The Fast and Furious franchise may not be everyone’s favorite, but there’s no debating that it still has a massive built-in fan base and has continued to gross stupid amounts of money at the box office, so much so that more spin-offs are on the horizon in combination with a few more planned Fast and Furious-proper films. Vin Diesel and Universal — and The Rock who seems to be planning a possible coup to takeover this franchise entirely — will do whatever they can to keep this franchise going in a time where box office success is based on IP. At this point, it might be better to sit back and let all the muscle cars and spotty acting wash over us.
At any rate, let’s take a look at how each of the Fast and Furious movies stack up against each other:
#9: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
2 Fast 2 Furious didn’t exactly hit the mark with every moviegoer. So how did the creative team for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift decide to move forward with the franchise? How about replace the whole cast with a guy no one’s heard of and Lil Bow Wow? Brilliant!
The film may have a few impressive stunts revolving around cars, but the film has literally nothing else to warrant watching it. I can’t believe it when I say that the franchise sorely missed Vin Diesel by this point. Whatever you think about his acting, he provides a certain energy that is missing in Tokyo Drift…even if it’s horribly misplaced in other films in the franchise.
#8: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
The sequel to the original The Fast and the Furious is more like a retread with less fun involved. There are less memorable action sequences with more of that darn plot that none of us really cared about. The film is also hamstrung by Diesel not taking part in the film, effectively removing the one relationship that you may have cared about from the first film.
Although the film has most of the original cast (except for good ol’ Vin), 2 Fast 2 Furious feels way too generic to recommend to anyone that didn’t adore the first film. I can’t really remember anything from the film, can you?
#7: Fast & Furious (2009)
How did this franchise get beyond four films? Fast & Furious, along with having a confusing title that makes you question what number it is in the franchise, does nothing to distinguish itself from the other Fast and Furious films. Sure, it has some flashy stunts, but the plot is just a thinly veiled cover for poor acting and many other little details that I forgot quickly after the end credits rolled over the screen.
Still, for many, Fast & Furious was the soft reboot that they wanted from the franchise with Vin getting folded back into the picture. With where the franchise is now, you can point to this film as the true starting point of it all, even if it is still very unremarkable.
#6: The Fate of the Furious (2017)
There’s a lot of great moments in The Fate of the Furious — none of which include the actual title of the film. I will always squeal with glee while watching Jason Statham shoot up a bunch of baddies on a plane with a baby in tow. That’s the kind of thing you want to see in a movie such as this one. I’ll watch The Rock fight Jason Statham in a prison any day!
But all this goofy fun is juxtaposed with Vin Diesel trying to act like this film will finally get him that Oscar he so rightly deserves. Vin, stop treating this franchise like it’s Phantom Thread — we don’t care about the horribly misguided and dark subplots that include the death of his child’s mother. (Side note: Charlize Theron, would it kill you to raise the volume of your voice?)
Like most of the franchise, The Fate of the Furious has some inspired segments, but it doesn’t quite come together with so many moving parts and diametrically opposed tones.
*To read the site’s full review of the site, please click here.
#5: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)
How is it that the Fast and the Furious movie WITHOUT Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, or Ludacris is also the dumbest? Am I having a stroke?
As this franchise continues to crank out movies until the sun engulfs this Earth, we’ll look at Hobbs and Shaw as the moment that Fast and the Furious went from generally silly, testosterone-fueled action movies to full-on absurdity. At this point, I guarantee that we see Vin Diesel in space within the next two movies.
Hobbs and Shaw is very much a comedy, using the classic trope in action movies where the two lead characters don’t get along to full effect. The Rock and Statham bicker for the entire movie, and they actually play pretty well off each other. There’s even a few glorious cameos that only increase the comedy.
The stars are fun, the action is noteworthy like in all David Leitch films, but the plot (or lack thereof) and general editing of this movie broke my brain. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the stupidity on display in this film.
#4: The Fast and the Furious (2001)
It’s certainly the best film of the first half of the Fast and Furious franchise, but then again, that’s not saying much. I give the movie a ton of credit for having a largely unseen culture at the front of the story. However, that doesn’t change the fact that The Fast and the Furious is basically Point Break but with cars and less charismatic actors.
Plus, the relationship between Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez has always felt forced and unnatural, and has bogged down the fun action that we all want to see.
#3: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The sixth film in this franchise is where the characters officially became unofficial superheroes, leaping from car to car without as much as a scratch on their forearms. Physics no longer matter, it’s all about creating set pieces that take place in an alternate universe that looks vaguely like ours…without the logic. If you can’t look beyond these problems, there’s probably nothing in Fast & Furious 6 for you. (Not to mention that there’s a runway at an airport that is approximately 35 miles long.)
But if you can somehow get by these obstacles, Fast & Furious 6 can be a ton of fun in a schlocky sense. Just sit back and watch neat cars and explosions!
#2: Furious 7 (2015)
Furious 7 is a vast improvement over many other films in the franchise. It gets a serious lift with Jason Statham as the villain, giving the film an extra edge that other films lack. Can you remember the villains from the other movies? No? Neither can I!
Although it contains a limited amount of The Rock, he steals every scene he’s in, delivering cheesy one-liners with a ton of charisma that can make the biggest cynic smile.
James Wan finds the correct tone of a Fast and Furious film, a film that contains a ton winks to the audience throughout. However, he also applied a very intelligent, poignant ending to honor the memory of Paul Walker, somehow balancing it with death-defying stunts that still lose track of physics.
#1: Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five was the film that finally embraced the cheese and silliness that this over-the-top action franchise needed. The Rock and all his musclely goodness was a perfect injection into these films, and the monument of a man is on full display as the main antagonist against Paul Walker and Vin Diesel.
The best moment (which I may consider the best in the entire franchise) is the absurd chase through the streets of Brazil which includes one car dragging a safe through the road and causing millions in property damage. The franchise finally had the heist element that it needed all along.
This is the film that turned the franchise into the one that many enjoy today. It’s silly, ridiculous, and everything that a Fast and Furious movie should be. It deserves all the praise it receives.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on The Fast and Furious franchise? Comment down below!
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