Of all the many, many movies that we could describe as both Fast and indeed Furious, Tokyo Drift is the one whose reputation has grown the most over time. Critically panned upon release, it has now achieved something of a cult status amongst the other movies in the blockbuster franchise, spawning some loyal die-hard fans and even merchandise claiming it was “good actually.”
Tokyo Drift is at least true to the street racing origins of the franchise and doesn’t spin-off into flights-of-fancy involving flying cars or jetting off to space. And because director Justin Lin filmed the drag races on the actual streets of Tokyo, getting permission for this wasn’t the easiest. And it turns out that production company Universal actually had a plan in place to prevent Lin getting arrested for violating Japanese laws during shooting.
Lin told Digital Spy back in 2009; “When we went to shoot in Tokyo it’s a very different culture. They don’t give out film permits. We would be setting up a scene and people would just walk right through the set. I had this one guy, I thought he said he was me. I didn’t know what that meant.”
Lin continued; “I wanted to shoot in Shibuya, which is the most crowded place in Tokyo. The cops, they’re all so polite, so it takes ten minutes for them to come over and kick you out. They shut us down, I’d gotten all my shots, but I didn’t know they were going to arrest me. Another guy stepped up and said, ‘I’m the director.’ I found out that it was his job to take the fall for me. He went to jail for the night and I’m forever grateful.”
Universal hiring a “fall guy” to play the role of the director, so Justin Lin could continue filming is pretty funny and almost worthy of a movie in itself. Whatever your opinions on Tokyo Drift, most people agree that Han (played by Sung Kang) is one of the coolest characters in the franchise. Find out if he made our list of the best Fast and Furious characters.
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