A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia and Eastern Europe.
An American teenager named Sean Boswell is a loner in school, however he challenges his rival for an illegal street racing, and he totals his car in the end of the race. To avoid time in prison he is sent to Tokyo to live with his father who is in the military. As soon as he arrives he discovers a new, fun but dangerous way of street racing in the underworld of the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Written by
Han's VeilSide RX-7 driven by Han was a special show car crowned "Best of Show 2005" at Tokyo Auto Salon. It was reportedly worth $150,000; the custom leather interior alone cost $20,000. Universal bought the car for $50,000, then repainted the inside and outside. See more »
In the beginning, when a baseball is thrown through the back window of Sean's car. In the next shot, from a higher viewpoint, the car stops, and the window is intact. In the next shot, it is broken again. See more »
I don't care what everyone else says. For those of you with HDTV's and a fancy DVD/HD-DVD/Blu ray and a kicking sound system, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" is one thrilling ride from start to finish. I own this film on DVD, and along with the main feature, there are a lot of cool features that show you what went into the making of this film including the stunts and director Justin Lin's insights and expertise into film-making.
I realize that DVD/HD-DVD/Bly ray offer far superior image quality than VHS tapes, but besides being able to offer clearer pictures rarely did I see any of the early films that took full advantage of how exciting films can appear on an HDTV. Regardless of the quality, from a visual aesthetic sense "Tokyo Drift" is definitely the first to capture that for me.
Also, I generally do not like "popcorn films" like these, but there is something very appealing about "Tokyo Drift" in the fact that it has a cast of Asian American character actors (Sung Kang, Brian Tee, Leonardo Nam) who are portrayed in a non-stereotypical light, and a white American character who actually embraces (rather than begrudgingly accepts) the Japanese culture. The guy actually goes with the flow, and makes every effort to fit in, whether it is learning at school, trying Japanese food, or getting into drifting.
Directed by Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow"), he really gave us a product that Asian Americans can be real proud of. The fact that you see confident Asian characters portrayed by talented Asian American actors, while smoothly giving the audience the feel of what it is like for an outsider to visit Japan (I've been to Japan, and this film recaptures the feel of what it is like being there as a visitor or a tourist.). Also, the racing sequences are really awesome and thrilling on your home theatre system. This film simply rocks! I also liked this update on 1955's "Rebel Without a Cause," where actor Lucas Black portrays an American southern teenager who is forced to move from town to town because he has trouble fitting in. Nathalie Kelley assumes the Natalie Wood role here, and Bow Wow assumes the Sal Mineo role. Brian Tee portrays the sexy main villain of the film. Even Sung Kang is on hand portraying an Asian American who helps Black's character of Sean Boswell adapt to Japanese society. Best of all, for all you "Street Fighter" fans out there, keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the legendary Sonny Chiba whose presence adds gravitas to "Tokyo Drift." All in all, you do not have to be a fan of the previous "Fast and the Furious" installments to enjoy this film. Enjoy this film for the thrilling ride, the exciting visuals, and awesome sounds.
I would also like to add that it was actually Lin himself who volunteered to take on this project when he realized that it was the only major Hollywood theatrical film to predominantly feature an Asian American cast in 2006. Lin read the script, realized it was riddled with stereotypes that would have made Rosie O'Donnell's "Ching, chong, chong" tame by comparison. Lin just could not bare to see the fact that a film with this much exposure around the world was going to misrepresent Asians and Asian Americans, so he bit the bullet and took one for the team, and decided to take this on as his next Hollywood directorial assignment.
Although Lin could not get his way in casting Sung Kang as the lead for "Tokyo Drift," because the studio specifically wanted a white actor for the lead role, Kang was still given a prominent role as the non-stereotypical Asian American mentor for the male lead (He is to drifting, what Mr. Miyagi is to karate.) Lucas Black as the male lead was unassuming, and this worked well in maintaining the cast as a true ensemble where all the principal roles were equally important.
I really loved this film on a pure visceral level for the reasons I mentioned above. Justin Lin is one filmmaker who is truly in touch with the Asian American ethos. I plan to go back and watch the first 2 films in this franchise sometime in the near future. I initially took a pass on those 2 films in the theatres, because I thought those tricked-out films could never compete with the stunts and camera work, as well as the plots and character developments of George Miller's Australian motor classics "Mad Max" and "The Road Warrior."
This film is one cool thrill ride after another. If you are looking for that rush, this film definitely delivers the adrenaline!
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