The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Poster - Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJustin Lin
Produced byNeal H. Moritz
Written byChris Morgan
Based onThe Fast and the Furious
by Gary Scott Thompson
Music byBrian Tyler
CinematographyStephen F. Windon
Edited by
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • June 16, 2006 (2006-06-16)
(United States)
Running time
104 minutes
  • English
  • Japanese
Budget$85 million[3]
Box office$158.5 million[4]

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is a 2006 action adventure film directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. It is the third installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise and stars Lucas Black, Sung Kang, Bow Wow, and Brian Tee. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift follows high school car enthusiast Sean Boswell (Black), who is sent to live in Tokyo with his father, and finds solace in the city's drifting community.

Unable to secure the returns of any of the series' initial cast members, plans were made by developers to reconsider Tokyo Drift and make it a distinct entry in the franchise, which was achieved by focusing on a car subgenre, incorporating a location outside the United States, and establishing new characters.[5] Subsequently, the chronological timeline of the franchise shifted, with all future installments (until 2015's Furious 7) being set between 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Tokyo Drift.

The film also marks the first to begin the franchise's longtime association with director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan, with Lin going onto direct the following three sequels (and is attached to direct two additional future films), while Morgan wrote the next five installments.[6] Casting began in April 2005, and principal photography began in Los Angeles in August 2005, with the majority of the film being shot on location in Tokyo.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was released in the United States on June 16, 2006. The film achieved some financial success, eventually grossing over $158 million worldwide. However, it is the lowest-grossing film in the franchise.[7] It received generally mixed to negative reviews, with some critics disliking some elements of the plot, action sequences, and acting.[8][9] However, some praised Lin's direction and parts of the story.[10][11] The fourth film in the series, titled Fast & Furious, was released in April 2009 to box office success, and became the highest-grossing film in the franchise at that point.


In 2014 in Oro Valley, Arizona, high school students Sean Boswell and Clay race their cars to win the affections of Clay's girlfriend Cindy, driving their respective vehicles, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and a Dodge Viper. When Sean cuts through a structure and catches up to Clay, Clay hits Sean's car repeatedly until they reach a high-speed turn, which causes both cars to crash; Sean's car is totaled. Clay and Cindy's wealthy families help them escape punishment, but because Sean is a repeat offender for street racing, he is sent to live in Tokyo, Japan with his father, a U.S. Navy officer stationed in Tokyo, in order to avoid juvenile detention or jail.

While in Tokyo, Sean befriends Twinkie, a military brat who introduces him to the world of drift racing in Japan. Sean has a confrontation with Takashi—the Drift King (DK)—over Sean talking to Takashi's girlfriend, Neela. Though forbidden to drive, Sean decides to race against Takashi, who has ties to the Yakuza. He borrows a Nissan Silvia from Han Lue, now a business partner to Takashi, but loses his first race with Takashi and ends up totaling the car due to his inability to drift.

To repay his debt for the car he destroyed, Sean agrees to work for Han. This leads to the duo becoming friends, with Han agreeing to teach Sean how to drift. Han also loans him a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for future races, explaining that he is helping him as Sean is the only person willing to stand up to Takashi. Sean moves in with Han and soon masters drifting, gaining some clout after defeating DK's right-hand man, Morimoto. Sean soon asks Neela out on a date, and learns that after her mother died, she moved in with Takashi's grandmother, which resulted in their relationship. Takashi beats up Sean the next day, telling him to stay away from Neela; Neela subsequently leaves Takashi and moves in with Sean and Han.

Takashi's uncle Kamata, the head of the Yakuza, reprimands Takashi for allowing Han to steal from him. Takashi and Morimoto confront Han, Sean, and Neela about the thefts. Twinkie causes a distraction, allowing Han (in his Mazda RX-7), Sean, and Neela (both in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution) to flee, who are then pursued by Takashi and Morimoto (driving their respective Nissan 350Zs). During the chase, Morimoto is killed in a crash, leaving Takashi to pursue the trio on his own. Han allows Sean to overtake him in order to hold Takashi off, but the chase ends when Sean and Neela crash. Meanwhile, moments after escaping from Takashi, Han's car is t-boned and he dies when the car explodes before Sean has a chance to save him.

Takashi, Sean, and his father become involved in an armed standoff which is resolved by Neela agreeing to leave with Takashi. Twinkie gives his money to Sean to replace the money Han stole, which Sean then returns to Kamata. Sean proposes a race against Takashi, with the loser having to leave Tokyo. Kamata agrees to the challenge, but on the condition that the race take place on a mountain, revealed to be the mountain where Takashi himself is the only person to make it down successfully. With all of Han's cars impounded, Sean and Han's friends then rebuild a 1967 Ford Mustang that Sean's father was working on, with a Nissan Skyline engine salvaged from Han's Silvia that was totaled by Sean in his first drift race, and other spare parts.

That night, on the mountain, crowds gather to see the race; Takashi takes the lead initially, but Sean's training allows him to catch up. Determined to win, Takashi resorts to ramming Sean's car, eventually missing and driving off the mountain while Sean crosses the finish line. Kamata keeps his word, and lets Sean remain in Tokyo and is now christened the new Drift King.

Some time later, Neela, Twinkie and Sean, the new Drift King, are enjoying themselves in their newfound homeplace and freedom. An American driver shows up to challenge Sean, and he accepts after the American proclaims himself as Han's family. Before the two begin to race, the challenger reveals himself to be Dominic Toretto.[N 1]


  • Lucas Black as Sean Boswell, a young man interested in street racing and the protagonist of the film.
  • Sung Kang as Han Lue, DK's business partner (and old friend of Dominic Toretto) who befriends Sean and teaches him how to drift.
  • Bow Wow as Twinkie, Sean's first friend he meets in Tokyo and who sells various consumer goods and introduces Sean to drift racing.
  • Brian Tee as Takashi, Sean's enemy who is acknowledged as the best drift racer and given the title "Drift King."
  • Nathalie Kelley as Neela, Takashi's girlfriend who later falls for Sean.
  • Sonny Chiba as Kamata, Takashi's uncle who is the head of the Yakuza.
  • Leonardo Nam as Morimoto, Takashi's close friend and right-hand man.
  • Brian Goodman as Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Boswell, Sean's father.
  • Zachery Ty Bryan as Clay, the quarterback of Sean's school whom Sean races at the beginning of the film.
  • Lynda Boyd as Ms. Boswell, Sean's mother, who, fed up with moving Sean around, sends him to Tokyo, Japan to live with his father.
  • Jason Tobin as Earl, one of Han's friends.
  • Keiko Kitagawa as Reiko, Earl's friend.
  • Nikki Griffin as Cindy, Clay's girlfriend, who suggests that Clay and Sean race to win her.
  • Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto (uncredited), who makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film.



"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."

Neal H. Moritz[12]

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.[6] 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."[12]

Vin Diesel agreed to make a cameo in the film in exchange for Universal's ownership to rights of the Riddick series and character, in lieu of financial payment.[5]


The Nissan Silvia which Sean trashes in his first race in Japan is depicted as having an RB26DETT engine swap which itself is donated to the Ford Mustang. However, the car in the movie was actually powered by the Silvia's original engine.[13] The Veilside body-kitted Mazda RX-7 driven by Han was originally built by Veilside for the 2005 Tokyo Auto Salon, but was later bought by Universal and repainted from dark red, to orange and black, for use in the movie.[14] The car in which Dominic appears in at the end of the film is a highly customized 1970 Plymouth Satellite, which was built for the SEMA Show.[citation needed]

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.[15]

Notable drifting personalities Keiichi Tsuchiya, Rhys Millen, and Samuel Hübinette were consulted and employed by the movie to provide and execute the drifting and driving stunts in the film.[16] Tanner Foust, Rich Rutherford, Calvin Wan and Alex Pfeiffer were also brought in as none of Universal's own stunt drivers could drift.[17] Some racing events were filmed within the Hawthorne Mall parking lot in Los Angeles, as filming in Tokyo required permits the studio was unable to obtain.[18] They instead used street lights and multiple props to help recreate Tokyo.

Toshi Hayama was also brought in to keep elements of the film portrayed correctly, who was contacted by Roger Fan, an old high school friend who starred in Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow. Hayama ensured certain references were deployed correctly, such as the use of nitrous oxide in straights but not in turns, and keeping the use of references to sponsors to a minimum.[19] One of Kamata's henchman has missing fingers, a punishment typically deployed by the Yakuza. He had to have the missing fingers digitally added in to appease cultural concerns.[17]


Box office[edit]

Tokyo Drift brought in over $24 million on its opening weekend. The film itself was in limited release in Japan (released under the name Wild Speed 3). The US box office was $62.5 million, and it grossed another $95,953,877 internationally, resulting in total receipts of $158.5 million.[4]

Critical response[edit]

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift gained a 38% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 136 critics; the average rating is 4.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "Eye-popping driving sequences coupled with a limp story and flat performances make this Drift a disappointing follow-up to previous Fast and Furious installments."[20] On Metacritic, which determines a normalized rating out of 100 from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 46 out of 100 based on reviews from 31 critics meaning "mixed or average reviews."[21]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, giving it three out of four stars, 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".[10] 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."[22] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that "it's not much of a movie, but a hell of a ride".[11]

Michael Medved gave Tokyo Drift one and a half stars out of four, saying: "There's no discernible plot [...] or emotion or humor."[23] James Berardinelli from ReelViews 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?"[24]

Richard Roeper strongly criticized 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."[25] 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."[8] 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?"[9]

Rob Cohen, who directed the first film of the series, was very critical of this film, saying: "If you were to just watch Tokyo Drift, you'd say 'I never want to see anything related to Fast & Furious again.'"[26]

Because the film differs from the rest of the franchise, in terms of location and cast, this can make some reviewers and fans dislike it, while others who may not like the over the top sequences of the more recent films, actually appreciate its simplicity. When critics rank the movies against each other, it has often appeared on the bottom of the list. However, over time, it has become a cult favorite with some fans, and it has been placed in with the top four by some critic rankings, and even at the number one and two positions by others.[27] With the film series becoming more action dependent, and incorporating less realistic storylines, the simplicity of Tokyo drift has become more appreciated by critics over time.[28][29]


The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on June 27, 2006.[30][31] The album was released by Varèse Sarabande on June 27, 2006.[32] Brian Tyler also partnered with music producers Pharrell Williams and Dr. Dre to help curate the soundtrack. It was followed by the Original Score, which was also composed by Tyler.

The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift (Original Motion Picture Score)
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJune 27, 2006
LabelVarèse Sarabande
The Fast and the Furious soundtrack chronology
2 Fast 2 Furious
The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift (Original Motion Picture Score)

Fast & Furious
1."Tokyo Drift"Teriyaki Boyz4:15
2."Six Days (Remix)" (featuring Mos Def)DJ Shadow3:52
3."The Barracuda"The's2:28
4."Restless"Evil Nine4:54
5."Round Round"Far East Movement3:20
6."She Wants to Move (DFA Remix)"N.E.R.D3:34
7."Cho Large" (featuring Pharrell)Teriyaki Boyz5:14
8."Resound" (without intro)Dragon Ash4:45
9."Speed"Atari Teenage Riot2:50
10."Bandoleros" (featuring Tego Calderón)Don Omar5:06
11."Conteo"Don Omar2:23
12."Mustang Nismo" (featuring Slash)Brian Tyler2:25
Total length:45:54

The Original Score[edit]

All music is composed by Brian Tyler.

1."Touge"Brian Tyler0:46
2."The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift"Brian Tyler7:05
3."Saucin'"Brian Tyler4:28
4."Neela Drifts"Brian Tyler3:27
5."Preparation"Brian Tyler1:10
6."N2O"Brian Tyler0:49
7."Mustang Nismo"Brian Tyler2:21
8."Underground"Brian Tyler1:33
9."Hot Fuji"Brian Tyler1:55
10."This Is My Mexico"Brian Tyler1:23
11."Welcome To Tokyo" (written by Slash and Brian Tyler)Brian Tyler1:54
12."DK VS Han"Brian Tyler3:32
13."Downtown Tokyo Chase"Brian Tyler2:33
14."Aftermath"Brian Tyler1:22
15."Empty Garage"Brian Tyler1:01
16."DK's Revenge"Brian Tyler1:09
17."Journey Backwards"Brian Tyler0:58
18."Sumo"Brian Tyler1:37
19."Sean's Crazy Idea"Brian Tyler2:24
20."Dejection"Brian Tyler1:12
21."Kamata"Brian Tyler1:32
22."Two Guns"Brian Tyler1:29
23."I Gotta Do This"Brian Tyler1:14
24."Megaton"Brian Tyler2:16
25."Neela Confronts DK"Brian Tyler1:47
26."Winner ... Gets ... Me"Brian Tyler1:21
27."War Theory"Brian Tyler1:54
28."I Don't Need You To Save Me"Brian Tyler0:57
29."Neela"Brian Tyler1:44
30."Symphonic Touge"Brian Tyler6:50
Total length:1:04:10

Fast & Furious continuity[edit]

Although this is the third film released in the franchise, it has chronologically been placed as the sixth. At the end of Fast & Furious 6 (2013), the scene where Han is killed when hit by a car is replayed. In an added scene, it is shown that the car was driven by Deckard Shaw, portrayed by Jason Statham, who is the main antagonist of Furious 7 (2015).


  1. ^ This scene is continued in the 2015 film Furious 7.


  1. ^ a b "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT (2006)". British Film Institute. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Justin Lin Will Direct "The Fast and the Furious 3"". Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  7. ^ "The Fast and the Furious - THE NUMBERS". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Review, Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  9. ^ a b Review, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
  10. ^ a b "Review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 2006
  11. ^ a b Review by Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
  12. ^ a b "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift". Writing studio. April 21, 2008. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  13. ^ "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: Han's S15." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
  14. ^ "IGN Cars: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Car of the Day: VeilSide RX-7." IGN Cars Accessed June 19, 2006
  15. ^ Sport Compact Car "Fast, Furious, & Drifting" By John Pearley Huffman July 2006 Pg. 56-92
  16. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Video 1535879". IGN. News Corporation.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ a b Wong, Jonathan. "Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi?" Super Street, September 2006, pg. 116
  18. ^ Drift and Driven: The drivers, stunts and stuntmen of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  19. ^ Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi? by Jonathan Wong Super Street September 2006, pgs. 144-118
  20. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews". Metacritic. CBS.
  22. ^ Review by Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
  23. ^ Review Archived 2006-07-07 at the Wayback Machine, Michael Medved,, 21 June 2006
  24. ^ Review, James Berardinelli, Reel Views
  25. ^ Review, Richard Roper,, July 18, 2006[dead link]
  26. ^ "Rob Cohen Hated The First Two 'Fast & Furious' Sequels Because They Were Just Done For The Money".
  27. ^ Alison Willmore"How "Furious 7" Stacks Up To The Other "Fast And Furious" Movies" Buzzfeed April 3, 2015
  28. ^ Haleigh Foutch "Fast and Furious movies, ranked" Collider April 13, 2017
  29. ^ Darren Franich "fast-and-furious-movies-ranking" Entertainment Weekly April 17, 2017
  30. ^ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift at AllMusic
  31. ^ "various artists :: The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift :: Universal/Motown Records".
  32. ^ "Brian Tyler - Fast Five - Original Motion Picture Score". Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.

External links[edit]