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.
In the movie, Sean (Lucas Black), after getting himself into more trouble than he or his mother can get him out of, is sent to live with his father, a Navy officer who is stationed in Tokyo, Japan. Sean meets new friends and learns a new way to race, at the same time gaining a few enemies. Testing his patience and skill, he learns courage and gains respect from his friends, his father, and his girl, Neela (Nathalie Kelley).
However, Sean soon runs into Takashi (Brian Tee), also known as DK (short for Drift King), and his business partner Han, who was born and raised in America (Sung Kang). Sean challenges Takashi to a race using Han's car, where Takashi ends up winning in a blowout, and Sean totaling Han's car. Afterwards, Han tells Sean that he will be working with him to pay off the car as well as representing him in future races. Sean later finds out more about his friends, namely Han, being involved in a business partnership with Takashi, a "wannabe" Yakuza. Sean also finds out Han is letting him race because he is the only one who isn't afraid of Takashi, causing Han to refer to him as Takashi's 'kryptonite'.
Sean gets involved with Neela, and his budding relationship with her puts him at odds with Takashi. Neela tells Sean that she and Takashi grew up together, and provides some insight to Takashi. Sean slowly gains a reputation in the drifting scene after some tutelage and support (both financial and friendship) from Han and his gang of "misfits." Takashi beats up Sean after seeing him with Neela, threatening him to stay away from her. Neela sees Sean's bruises and leaves Takashi in anger to be with Sean.
Takashi's uncle, Kamata, a high ranking Yakuza (portrayed by Sonny Chiba), tells him that there is a discrepancy in the books, and that Han must be cheating them out of money. Takashi confronts Han and his group with this discrepancy. However, Han, Sean, and Neela flee before Takashi deals with the money laundering. A car chase ensues through the Tokyo streets, with Takashi chasing Han. Takashi shoots at Han throughout the chase, causing Han's car to flip over from a collision with a civilian car. Han's car starts to leak gasoline from the crash, while Han is unable to move from his injuries. As Sean and Neela finally catch up to Han, the gasoline leaked from the car reaches a nearby fire, killing Han. Sean and Neela go back to Sean's father's house, and Takashi comes to take Neela and kill Sean, but Sean's father threatens Takashi with his own gun. Neela voluntarily goes with Takashi.
Sean attempts to make amends by appealing to Takashi's uncle, returning the money and offering to an "honor race", a duel where whomever loses is run out of town. The race 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 work on a car (since all the rest were taken by the police), and use the engine from the first car Sean wrecked.
After a long race battle, Sean makes his way across the finish line, victorious, while Takashi survives a last-minute crash. DK's loss causes him to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sean, who Takashi still considers an "outsider". Takashi's uncle tells Sean he is free to go, and Takashi presumably leaves Tokyo. Neela goes back with Sean.
Later, Sean is the new Drift King and is hanging out in the underground parking lot from earlier in the film with Neela, and Twinkie comes up, saying someone wants to challenge him. The mystery car driver who pulls up is none other than Dominic Toretto (from the first Fast and the Furious movie). Toretto and Sean hold a brief conversation, with Toretto saying that Han once rode with him. Neela counts off the race, the cars take off, and the movie ends without disclosing the race results.
|Car||Color/Engine,Transmission etc.||Year||Driven by||Condition/Fate in Film|
|APR Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR (Specially modified for rear wheel drive only)||Red/Black APR Sponsor Graphics||2006||Sean Boswell||Driven by Sean when he was learning how to drift. Wrecked by the incoming car on the side while fleeing before Han died, triggering few more cars crashing.|
|Ford Mustang Fastback||Dark Green/White Stripes. 2001 Nissan Skyline RB26 Engine. 1998 Nissan Skyline 5 speed 2WD Transmission. Brackets and Pulleys are Custom Fabricated.||1967||Sean Boswell||Battles with Takashi in the Touge races. Survives its run down the mountain with heavy damage.|
|Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Beige/Gray Primer (Matte/Flat )||1970||Sean Boswell||Rolled multiple times during race with Clay's Dodge Viper. Wrecked and landed upside down. Scrapped by Oro Valley Sheriff's Department following Sean's arrest.|
|C-West Nissan Silvia S15||Dark Blue/Orange||2000||Sean Boswell (originally Han)||Major cosmetic and suspension damage due to Sean's inexperience with drifting. RB26DETT engine taken out of a Nissan Skyline GTR [2.6L Straight Six, Twin Turbo].|
|Veilside Mazda RX-8||Aqua/Blue/Black fade||2006||Neela||First seen in the parking garage and later seen drifting up in the mountains.|
|Veilside #1 '02 Nissan 350Z||Grey with graphics||2006||Takashi||Used by Takashi in the parking lot when he was racing with Sean. Flipped multiple times and fell off the mountain "Touge"several hundred feet down and landed upside down during the race with the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback.|
|Veilside FORTUNE '97 Mazda RX-7||Black and Orange: House Of Kolor Paint PBC31 Sunset Orange Pearl. Engine Management System:APEXERA FC. HKS T04Z Turbo Kit. VEILSIDE Custom Intercooling Piping. NGK Racing Spark Plugs. Nissan GT-R Fuel Pump. ATS Carbon Clutch. VEILSIDE BUILT||2002||Han||Wrecked after a side collision with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and flipped upside down. Ruptured fuel lines leaked, ignited, and exploded, killing Han.|
|DRIFT Nissan Silvia S13||Medium Blue/White Side Stripes/DRFT on hood||1993||Virgil|
|Dodge Viper SRT10||Red||2005||Clay||Collided at high speed with a large concrete pipe, completely destroying it.|
|Plymouth Road Runner GTX dubbed "HAMMER"||COLOR: BMW Sterling Gray, Nelson Racing Engines built 842hp supercharged stroker 500,||1970||Dominic Toretto||Ended the movie by racing Sean's Nissan Silvia.|
|Volkswagen Touran||Green with graphics||2004||Sean (owned by Twinkie)||Exhibited to Sean by Twinkie and later driven by Sean in the film. The car is inspired by The Hulk and is the car in which Sean drives to his introduction to Tokyo's Drift racing circuit.|
|Top Secret '02 Nissan 350Z||Yellow/Gold with Graphics||2006||Morimoto||Collided head-on with a dark green Toyota Aristo, damaging it extensively and causing a massive car pile-up, presumably killing Morimoto.|
The film holds a rating of 59% 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?
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 snide comments on Sean's lack of proper drift technique. 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 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).
SCC tested the cars of the film, and noted that the cars in Tokyo Drift were slightly faster in an acceleration matchup with the cars from 2 Fast 2 Furious.
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.
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