‘If You Ain’t Outta Control, You Ain’t In Control’
The Fast and Furious saga has witnessed its considerable share of highs and lows since its dawn (2001), mostly lows of late given the number of unnecessary instalments stuffed into the collection. Yet amongst this crowded, Vin Diesel-fuelled mess, the series’ least valuable offering has transformed into a somewhat cult classic. That’s right. 15 years ago, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (directed by Justin Lin) was internationally released. That also means 15 years ago, the world was introduced to what is now one of the most iconic, instantly recognizable film soundtracks of the 21st century: Tokyo Drift by Teriyaki Boyz. A masterpiece. No further words needed.
The saga takes its high-octane action east to the gritty streets of Tokyo. To escape jail time after wrecking his car in a street race, undisciplined American teenager Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) is sent to live with his father in Tokyo. The motor fanatic soon finds himself deep into the Tokyo street racing scene where he is taught the art of drifting by series legend Han (Sung Kang). Sean quickly becomes embroiled in a war with the villainous Takashi (Brian Tee), where he must take full advantage of his newly acquired drifting skills to overcome the odds and defeat the man known as DK (Drift King).
By no means was the film a box office draw, grossing just $159m worldwide (the lowest in the entire franchise). The film also received mixed reviews from critics. Black delivers a satisfactory performance as the troubled protagonist in an otherwise sub-par plot. However, the film has matured into a borderline cult classic since its release, taking audiences on a super-charged thrill-ride around the Tokyo underworld, providing some of the best racing action across the entire series combined with its memorable, meme-worthy theme song. Fans of the franchise may have been disappointed by the lack of the late Paul Walker. Nevertheless, that Vin Diesel cameo ensures a satisfying payoff bound to leave a smile on one’s face. What makes Tokyo Drift so remarkable is that, chronologically, it is not the third instalment in the franchise, it actually takes place between Fast & Furious 6 and 7. Confusing yet intriguing.
The franchise may have run out of gas long ago. But fear not. Fortunately, you can go back and revive the old engine by watching Tokyo Drift’s 100 minutes’ worth of high-speed carnage. A carnage in which over 100 cars were destroyed during the filming process. Awesome.
Check out the trailer for ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’ below: