Buckle your seat belts and prepare for a wild ride. The Fate of the Furious opens this weekend and marks the 8th entry in the series. What a crazy world we live in where we are still seeing fast and furious movies 17 years after the original. The series, since its start, has changed in so many ways for the better. In a way, Universal Studios has taken a page from Marvel’s playbook and made a small cinematic universe, connecting the characters across the movies. The strongest aspect of the films will never be about its cars or special effects. Fast and Furious is, first and foremost, about family. It is as simple as that. The idea of family is what makes all these movies work and flow together. The series has certainly had its highs and lows, so let’s see how the films rank.
#7 – Tokyo Drift
” Life’s simple, you make choices and you don’t look back.”
Tokyo Drift is an embarrassment to the Fast film catalog. This movie could have very well killed the franchise with its poor story, awful special effects and painfully bad protagonist, who is so forgettable and his story is so forced. A troubled high school student is sent to Tokyo in the hopes of having a turn around? Yeah, dad, good idea! Tokyo Drift only serves as a story for Han, whom the film should have been about. A Tokyo based movie with Han battling a Yakuza crime lord would have been epic! In the end Tokyo Drift actually ties into Furious 7 perfectly by using Han’s death as one of the major plot points of the movie. The random Dom Toretto cameo at the end was made into a cool story line! All of that being said, the movie is still garbage!
#6 – 2 Fast 2 Furious
“EJECT-YO SEAT CUZ!!!!!”
2 Fast 2 Furious is the buddy cop movie of the series. Brian departs from the Torettos to go undercover again to stop drug lord Carter Valone. Brian calls upon Agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) for help in his mission. In addition to Monica, Brian brings in his childhood best friend, and one of the series’ best characters, Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson). This is what made 2F2F so special. The bond between Roman and Brian is so believable, and is what holds the movie together through its shaky pacing. The set pieces are also pretty solid in this movie, as well. F2F2F featured a street race in the beginning hosted by later series regular, Tej Parker(Ludacris), multiple chase scenes, and the film’s iconic finale where Brian drives a Camero up a ramp and crashes into Carter’s yacht. 2F2F has its problems but all in all was a fun movie that is so early 2000s.
#5 – Fast and Furious (Fast 4)
” A real driver knows exactly what’s in his car”
The confusingly named 4th Fast & Furious movie was a turning point in the series. After the disaster that Tokyo Drift was, the series got back on track and started integrating a more serious plot. Dom seeks out revenge after the murder of Letty. This reunites Dom and Brian for separate reasons. Brian, whom is still a cop, is searching for a heroin dealer, while Dom is trying to find Letty’s killer. Both characters accomplish their goals, and Dom is sent to 25 years in prison. Fast 4 isn’t a bad movie. At times its plot can be confusing, but it was a good ” reboot” of the franchise with some decent action scenes. A more serious tone is what the series needed, and Fast 4 built the foundation for the later movies to be amazing.
#4 – The Fast and The Furious ( Original)
“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.”
It’s the movie that started it all. The original The Fast and The Furious is the story about undercover cop Brian O’Conner’s attempt to investigate ex convict, Dominic Toretto. Dom is a rock star in the street racing world, and Brian tries to earn his respect to get more dirt out of him. Brian’s problem is that he grows an attachment to Dom’s sister Mia. This is what builds the strongest aspect of the series, it’s family. Brian helps Dom take out a rival gang, and has to reveal to Dom that he is a cop. After Brian is finally able to arrest Dom, he lets him go because of their relationship and the respect he has for him. This was, of course, after they had an awesome race at the end. It was the simple days of the franchise. The first movie was a great introduction to its characters, and it gave us the early days of the Dom and Brian bromance.
#3 – Fast and Furious 6
“Father, thank you for the gathering of friends, Father, we give thanks for all the choices we’ve made because that’s what makes us who we are, let us forever cherish the loved ones we’ve lost along the way; thank you for the little angel, the newest addition to our family, thank you for bringing Letty home, and most of all thank you for fast cars.”
Fast Five could have very well been the end. All of the characters have it made, and it would have been good closure to the franchise. Fortunately for fans, there was still life in the series and stories to be told. Hobbs is in the midst of an investigation of Owen Shaw and asks Dom for help because it involves his ex love, Letty, who we saw die in Fast 4. The gang leaves their paradise in order to help Dom find Letty. She suffered from amnesia and Dom helps to bring her memory back through a race, because its fast and furious. The team takes down Shaw in London with an epic scene of them taking down a plane by driving a car through the front of it. We lose Gisele in an attempt to save Han. This leaves Han depressed, and finally pushes him to make the trip to Tokyo. We finally see Han’s killer through a recreation of the scene from Tokyo Drift and the killer is Deckard Shaw brother of Owen Shaw. Fast and Furious 6 had some awesome action; many ridiculous action scenes, including Dom jumping like 100 feet across a bridge; the song We Own It by 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa ( the series theme song in my eyes); and a good story about recovering an old friend. It also featured my favorite ending scene of the series with Hobbs coming to the Toretto home and dropping all charges. It ends with them having a cookout with Roman saying a prayer about everything that they are blessed to have.
#2 – Furious 7
” You’ll always be with me and you’ll always be my brother”
It is incredibly hard to write about this movie in just a paragraph. There is so many amazing things this movie gets right. Furious 7 was the most anticipated movie in the franchise due to the passing of Paul Walker. This tragedy had happened before they finished filming the movie and forced the change of many of the original plot points. It can be seen how the film was supposed solely focus on Han’s death but it turned into a retirement story for Brian. This is by no means a bad thing due to Han still getting his moment of closure. To follow up on Han’s death let’s talk about Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) as the villain. He is an absolutely fantastic villain who seems like a threat to this team, and who has an amazing throw down with Hobbs (The Rock) at the beginning of the film. Even though I just stated that the fight was awesome, it brings one of my least favorite parts of the movie. Hobbs is hospitalized until the end of the film, which is fine in the grand scheme of it all. It was, however, more time for Brian to be CGI’d on screen. When Hobbs does comeback, he certainly brings the cavalry. The film had so many incredible set pieces like them skydiving in their cars, Dom driving out of skyscrapers into other skyscrapers, and the Avengers-like battle scene at the end of the movie that featured Dom pulling out the 1970’s charger and battling Deckard Shaw with wrenches as if they were swords. Finally, I want to talk about my movie theater experience of the ending of this film. I thought the scene with Brian on the beach with his family was a good send off, but when Brian pulls up and says ” Hey, you thought you could leave without saying goodbye?” chills were brought to my spine. As if that wasn’t enough, the Charlie Puth & Wiz Khalifa – See You Again goes into the chorus and the film moves into an incredible montage of Paul throughout the series. This montage featuring Vin Diesel, no not Dom, Vin Diesel, speaking to the fans about his brother Paul Walker is so powerful and made everyone in that theater cry their eyes out. Furious 7 was an amazing movie with an incredible send off for Paul Walker.
#1 – Fast 5
” The most important thing in life will always be the people here in this room. Right here. Right now. Salute Mi Familia”
The fifth installment of the Fast and Furious series is the absolute best. In a way, it was like the first time we saw the Avengers assemble. All the characters throughout the series come together including Dom, Brian, Roman, Tej, Han and Mia. The movie opens with an epic sequence with Brian and Mia breaking Dom out of prison. After they continue to pull off crimes and an attempt to take down criminal Herman Reyes and steal his fortune, the United States government sends the Fast and Furious franchise its greatest asset, Dwayne ” The Rock ” Johnson as Luke Hobbs, who is to arrest the team. Hobbs inclusion of the series gave us a character who is the peak of manhood. One liners and an unstoppable muscle bound force made Hobbs the star of this movie. The battle between Hobbs and the gang is epic, but when Hobbs loses members of his team at the hands of Reyes’ men, Hobbs teams up with the gang to take Reyes down. The film’s ending bank robbery scene is the series best set piece. They literally carry a safe across the city. That’s a whole new level of robbing the bank. When all their missions are accomplished, Hobbs goes back to attempting to take Toretto in. The film’s ending was similar to the first when Brian let Dom go. Hobbs gives Dom a head start. The team scored 100 million in the heist and it’s so satisfying to see the team live their dreams after accomplishing the heist. Some highlights include Tej opening a garage, Brian and Mia having a baby and an awesome tease of Han going to Tokyo (Despite that movie being awful). Fast Five is an all around amazing experience. The story is engaging , the characters all come together and have amazing chemistry with each other, take that and throw in some amazing action sequences and you have the best Fast and Furious movie ever.
As you can see, I love The Fast and the Furious, its a series that has such amazing characters who are truly a family. The cast is so hard not to love with the likes of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and the greatest human being of all time, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It features action scenes that are so over the top and ridiculous, and that keep getting better with each movie. The story lines that connect all the movies together can be hit or miss, but its all apart of what makes it fun to watch. That’s the point I really want to get across here is that these will never be Academy Award winning movies. They are movies solely made for fun and the movies are about the family. ‘Nuff said. Come back this week for my review of The Fate of The Furious.
In addition to being neither fast nor furious, Jacob Nelson is one of The Geekiverse’s Dragon Ball Masters. To keep up on his weekly reviews, you’re already in the right spot.
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