also brought in when it was revealed that none of Universal's own stunt drivers could drift.Some racing events were filmed within the Hawthorne Mall parking lot in Los Angeles. 
Toshi Hayama was also brought in to keep elements of the film portrayed correctly after being contacted by Roger Fan, an old high school friend that starred in Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow, the organizers of the Japanese series, and his former boss at A'PEXi. Among them are keeping certain references in check (the usage of nitrous oxide in straights but not in turns, keeping the usage of references from sponsors to a minimum, etc.). Hayama also claims that a prop car was "stolen" by some of the action stars and taken for an impromptu "Drift Session" and never returned by the stars.
Fast & Furious 6's post-credits scene revealed the truth of Han's death.
Main Article:The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (soundtrack)
- ↑ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- ↑ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews, Rotten Tomatoes
- ↑ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews, Metacritic
- ↑ "Review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 2006
- ↑ Review by Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
- ↑ [Review by Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
- ↑ Review, Michael Medved, MichaelMedved.com, 21 June 2006
- ↑ Review, James Berardinelli, Reel Views
- ↑ Review, Richard Roper, rottentomatoes.com, July 18, 2006
- ↑ Review, Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
- ↑ Review, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Hot Rod Magazine "Build Fast. Fabricate Furiously." By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 56-64
- ↑ Sport Compact Car "Tokyo Drift by the Numbers" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 92
- ↑ Sport Compact Car "Ford Mustang GT-R; Pony with a Skyline's Heart" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 84-86
- ↑ "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: Han's S15." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
- ↑ "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: VeilSide RX-7." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
- ↑ Sport Compact Car "Fast, Furious, & Drifting" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 56-92
- ↑ IGN: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Video 1535879
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Wong, Jonathan. "Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi?" Super Street, September 2006, pg. 116
- ↑ http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=115709 Edmund's Article
- ↑ Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi? by Jonathan Wong Super Street September 2006, pgs. 144-118
Han's car exploded in this film killing Han by Ian Shaw to send a message.
Note: Fast And Furious, Fast Five and Fast And Furious 6 all take place before Tokyo Drift. They tell the story of Han before he went to Tokyo.