I continue my deep-dive rewatch of the Fast and Furious films with Tokyo Drift. And this is where the chronological order becomes interesting. I’m not watching this as the third film in the series. I’m watching this as the seventh. And I have already seen Han in three films and one short. I was very interested in seeing how this film would feel after watching it in this order.

This is the first film in the series by Justin Lin, which is interesting in itself, as he went on to become the director you most associate with the series, but his first entry didn’t have any of the main characters in it. 

Here are my thoughts whilst rewatching it.

  • It’s got a very different type of intro sequence. Totally different feel.
  • Lucas Black is certainly no Paul Walker! The Sean character started off very many and negative but I did actually warm to him by the end. But he’s still no Paul Walker
  • The big brother from Home Improvement is in this! I forgot about that. Zachery Ty Bryan
  • The two guys are racing really hard but the truck with the girls in the back waving is totally keeping up with them and actually overtaking Sean at one point, so I guess they’re not driving that fast!
  • When Sean meets his Dad in Tokyo he doesn’t exactly get a warm reception. Pretty harsh saying “Lights out in 10” when Sean has only just gotten off a plane from America, and the dad had what might have been a hooker round so I’m guessing he was going to be up for a while anyway
  • I love accents but Sean’s accent is so strong that I always wonder if it is exaggerated on purpose as part of his character or if that’s the only way the actor can speak
  • I like Twinkie. Not too sure about his Hulk-mobile though
  • Han! So good to see him again. I remember really liking Han first time round when I first saw Tokyo Drift but it’s interesting watching the films in chronological order this time and seeing Han here after watching him in the last three movies
  • Han’s eating! Good old Han. Always eating
  • I love how DK drifts up the spiral ramp at the end of the race. Very cool.
  • Sean really is a bit of a dick to his dad. It’s hard to know if we are actually meant to like him yet or not
  • Konishiki! I used to love watching Sumo wrestling on Channel 4 in the late 80s / early 90s and Konishiki ‘The Hawaiian’ was one of the main stars. I made a little yelp when I saw him. I forgot he was in this
  • Cool to see all the Pachinko machines
  • I love Han’s entrance into the party. What a dude
  • The nighttime scene with all the cars drifting is stunning. Beautiful shots.
  • Han’s reading a Hulk comic! Cool. Perhaps one of the production staff was really into the Hulk? That’s two references now. Hulk instead of Corona. This is a very different Fast and Furious movie
  • The night time car chase through the streets of Tokyo is beautiful on screen. So many colours
  • Justin Lin really is great at putting people into the background, and foreground, of stunts to make them look even more dangerous. He does that a lot in later movies but the scene of Sean drifting through the busy crowd at the street crossing is fantastic
  • Such a gutting blow when Han gets killed. So strange to watch it too now knowing who killed him
  • I finally start liking Sean when he tells his dad he needs to fix the mess he caused. And then he walks into the Yakuza uncle’s place.
  • Beautiful ’67 Mustang that his dad gives him. One of the best cars in the whole series.
  • Very impressed with their network of mobile phones filming the race from different stages. I’d love to see how well that worked in real life on little flip phones in 2006, even in Japan
  • Some of the shots during the mountain race are beautiful
  • It’s refreshing to see a race in a Fast and Furious movie where there is no NOS
  • Sean’s friends properly cheer and holler when DK’s car does multiple rolls down the mountainside, while his Yakuza uncle is about 5 metres away from them. Have some respect dudes!
  • Looking back in retrospect, I think this end chase sequence through the streets of Tokyo appears in three films: Tokyo Drift, the end of Fast & Furious 6 and also the start of Fast & Furious 7. That really does help to bring this movie into the FastandFuriverse
  • So weird to see Dom at the end of this one. Very different depending on what order you’ve watched the movies. If you watched the movies in the order they came out then this is the first you’ve seen Dom since the first movie. And the whole connection with Han is totally out of the blue and with no real backstory. But if you’ve watched the movies in chronological order like I just have you really do get it when he says that Han was family, and it’s touching how he has come out to investigate Han’s death etc. The whole Han/Dom thing is a very good example of how to retrocon a story. It does just feel a bit weird that Dom is smiling and racing, when I feel that after Fast and Furious 6 he would be pretty devastated at Han’s death
  • Watching it this way and then going back to watch the mid credit scene of Fast and Furious 6 is certainly the perfect way to setup Fast and Furious 7. Bring it on.

Deleted scenes
There are loads of deleted scenes for this film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7bQvKWk8zU&list=PLPUT-HzmY9Y50ggdHiWPbXV6z3zz8qnes

  • We learn why Twinkie has a Hulk minivan
  • Interesting scene where Neela saves Sean from a fight
  • Sean tries a wasabi challenge
  • Theres also a great birthday scene at Han’s party
  • There’s a better ending where Neela kisses Sean and the uncle takes DK away. I’m intrigued as to why they changed it 

Main characters
Takashi (DK)
Sean’s Dad
Dom (cameo)

Corona scenes – 0

Most memorable scene
The scene where Neela takes Sean up into the mountains and you see all the cars drifting up the mountain roads at night time like some sort of ballet dance is pretty breathtaking.

Best stunt
The whole car chase through the streets of Tokyo is pretty great and I would probably say the crowd scene just before Han dies, where the cars drift round the corner of that really busy crossroads with all the people crossing the roads is fantastic. We see it again in two future movies too, so it must be good.

Quote of the movie
“You know what DK stands for?”
“Donkey Kong?”
“Drift King”.
“Drift? What do you mean, Drift?”

Score – 6.5/10
It’s a tough one to score. It really is it’s own movie. It doesn’t directly fit in with the rest of the series, but it’s still pretty entertaining. It’s even more entertaining and poignant when you watch it in chronological sequence after we have grown to know and love the Han character.

Fast Five – 9/10
The Fast and the Furious – 8.5/10 
Fast & Furious 6 – 8.5/10
2 Fast 2 Furious – 8/10 
Fast & Furious – 7/10
The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift – 6.5/10
Los Bandoleros – 3/10
Turbo-Charged Prelude – 2/10