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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Tokyo Drift
Theatrical poster
Production Crew
DirectorJustin Lin
WriterChris Morgan
Gary Scott Thompson[note 1]
StarringLucas Black
Bow Bow
Nathalie Kelley
Sung Kang
Brian Tee
Music byBrian Tyler
CinematographyStephen F. Windon
EditorKelly Matsumoto
Dallas Puett
Fred Raskin
Corporate information
DistributorUniversal Pictures
Production information
Release dateJune 4, 2006 (Universal City, California)
June 15, 2006 (Australia)
June 16, 2006 (United States and United Kingdom)
CountryUnited States
Runtime104 minutes
RatingPG-13
Budget$85 million[1]
Previous film2 Fast 2 Furious
Next filmFast & Furious (film)
The Fast and Furious (series)
FilmsThe Fast and the Furious (film)2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & Furious (film)Fast FiveFast & Furious 6Furious 7Fast & Furious 8
On the streets of Tokyo, speed needs no translation
— Tagline

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is a 2006 film directed by Justin Lin and the third installment of The Fast and the Furious film franchise. Tokyo Drift star Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Brian Tee and Sung Kang. Written by Chris Morgan, Tokyo Drift was the first in the franchise with no central narrative or character connection to the previous two films at its forefront and relocates the setting from the United States to Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo Drift is the first of four films in directed by Justin Lin[note 2] and the first of five films written by Chris Morgan (who would become the franchise's primary screenwriter). The film was released June 4, 2006 and grossed $158.5 million at the Box Office.[2]

Plot

When troublemaker Sean Boswell is the choice of going to prison or leaving the United States for Tokyo, Japan, he chooses the latter. On the other side of the world, he inadvertently discovers the world of drift racing, a major phenomena in Japan, when he challenges the "Drift King", Takashi to race and lands in the debt of one of his business partners, Han Seoul-Oh, who is looking for someone outside Takashi's influence to trust.

Summary

Sean Boswell a young man with a talent for auto mechanics, has led a life of getting into trouble. His mono-parental 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 a baseball being thrown into Sean's rear window just as Sean attempts to avoid confrontation after insulting him. Upon damage of his car, Sean gets out and pulls out a wrench, threatening to fight. Fortunately, the two decide to duel on who gets the girlfriend, Cindy 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, a U.S. Naval officer stationed in Japan. Upon reaching Tokyo, Sean's father warns him to not to participate in any races or he will be sent back to the United States to prison.

Sean awakes the next morning realizing he has been enrolled into a private school in Tokyo. After class at lunch, Sean meets Twinkie, 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 car park where a race party is going on.

Sean soon runs into Takashi, the "Drift King" of Tokyo, and his close friend Han, who was born and raised in America. Sean is seen by Takashi talking to Neela, 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 destroyed by 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 realizes 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 friends, 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, 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 t-boned by a Mercedes, 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 "honor race", a duel where whoever loses is to be exiled from town. Kamata agrees, and sets the race location. It is on a 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 safe house 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 equips 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. 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.

Cast

Principal Cast

Supporting Cast

Cameos

Featured Cars

Name Model Year Driver Status
1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1971 Sean Boswell Destroyed
2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 2003 Clay Damaged
1967 Ford Mustang Fastback 1967 Sean Boswell Active
1991 Honda NSX NA1 1991 None Impounded
Mazda RX-7 Veilside FD Unknown Han Seoul-Oh Destroyed
2000 Mazda RX-7 Type RS FD 2000 Takashi Damaged
Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse W140 Unknown Deckard Shaw Damaged
2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX GSR 2006 Sean Boswell Damaged
2002 Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 2002 Takashi Active
2002 Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 2002 Morimoto Active
2003 Nissan Fairlady Z Z33 2003 Morimoto Active
Nissan Silvia S13 Unknown None Impounded
2001 Nissan Silvia S-15 2001 Han Seoul-Oh
Sean Boswell
Damaged
Nissan Silvia S-15 Spec-R Unknown Sean Boswell Active
Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 Unknown Unknown Active
Plymouth Road Runner 1970 Dominic Toretto Active
Toyota Chaser JZX100 1996 Morimoto Destroyed
Volkswagen Touran Typ 1T 2005 Twinkie Impounded
Mazda RX-8 FE3S 2004 Neela Active

Production

Pre-production

"After I'd seen Better Luck Tomorrow, I knew Justin was a director I wanted to do business with. He was the first we approached, and…he loved the idea of filming it. This movie needed enthusiasm, and he was the director to do it. Absolutely tireless."

Neal H. Moritz, who had produced the two previous installments, began working on the film in 2005. On June 8, 2005, Moritz hired Justin Lin to direct The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.[4] Lin, who wasn't intimately familiar with drifting when he was approached to helm the project, recalled: "I was in film school when The Fast and the Furious came out, and I saw it along with a sold-out crowd who just ate it up. What really excited me about directing this film was the chance to harness that energy—create a whole new chapter and up the ante by bringing something new to the table for the audience who loves action and speed."[3] Vin Diesel agreed to make his cameo in the film in exchange for Universal's ownership to rights of the The Chronicles of Riddick franchise and character, in lieu of financial payment.[5]

Car Construction

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.[6] Hot Rod Magazine lamented the possibility that tuners might swap in Japanese motors into American cars.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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).[10]

SCC tested the cars of the film, and noted that the cars in Tokyo Drift were slightly faster in an acceleration match up with the cars from 2 Fast 2 Furious.[11]

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.[12]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.[13]Some racing events were filmed within the Hawthorne Mall parking lot in Los Angeles. [14]

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.).[15] 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.[13]

Marketing

Music

Various Artists

Main article: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (soundtrack)

Original Score

Main article: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (score)

Music Videos

At least two music videos were produced for the promotion of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Far East Movement's "Round Round and Don Omar's "Canteo". "Canteo" marked beginning of the artists relationship with The Fast and the Furious franchise.

Home Video Release

Main article: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (DVD)

Critical Reception

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 totaled $62,514,415 with another $95,886,987 from the foreign box office, resulting in total receipts of $158,401,402.[16] Tokyo Drift did, however, gross lower than its predecessor films.

The film holds a rating of 34% on Rotten Tomatoes[17] and a score of 46 out of 100 on Metacritic[18]. 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."[19] 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."[20] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that "it's not much of a movie, but a hell of a ride."[21]

Michael Medved gave Tokyo Drift one and a half stars (out of four) saying: "There’s no discernible plot [...] or emotion or humor."[22] 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?"[23]

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."[24] 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."[25] 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?"[26]

Sequel

Main article: Fast & Furious

Trivia

  • Drift driver Rhys Millen can be seen talking to a Japanese couple during the transition from America to Japan.
  • 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.
  • Tokyo Drift is the lowest grossing film in the The Fast and the Furious Franchise.[27]
  • Tokyo Drift is the first film in the franchise not to feature Paul Walker, followed by Los Bandoleros in 2009.[27]
  • Over one hundred cars and two thousand tyres were destroyed during the production of Tokyo Drift.[27]
  • Chronologically, Tokyo Drift is the last film in the franchise, coming before Furious 7.[27]
  • The Japanese title for Tokyo Drift, "Wild Speed" was featured on the posters during the promotion of the film in Japan.[27]
  • Vin Diesel's cameo was not originally planned as the end of the film. It was shot after production of the film had been completed.[27]

Videos

Trailers

Clips

Interviews

Featurettes

Gallery

Posters

Official Stills

Behind the Scenes

Notes

  1. Garry Scott Thompson is credited for the creation of the characters featured in every The Fast and the Furious film after the first.
  2. Los Bandoleros was directed and written by Vin Diesel

References

  1. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Box Office Data
  2. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Box Office Mojo
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  4. Justin Lin Will Direct "The Fast and the Furious 3"
  5. Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hot Rod Magazine "Build Fast. Fabricate Furiously." By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 56-64
  7. Sport Compact Car "Tokyo Drift by the Numbers" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 92
  8. Sport Compact Car "Ford Mustang GT-R; Pony with a Skyline's Heart" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 84-86
  9. "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: Han's S15." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
  10. "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: VeilSide RX-7." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
  11. Sport Compact Car "Fast, Furious, & Drifting" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 56-92
  12. IGN: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Video 1535879
  13. 13.0 13.1 Wong, Jonathan. "Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi?" Super Street, September 2006, pg. 116
  14. Edmund's Article
  15. Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi? by Jonathan Wong Super Street September 2006, pgs. 144-118
  16. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
  17. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews, Rotten Tomatoes
  18. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews, Metacritic
  19. "Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 2006
  20. Review by Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
  21. [Review by Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
  22. Review, Michael Medved, MichaelMedved.com, 21 June 2006
  23. Review, James Berardinelli, Reel Views
  24. Review, Richard Roper, rottentomatoes.com, July 18, 2006
  25. Review, Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  26. Review
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 25 fascinating facts about the Fast & Furious films

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