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 by Justin Lin
Produced by Neal H. Moritz
Written by Chris Morgan
Based on Characters
by Gary Scott Thompson
Starring
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Stephen F. Windon
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • June 4, 2006 (2006-06-04) (Universal City, California)
  • June 16, 2006 (2006-06-16) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes
Country
Language English
Japanese
Budget $85 million[3]
Box office $158.5 million[4]

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is a 2006 American action film directed by Justin Lin, produced by Neal H. Moritz, and written by Chris Morgan. It is the third installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, and a stand-alone sequel to 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). The film stars Lucas Black, Nathalie Kelley, Sung Kang, Bow Wow and Brian Tee. The film follows car enthusiast Sean Boswell, who is sent to live in Tokyo with his father, before finding solace viewing and competing in the drifting community within the city.

Paul Walker is notably absent from the film, making it the only Fast & Furious film in his lifetime where he doesn't appear. In addition, this film doesn't retain any members from the original cast in leading roles although Vin Diesel does appear in the ending scene. The film was shot mainly on location in Tokyo, as well as in Los Angeles. It was released first on June 4, 2006, in Universal City before seeing large-scale release on June 16, 2006. It grossed over $158 million from an $85 million budget, making it the lowest grossing film in the franchise.[5]

The film was followed by Fast & Furious in 2009, although Tokyo Drift is set between the sixth and seventh films.

Plot[edit]

This film's story occurs sometime after Fast & Furious 6 with a scene that was later made concurrent with events in Furious 7.

In Oro Valley, Arizona, 17-year-old high school students Sean Boswell and Clay race their cars to win the affections of Clay's girlfriend Cindy. 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 Sean is sent to live in Tokyo with his father, a U.S. Navy officer, 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, and loses, 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 another car 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 repute 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, Sean, and Neela to flee, who are then pursued by Takashi and Morimoto. 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 is critically injured when his Mazda RX-7 is rammed by another car. Han's car explodes, killing him just seconds 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 DK's mountain. 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.

The next night, Sean is challenged by and races Dominic Toretto who claims Han was family.

Cast[edit]

  • Lucas Black as Sean Boswell, a 17-year-old social outcast sent to live in Tokyo, who befriends Han and learns how to drift.
  • Nathalie Kelley as Neela Cruz, Takashi's love-interest who later falls for Sean. She is an outsider whose mother died when she was ten.
  • Sung Kang as Han Lue, Takashi's friend and business partner who becomes friends with Sean and teaches him how to drift. He owns and operates a tuning shop.
  • Shad "Bow Wow" Moss as Twinkie, Sean's first friend in Tokyo, and who introduces Sean to the drift world. He dislikes racing, and sells stolen American goods to classmates and drivers.
  • Brian Tee as Takashi, the reigning Drift King. He is a professional street racer and is feared due to his uncle's position in the Yakuza.
  • Lynda Boyd as Ms. Brenda Boswell, Sean's mother and ex-wife of Lieutenant Boswell.

The central cast contains Leonardo Nam as Morimoto, Takashi's right-hand man. Brian Goodman plays United States Navy Lieutenant Boswell, Sean's father. Zachery Ty Bryan and Nikki Griffin portray Clay and Cindy respectively, who are involved in the first race in the United States. Sonny Chiba acts as Kamata, Takashi's uncle and head of the Yakuza. Jason Tobin also acts as Earl and Keiko Kitagawa appears as Reiko, friends of Han. Vin Diesel returns as Dominic Toretto in an uncredited cameo appearance.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

"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 [6]

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.[7] 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."[6]

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.[8]

Technical[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[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 as none of Universal's own stunt drivers could drift.[13] 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.[14] 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 usage of nitrous oxide in straights but not in turns, and keeping the usage of references from sponsors to a minimum.[15] 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.[13]

Reception[edit]

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 reaction[edit]

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift gained a 37% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 113 critics; the average rating is 4.8/10. The site's consensus reads: "Eye-popping driving sequences coupled with a limp story and flat performances make this Drift an adequate follow-up to the previous Fast and Furious installments. Strictly for the racing crowd and fans of the first two films."[16] 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."[17]

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".[18] 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."[19] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said that "it's not much of a movie, but a hell of a ride".[20]

Michael Medved gave Tokyo Drift one and a half stars out of four, saying: "There's no discernible plot [...] or emotion or humor."[21] 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?"[22]

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."[23] 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."[24] 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?"[25]

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]

Music[edit]

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on June 27, 2006.[27][28] The album was released by Varèse Sarabande on June 27, 2006.[29] 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
Tokyo Drift OST.jpg
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released June 27, 2006
Recorded 2005–06
Genre R&B, hip hop
Length 64:10
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer
The Fast and the Furious soundtrack chronology
2 Fast 2 Furious
(2003)2 Fast 2 Furious2003
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
(2006)
Fast & Furious
(2009)Fast & Furious2009
No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "Tokyo Drift" Teriyaki Boyz 4:15
2. "Six Days (Remix)" (featuring Mos Def) DJ Shadow 3:52
3. "The Barracuda" The 5.6.7.8's 2:28
4. "Restless" Evil Nine 4:54
5. "Round Round" Far East Movement 3:20
6. "She Wants to Move (DFA Remix)" N.E.R.D 3:34
7. "Cho Large" (featuring Pharrell) Teriyaki Boyz 5:14
8. "Resound" (without intro) Dragon Ash 4:45
9. "Speed" Atari Teenage Riot 2:50
10. "Bandoleros" (featuring Tego Calderón) Don Omar 3:18
11. "Conteo" Don Omar 2:23
12. "Mustang Nismo" (featuring Slash) Brian Tyler 2:25

The Original Score[edit]

All music composed by Brian Tyler.

No. Title Composer Length
1. "Touge" Brian Tyler 0:46
2. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" Brian Tyler 7:05
3. "Saucin'" Brian Tyler 4:28
4. "Neela Drifts" Brian Tyler 3:27
5. "Preparation" Brian Tyler 1:10
6. "N2O" Brian Tyler 0:49
7. "Mustang Nismo" Brian Tyler 2:21
8. "Underground" Brian Tyler 1:33
9. "Hot Fuji" Brian Tyler 1:55
10. "This Is My Mexico" Brian Tyler 1:23
11. "Welcome to Tokyo" (written by Slash and Brian Tyler) Brian Tyler 1:54
12. "DK vs. Han" Brian Tyler 3:32
13. "Downtown Tokyo Chase" Brian Tyler 2:33
14. "Aftermath" Brian Tyler 1:22
15. "Empty Garage" Brian Tyler 1:01
16. "DK's Revenge" Brian Tyler 1:09
17. "Journey Backwards" Brian Tyler 0:58
18. "Sumo" Brian Tyler 1:37
19. "Sean's Crazy Idea" Brian Tyler 2:24
20. "Dejection" Brian Tyler 1:12
21. "Kamata" Brian Tyler 1:32
22. "Two Guns" Brian Tyler 1:29
23. "I Gotta Do This" Brian Tyler 1:14
24. "Megaton" Brian Tyler 2:16
25. "Neela Confronts DK" Brian Tyler 1:47
26. "Winner ... Gets ... Me" Brian Tyler 1:21
27. "War Theory" Brian Tyler 1:54
28. "I Don't Need You to Save Me" Brian Tyler 0:57
29. "Neela" Brian Tyler 1:44
30. "Symphonic Touge" Brian Tyler 6:50

References[edit]

  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 29 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Fast and the Furious - THE NUMBERS". Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift". Writing studio. 2008-04-21. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  7. ^ "Justin Lin Will Direct "The Fast and the Furious 3"". About.com. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights". hollywoodreporter.com. September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  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. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Video 1535879". IGN. News Corporation. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b Wong, Jonathan. "Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi?" Super Street, September 2006, pg. 116
  14. ^ Drift and Driven: The drivers, stunts and stuntmen of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  15. ^ Interrogation Room: What up, Toshi? by Jonathan Wong Super Street September 2006, pgs. 144-118
  16. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. 
  17. ^ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift reviews". Metacritic. CBS. 
  18. ^ "Review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 2006
  19. ^ Review by Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
  20. ^ Review by Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
  21. ^ Review, Michael Medved, MichaelMedved.com, 21 June 2006
  22. ^ Review, James Berardinelli, Reel Views
  23. ^ Review, Richard Roper, rottentomatoes.com, July 18, 2006[dead link]
  24. ^ Review, Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  25. ^ Review, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
  26. ^ Rob Cohen Hated The First Two 'Fast & Furious' Sequels Because They Were Just Done For The Money
  27. ^ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift at AllMusic
  28. ^ RapReviews review
  29. ^ "Brian Tyler - Fast Five - Original Motion Picture Score". BrianTyler.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 

External links[edit]