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Lin, a Taiwanese-American director then known best for his indie hit 5 "Better Luck Tomorrow," turned out to be a great pick for "Tokyo Drift" and the franchise as a whole. First, "Tokyo Drift" is arguably the best "Fast" film in terms of honoring the racing culture it depicts. Keiichi Tsuchiya, Japan's real-life "Drift King," makes a cameo and serves as a stunt driver. Second, Lin takes care to avoid antiquated, orientalizing tropes in the narrative working from a script by Chris Morgan and imagery of the film — "Drift's" depiction of Japanese culture is more in line with anime like "Initial D" than with something like "Memoirs of a Geisha.
Yes, the main character of "Tokyo Drift" is an American guy named Sean with a southern drawl so thick it puts McConaughey to shame, but it's not just about a white dude getting better at drifting than everyone else. At its core, "Tokyo Drift" is a movie about the expatriate experience. They find their community in each other, making "Drift" the first "Fast" movie to really hit the theme of family hard. There are plenty of cringey things in "Drift" the opening race with a girl as the "prize," for one and a handful of guilty pleasures the needle-drops are all on point, and Sonny Chiba as a Yakuza boss is glorious , but it has real heart that the antics of "2 Fast" sorely lacked.
That difference must've made an impression on Diesel, who makes a cameo as Toretto at the end of the picture. According to Lin, Diesel only agreed to come back after the two of them had a long discussion at Diesel's house about the movie's themes and a possible future for the franchise that would establish the bond between Toretto and Han.
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Without "Tokyo Drift," Vin Diesel wouldn't have returned to the franchise. Diesel only asked for the rights to the "Riddick" series in exchange for his cameo — presumably, he thought the "Riddick" series stood a better chance of becoming his signature role.
Soon enough, however, Lin and Diesel had the opportunity to start putting the plans they hatched poolside at Diesel's into motion. A brief aside: Up until this point, it's been fairly easy to track: Tokyo Drift" does well to imply it's a side story thanks to the colon. A total reboot?
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
A sequel? Who can tell? Things only get stranger from here: Justin Lin and Chris Morgan of "Tokyo Drift" return as director and screenwriter, along with the main cast of the first movie: Diesel, Walker, Brewster and Rodriguez. The rest of Dom Toretto's LA street racing crew from the first movie is absent. We see a snippet of Toretto's outlaw life in the Dominican Republic with Letty, Han and a bickering duo played by Puerto Rican rappers Don Omar and Tego Calderon — but once the action reaches LA, the film narrows its focus down to the trio of Brian, Mia and Dom, whose history from the first film is quickly summed-up for the uninitiated.
At the same time, the action is turned up a notch or twenty: Brian's now an FBI agent chasing after international criminals, giving an excuse for a "Bourne"-esque on-foot chase through LA. With all these elements combined, the fourth film marks where the aspirations of the "Fast" movies change.
They're no longer not just about racing anymore It's a break in tone that suggested Lin and company weren't sure exactly what to do with the weird little trilogy they had on their hands.
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Thankfully, they figured it out with the next film. It trades the color-corrected blues of the previous movie's LA for the sun-soaked locales of Rio de Janeiro.
The film acknowledges the series' sidelining of street racing by skipping over an entire race in a single cut for a laugh. Were it not for a comment left on Vin Diesel's absurdly devotional Facebook fan page, the role might've gone to Tommy Lee Jones. Having finally nailed the tone of its characters and execution of the action, "Fast Five" became of first of the series to crack the top 10 highest grossing movies of its year. It took them five movies to get there, but the "Fast and Furious" series was finally putting up numbers to rival Hollywood's biggest franchises.
Plans were hatched for two sequels to be filmed back to back — initially, Lin was set to direct both parts, respectively named "Fast" yup and the second "Furious" really. Plans for a two-parter were scuttled for something a little more straightforward: Universal still wanted them to come out a year apart, so production on the seventh started during post-production on the sixth. It builds on everything great about "Fast Five," including the ensemble antics and ridiculously destructive IRL action, while also sowing the seeds for the series' next arc. In his last act as the series' steward, Lin ties the end of "6" into the events of "Tokyo Drift", allowing the timeline to catch up with his first contribution.
Lin's last installment went on to break more records for the "Fast" series, setting expectations high for the planned summer release of Wan's "Furious 7. Both men had professional racing experience — outside the "Fast" films, Walker was enamored with cars. The Porsche was traveling over the speed limit when Rodas lost control, ultimately colliding with a pole.
When witnesses arrived on the scene, the car was aflame. Walker and Rodas both died in the accident. Universal suspended production of "Furious 7," giving the cast and crew time to mourn Walker and assess the movie's fate. Walker had filmed about half his scenes in the movie prior to the accident, including several key dialogue scenes. Given the choice between scrapping the picture and completing it with Walker's scenes, Universal opted for the latter. The only major rewrites concerned Brian and Mia's storyline. I'm going to go ahead and spoil the movie here by telling you that Brian isn't killed off.
Walker's scenes were completed with his brothers Cody and Caleb as stand-ins and the film ends with a touching tribute to Walker. James Wan faced an extraordinarily tough balancing act: The only clear concession to the seemingly unmanageable number of characters and plot points is the sidelining of Luke Hobbs, who spends most of "Furious 7" recovering from an assault by the film's main villain Deckard Jason Statham.
Though it was eclipsed by "Jurassic World" and "The Force Awakens" later that same year, "Furious 7" was a massive financial success for Universal. In early , Diesel announced release dates for three more "Fast and Furious" films, adding that the series would end with the 10th. While the buzz surrounding the seventh film veered between the morbid and melancholic, the lead-up to "The Fate of the Furious" got gossipy. All seemed well at the start: Gary Gray of "The Italian Job" and "Straight Outta Compton" signed on to direct and everybody took a crack at "Fast and Furiosa" jokes when Charlize Theron was announced as the film's lead villain.
Then came August 8th, Dwayne Johnson declined to name who he accused of unprofessional behavior in his now-deleted post, but two days later the news came out: Johnson was upset with Diesel.
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Vanity Fair made a detailed timeline of the duo's feud in the lead-up to "Fate's" release. While Diesel was quick to assert his brotherly love for Johnson on the red carpet, Johnson kept his comments pretty business-like.
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WIthout spoiling too much of "The Fate of the Furious," the on-set tension between Diesel and Johnson is pretty clear in the film itself. The men share only a tiny amount of screentime, with entire scenes staged in such a way that they're not seen interacting in the same location — and who is to say the others weren't green screened? The eighth film has its highs the opening race in Cuba, Dom racing a missile and its lows Theron's villain Cipher is about as far from Furiosa as you can get , but the thing that hurts the film most is the evident maneuvering around Diesel and Johnson's egos.
It's ironic that "Fate" concerns an engineered family feud when it's the real-life dispute that drags things down. The tension does distract from Walker's absence, but not in the way you'd hope. So, is it all doom-and-gloom for the "Fast" family? Well, not entirely. The same day the spin-off was announced, Diesel made a not-so-subtle Instagram post indicating his feelings:.
A post shared by Vin Diesel vindiesel on Oct 5, at 6: The Dwayne versus Tyrese drama continued for about a month before Tyrese announced he and Johnson had buried the hatchet. Meanwhile, Vin made an announcement of his own: Justin Lin and Jordana Brewster will return for the ninth and tenth installments of the series. Am I happy to see the last year of "Fast" buzz defined by some rich dudes feuding on Instagram?
Returning the series to solid ground after 2 Fast 2 Furious leaned too heavily on cartoonish CGI effects, Tokyo Drift relies on old-fashioned stunt work that gives its best sequences a sense of brute physicality. Most of the racing scenes get the job done, especially an early drag through an unfinished suburban development and a no-holds-barred ride down a treacherous mountain road. But he knows how to get these cars to dance across the finish line, and that's all this complacent series seems to demand.
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