It’s no easy task ranking the Fast and Furious films purely for the fact that there’s so many of them. If you include the Hobbs and Shaw spinoff, this upcoming film will be the tenth instalment of the franchise so far, and while there are rumours of it coming to an end within the next couple of films, nothing is yet to be confirmed.
Altogether, the Fast and Furious franchise has made close to $6 billion in worldwide box-office revenue, making it one of the most successful runs of films ever made. Fans love it, children love it, and adults love it. But which one do we love the most? Personally, I love where the story began. While it wasn’t an accurate painting of the car scene back in the 2000s, the early films brought the underground racing industry into the limelight and suddenly, the industries that had supported our little world blossomed. But out of the first three, none did it better than Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
This film is often considered the underdog by many, and while it wasn’t the most successful and followed a host of characters that, at this point, weren’t connected to Dom’s ever-growing family, it was easy to take a shine to. There was no bank robbery or fights to the death on a plane – the plot was very simple. We were introduced to drifting, and from then on it was a charming story of self-improvement and racing. That was it. Brilliant.
Of course, between the training montages and Yakuza intimidation, the JDM cars shine above all. Han’s Veilside Fortune Mazda RX-7 is the car of the film with its bright orange and black paint job, closely followed by DK’s tuned 350Z and the nothing but polarising RB26-swapped Mustang driven by Sean at the end of the film. More importantly than this, however, was just how real the driving (or most of it at least) was.
Not only was it full of physical effects, the racing consisted of only drifting, and as we all know, there’s nothing like watching a car dance on its rear tyres on the Japanese Mountains of Japan… let’s not mention that a lot of it was actually filmed in the USA. Because it’s focussed on drifting, there are fewer gear changes and more handbrake pulling. And thanks to the film being full of JDM legends, it’s also full of legendary sounds.
Yes, the film has its drawbacks such as Bow Wow’s choice of car, but you can’t go wrong by going back to Tokyo and enjoying the sounds of screeching tyres, turbo flutters, and one of the best soundtracks in a film, ever.