The following article contains massive spoilers for The Fate of the Furious. If you have not yet seen the film, please bookmark this page, and return to it after your screening!
The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift Synopsis
Sean Boswell (Black) is an outsider who attempts to define himself as a hot-headed, underdog street racer. Although racing provides a temporary escape from an unhappy home and the superficial world around him, it has also made Sean unpopular with the local authorities. To avoid jail time, Sean is sent to live with his gruff, estranged father, a career military-man stationed in Tokyo.
Now officially a gaijin (outsider), Sean feels even more shut out in a land of foreign customs and codes of honor. But it doesn't take long for him to find some action when a fellow American buddy, Twinkie (Bow Wow), introduces him to the underground world of drift racing. Sean's simple drag racing gets replaced by a rubber-burning, automotive art form--with an exhilarating balance of speeding and gliding through a heart-stopping course of hairpin turns and switchbacks.
On his first time out drifting, Sean unknowingly takes on D.K., the "Drift King," a local champ with ties to the Japanese crime machine Yakuza. Sean's loss comes at a high price tag when he's forced to work off the debt under the thumb of ex-pat, Han (Kang). Han soon welcomes Sean into this family of misfits and introduces him to the real principles of drifting. But when Sean falls for D.K.'s girlfriend, Neela (newcomer Kelley), an explosive series of events is set into motion, climaxing with an ultimate high stakes face off.
The Fast and the Furious franchise starts over without any of the actors from the first two films. The second one made do without the manly chrome dome of Vin Diesel, but the third one won’t even have Diesel replacement Tyrese to help audiences connect the dots. But it’s still about fast foreign cars painted in lime green colors, so they’re keeping the F&F title.
Subbing in for the departed Paul Walker is Lucas Black, a guy who’s made a name for himself standing next to names like Billy Bob Thornton, Nicole Kidman, and Peter Sarsgaard. That’s not to say he’s a spare, he’s proven he’s got talent. In fact, if you’re bringing him in instead of Paul Walker, I’d call that an upgrade at the position. For The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift all he’s really got to do is sit behind the wheel of the car, and anyone can do that.
While Lucas Black may be an upgrade, Tokyo Drift’s director isn’t. FF2 was directed by John Singleton, one of Hollywood’s most respected filmmakers. FF3 is directed by Justin Lin, the guy responsible for Annapolis, one of 2006’s worst cinematic abortions. The rest of his filmography doesn’t get much better. Ever heard of Spotlighting? Better Luck Tomorrow? Shopping for Fangs? Me neither.
In the end, it probably doesn’t matter who is in it or who is making it, the popularity of the Fast and Furious films has nothing to do with acting or story. It’s all about the cars, and that’s something Tokyo Drift will have plenty of. Set this time in the neon lit streets of Tokyo, the change of environments should present some interesting visual opportunities for the franchise, prowling the Tokyo streets is bound to be more interesting than hanging around in another Los Angeles ghetto. For fans of the Fast and Furious films, that’s enough. They don’t care about anything beyond tanks of nitrous. What ever else Tokyo Drift has, it’ll definitely have that.