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Film / The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the third installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Starring Lucas Black, was directed by Justin Lin and released in 2006.

Black plays teenager Sean Boswell, who accumulates some serious motor vehicle violations that could earn him jail time. To keep him out of trouble, he is sent to live with his U.S. Naval officer father in Japan and finish school there. The culture clash is brutal, especially when he gets friendly with the girlfriend of a guy with Yakuza connections and a love of the drift races.

Chronologically, it's set after Fast & Furious 6.


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Tropes:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Two.
    • The first is Han explaining that money isn't important to him - he needs strength of character. The significance only becomes clear in later films, however.
    • The second sees Sean and Neela finally tell each other how they came to be in Japan.
  • Badass Driver:
    • Almost inverted as Sean crashes cars in the early part of the film and can't drift to save his life until later. But he learns quick.
    • Han is the best driver in the film.
    • Takashi isn't called "the Drift King" for nothing.
  • Book-Ends: A twisted example – the first Tokyo race is started off by "Exceedingly Handsome Guy", presumably the credits attempting to translate the word ikemen. By the end of the movie, the neon and gloss of the movie environment is stripped clean to reveal the dark and gritty reality, and the final race is started off by an aging Yakuza who's missing four fingers from both hands.
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  • Call-Forward: An easily missed one at the end.
    Twink: He (Dom) said he knew Han. Said Han was family.
  • The Cameo:
  • Character Development: At the start of the film, Sean is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All who attempts to charm his way out of trouble that he constantly makes, with a very arrogant streak against adults and friends alike. By the time of Han's death, he has humbled enough to be able to respect people, even refusing to go back to the United States and instead solve the problem his own way by having an audience with a yakuza and politely asking for a race to settle the dispute.
  • The Charmer: Sean seems to have a way with the ladies. Sort of. He successfully catches the attention of the girlfriends of two different guys, one a Jerk Jock and the other a Yakuza wannabe. This is also subverted when he tries his wink-and-smile combo on Cindy after the drag race and his mouth is full of blood; she is appropriately turned off.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: When Sean's mother arrives at the police station, she asks if she's allowed to smoke.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Concerning the evidence tape following the reckless driving incident at the start of the film: "Can I get a copy of that?"
  • Exact Words: In the words of Sean's mother: "We are not moving anywhere." Cut to him on a plane to Japan.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: Excuse is a street racing teenager sent to his US Navy dad stationed in Japan wrecks one of Han's cars in a race and he must work as his errand boy until he pays off his debt.
  • Gaiden Movie: The film has no connection to the events of the first two films. Furious 7 finally introduces Tokyo Drift into the full continuity by being set after the events of Drift and reintroducing Sean Boswell. Though at most it's just a passing mention and Sean currently doesn't play a role.
  • Fanservice: Two girls making out, which blows Sean's mind.
  • In Name Only: Downplayed, especially after Sean Boswell was reintroduced in Furious 7. The only thing that initially tied Tokyo Drift to the main series was Dom's cameo appearance in the end.
  • Ironic Nickname: "Twinkie" is usually reserved for Asians, whereas this guy's an African-American expatriate.
  • Jerkass: Though compared the the rest of the big bads of the series, Takashi's the least worst of them - compounded by the fact that he doesn't take Han's death well despite the fact Han was skimming money from him.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Han falls victim to this.
  • Military Brat: Sean. And also Twinkie.
  • Oddball in the Series: The only movie in the series that isn't focused on Dom or Brian, and (arguably) the only movie that's fully focused on street racing.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Twinkie.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Invoked; Neela was originally from Australia and her accent goes in and out depending on her current mood. This is often Truth in Television, when things like shouting or being upset will bring out your native accent even if you've lost it over time.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Boswell is a big case of Adults Are Useless from his very first scene, up until DK's crew try to kill Sean right in front of his house and he stops them by stepping out with his Navy-issue Beretta 92F.
  • Police are Useless: Apart from the mentions of the Yakuza, there's more mundane reasons.
    Han: Police cars are factory tuned. They don't chase you if you're above 180 because they know they can't catch up.
    Sean: I'm beginning to like this country already.
  • Product Placement:
    • Mitsubishi provided Evos to the production crew, as they had for the previous movie.
    • Why drift-lover Twinkie inexplicably drives a show-over-go VW from a completely different subculture.
  • Reality Ensues: What kickstarts this film's plot: Sean gets into a fight with some rich kid who challenges him in a race in a construction site for a new neighborhood. The race gets so intense, that several houses get mouseholed by Sean driving through them and him and the rich kid end up crashing. They get arrested for illegal street racing, trespassing, destruction of property, but only Sean gets in any trouble thanks to the rich kid's parents bailing him out. Then, to avoid getting him jailed, Sean's mother sends him—by himself—to live with father. In Japan.
  • Retcon: Han's death was reworked in the sequels from an accidental car crash to a deliberate assassination. Doubles as The Reveal that Han was killed by Shaw's brother as retaliation against Dom and his crew from the events of Fast & Furious 6.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The film is almost wholly set in Japan except for the beginning part.
  • Sequel Hook: Dom shows up in Tokyo.
  • Sitting on the Roof: A Yakuza starts a fight on the roof of the school with Twinkie and the guy who sold him a defective iPod.
  • Son of a Whore: Neelas' mother worked as a prostitute in Japan, though Neela herself was conceived before the latter moved from Australia.
  • Stealing from the Till: It's revealed that he has been doing this from DK, and thus indirectly from Kamata, DK's Yakuza uncle. Naturally, neither Kamata nor DK take this very well.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Takashi doesn't seem too bothered by Morimoto's crash during the Chase Scene, with a look on his face that seems to say "You idiot."
  • Tired of Running: Sean states this almost word-for-word when his father attempts to transfer him back to the States to save him from the yakuza. He's tired of running away from his problems and wants to solve them here and there.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: in her argument with DK, Neela implies that DK used to be a nice guy before his Yakuza connection went to his head.
  • Watch the Paint Job: The funniest example in the entire series would be Sean wrecking Han's S15 Silvia with a Skyline engine because he just can't drift.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Sean's Monte Carlo, which looks plain but manages to outrun a Viper.
  • Yakuza: Pretty much every single Japanese character. And their uncle, quite literally!
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