‘Tokyo Drift’ was the Last Great Movie about the Love of Cars and Racing

This Friday sees the release of Furious 7 in theaters, the latest entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise. The franchise has spawned more sequels than anyone could have ever imagined, leading us over at The Workprint to take a look at what made this series prosper where so many have failed.


Every day this week we’ll tackle the next movie in the franchise, leading up to our review of Furious 7. Buckle up and join us as we all prepare for Furious 7 and that one last ride.


Day One: A Look Back: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Day Two: A Look Back: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Tokyo Drift

The fast and the furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

If there was ever a sign that a franchise was on its way out the door, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was it. In every practical sense, Tokyo Drift had Straight-to-DVD written all over. With neither Paul Walker nor Vin Diesel signed on to star, Justin Lin took his directorial debut in the Fast series to Tokyo with a whole new cast.

In truth, Tokyo Drift is the best movie in the franchise for car lovers. Many people write-off Tokyo Drift when it comes to The Fast and the Furious series due to the lack of the main cast. What most people don’t realize is Tokyo Drift is a love letter to cars and racing.

Building, tweaking, and hooking up each vehicle is a joy for the characters and any car aficionado watching. Every car is a work of art. No movie that has come after has captured this a perfectly as Tokyo Drift.

But Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 were better movies you say! I couldn’t agree more, but the cars in those movies are a means to an end. They’re used as vehicles to perform heists. Tuning the cars and racing are no longer the forefront of the series. Even though the movie is a love letter to cars and racing, Tokyo Drift cannot escape its cheese-filled story.

Sean (Lucas Black) finds himself shipped off to live with his father in Tokyo after a street racing incident leaves him looking at jail time. Even though his father forbids him from touching a car (Really Dad? Don’t you know what movie you’re in?), Sean finds himself thrown into the Japanese racing scene which heavily revolves around drifting.

After wrecking Han’s (Sung Kang) car in an attempt to race Takashi, the current Drift King, Sean finds himself running errands to return the favor. The errands happen to be collecting money for the Yakuza. After Takashi’s Yakuza uncle learns that Han has been skimming from the cash he was turning in, an inevitable drifting showdown is set up between Sean and Takashi to settle all the beef.

Which one was this again?

The one in Tokyo with Lucas Black. It also stars Bow Wow.

Best scene:

The chase sequence through downtown is hands down my favorite. The high-speed chase sequence weaves in and out of traffic and shows the brutal reality and dangers of street racing.

Best (most iconic) line:

Han: I have money, it’s trust and character I need around me. You know, who you choose to be around you lets you know who you are. One car in exchange for knowing what a man’s made of? That’s a price I can live with.

Actual best line:

Twinkie: Do you know what ‘D.K.’ means?
Sean Boswell: Donkey Kong?

Best Car:

Hands down, the best car in the entire movie. I don’t care what any of you haters say.

The Greatest Thing Ever to Come Out of Tokyo Drift’s Existence:

Tokyo Drift from the Teriyaki Boyz. No words are needed to explain why.

How fast is it?

Very fast. The act of drifting allows you to get through turns without slowing down to a complete stop. Possibly the fastest move of the bunch.

How furious is it?

Very. The brutality of street racing is brought to the forefront with vicious accidents sprinkled throughout the movie.

Bilal Mian
Bilal Mian
Bilal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Workprint. Follow him on Twitter @Bilal_Mian.

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