The Fast and Furious franchise is so meme-worthy and ridiculous, that even the movie titles are far too fast and, indeed, furious, to conform to any kind of sense-making structure. Sometimes featuring numbers, sometimes rejecting any idea of chronology, and sometimes featuring the same number twice just in case you didn't get it the first time, the Fast and Furious titles are almost as adrenaline pumped and ludacris (heh) as the movies themselves. And yet, they're nothing compared to the Japanese movie titles.
Not initially popular in Japan — even the Japan-set Tokyo Drift failed to garner fans as Japanese viewers felt the portrayal of Japanese culture was inaccurate — the Fast and Furious franchise picked up momentum when Fast Five was released, with the franchise exploding in popularity like so many stolen safes. Since then, Fast and Furious movies have seen a great box office boost from Japan, with a whopping $30 million of Furious 7's profits coming from the Japanese market.
And really, it's no surprise that people flocked to see Furious 7, as its title in Japan was adrenaline-thumpingly awesome. Here's what the movies were released as in Japan:
- Wild Speed
- Wild Speed X2
- Wild Speed X3: Tokyo Drift
- Wild Speed MAX
- Wild Speed MEGA MAX
- Wild Speed: Euro Mission
- Wild Speed: Sky Mission
Yeah, who wouldn't see a movie entitled Wild Speed: Sky Mission?! Especially as the film definitely delivers on the title, with the Fast Fam parachuting cars out of planes and leaping them across skyscrapers.
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The eighth movie in the series — US title The Fate of the Furious (or Fast 8) — is titled Wild Speed: Ice Break in Japan which, again, is pretty accurate, as the finale features a remote-controlled submarine bursting out of a frozen Siberian lake in what is perhaps the franchise's most thrilling car chase yet.
And yet, I think my favorite thing about the Japanese titles is the fact that, even though literally every other word has been changed from the original, they kept Tokyo Drift as the subtitle to The Fast and the Furious 3 / Wild Speed X3. This just reminds me of the Fast and Furious title meme, which also retains Tokyo Drift even when adapting the titling method to other franchises...
The drift never dies!
'The Fate of the Furious' is released in the USA on April 15th, and as 'Wild Speed: Ice Break' in Japan on April 28th. Catch your first look at Helen Mirren's surprising role here, and let us know what you think of the Japanese titles in the comments!
USA or Japanese: Which 'Fast and Furious' titles do you prefer?
[Poll image credit: Universal]