The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (alternatively known as Fast & Furious 3 or Tokyo Drift) is a 2006 American-German action film directed by Justin Lin, produced by Neal H. Moritz, and written by Chris Morgan. It is the third (chronologically, the sixth) installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise and stars Lucas Black, Bow Wow, and Nathalie Kelly. The film follows car enthusiast Sean Boswell, who is sent to live in Tokyo with his father, before finding solace viewing and competing in the drifting community within the city.
Oro Valley, Arizona, high school students Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) and Clay (Zachery Ty Bryan) race their cars to win the affections of Clay’s girlfriend Cindy (Nikki Griffin), driving their respective vehicles, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and a Dodge Viper. When Sean cuts through a structure and catches up to Clay, Clay hits Sean’s car repeatedly until they reach a high-speed turn, which causes both cars to crash; Sean’s car is totaled. Clay and Cindy’s wealthy families help them escape punishment, but because Sean is a repeat offender for street racing, he is sent to live in Tokyo, Japan with his father (Brian Goodman), a U.S. Navy officer, in order to avoid juvenile detention or jail.
While in Tokyo, Sean befriends Twinkie (Bow Wow), a military brat who introduces him to the world of drift racing in Japan. Sean has a confrontation with Takashi (Brian Tee)—the Drift King (DK)—over Sean talking to Takashi’s girlfriend, Neela (Nathalie Kelly). Though forbidden to drive, Sean decides to race against Takashi, who has ties to the Yakuza. He borrows a Nissan Silvia from Han Lue (Sung Kang), now a business partner to Takashi, but loses his first race with Takashi and ends up totaling the car due to his inability to drift.
To repay his debt for the car he destroyed, Sean agrees to work for Han. This leads to the duo becoming friends, with Han agreeing to teach Sean how to drift. Han also loans him a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for future races, explaining that he is helping him as Sean is the only person willing to stand up to Takashi. Sean moves in with Han and soon masters drifting, gaining some clout after defeating DK’s right-hand man, Morimoto. Sean soon asks Neela out on a date, and learns that after her mother died, she moved in with Takashi’s grandmother, which resulted in their relationship. Takashi beats up Sean the next day, telling him to stay away from Neela; Neela subsequently leaves Takashi and moves in with Sean and Han.
Takashi’s uncle Kamata, the head of the Yakuza, reprimands Takashi for allowing Han to steal from him. Takashi and Morimoto confront Han, Sean, and Neela about the thefts. Twinkie causes a distraction, allowing Han (in his Mazda RX-7), Sean, and Neela (both in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution) to flee, who are then pursued by Takashi and Morimoto (driving their respective Nissan 350Zs). During the chase, Morimoto is killed in a crash, leaving Takashi to pursue the trio on his own. Han allows Sean to overtake him in order to hold Takashi off, but the chase ends when Sean and Neela crash. Meanwhile, moments after escaping from Takashi, Han is critically injured from a t-bone collision. Han’s car explodes, dying instantly just seconds before Sean has a chance to save him.
Takashi, Sean, and his father become involved in an armed standoff which is resolved by Neela agreeing to leave with Takashi. Twinkie gives his money to Sean to replace the money Han stole, which Sean then returns to Kamata. Sean proposes a race against Takashi, with the loser having to leave Tokyo. Kamata agrees to the challenge, but on the condition that the race take place on a mountain, revealed to be the mountain where Takashi himself is the only person to make it down successfully. With all of Han’s cars impounded, Sean and Han’s friends then rebuild a 1967 Ford Mustang that Sean’s father was working on, with a Nissan Skyline engine salvaged from Han’s Silvia that was totaled by Sean in his first drift race, and other spare parts.
That night, on the mountain, crowds gather to see the race; Takashi takes the lead initially, but Sean’s training allows him to catch up. Determined to win, Takashi resorts to ramming Sean’s car, eventually missing and driving off the mountain while Sean crosses the finish line. Kamata keeps his word, and lets Sean remain in Tokyo and is now christened the new Drift King.
As Neela, Twinkie and Sean, the new Drift King, enjoying themselves in their newfound homeplace and freedom. An American shows up to challenge Sean with his muscle car, and Sean accepts after the American proclaims himself as Han’s family. Before the two begin to race, the challenger reveals himself to be Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel).