The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Directed By: Justin Lin, Runtime: 1 hr. 44 mins.
Starring: Lucas Black, Sung Kang, Brian Tee, Bow Wow, Brian Goodman, Nathalie Kelly
Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) is a high school kid who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. After a reckless street race with a classmate ends badly, his mom ships him off to Tokyo to live with his Army father (Brian Goodman). Once there, Sean is taken under local racer Han’s wing (Sung Kang) and learns the art of drifting. His new life is a welcome change of pace until he angers the wrong person- the nephew (Brian Tee) of a prominent mafia leader.
Tokyo Drift receives a lot of unnecessary and unfair hate. Admittedly it is one of the weaker films in the series- mostly because of the absence of familiar faces like Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker). By no means is this a terrible film; I still find it enjoyable to watch as many of the same elements from the first two movies are present.
The third installment is also somewhat confusing and out of place considering the fact that Han (Sung Kang) dies at the end-yet shows up in the next three films. The only explanation is that the Fast series has a manicured timeline. This just means that the events of this film actually take place after Fast & Furious 6.
In the film, Han serves as a mentor to Sean and really watches out for him. The two have a lot in common, most importantly being that they are lone wolves. I can’t help but think that much of their relationship is similar to that of the one between Han and Dom. It’s an understanding and mutual respect that few can understand.
Technically, Tokyo Drift is Han’s first and last film in the series. In this installment we see what Han was up to after Giselle’s (Gal Gadot) death. It kind of sucks that we see how different Han was without her. He is less controlled, more reckless and certainly not as loyal as he was with Dom’s crew. The tension-filled third act is a direct result of Han crossing DK “Drift King” (Brian Tee) by robbing him blind.
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