Rewatching All 8 Fast and Furious Movies
Editor’s Note: The boys at Study Party Die have spent the better part of the last two weeks rewatching the greatest movie series known the mankind – Fast and the Furious. Here are their thoughts.
In preparation for the blockbuster hit of the summer, Fast and Furious 9 or simply F9, we have decided to do what any good men of culture would do: rewatch every Fast and Furious movie in order. Beginning in 2001, the franchise has had no shortage of dramatic car races, heists, and Vin Diesel skilfully mumbling lines about his love for his family of street racers. Watching this entire franchise in a week cost us only $14 in Amazon prime rental fees (but the account is linked to our friend’s mom so doesn’t really count) and about 14 hours of our lives. However, you really can’t put a price on 100 gear shift shots per movie and storylines with more plot holes than swiss cheese.
Catching Up on the Fast and Furious Franchise
1 . The Fast and The Furious (2001)
The first movie in the franchise, and it’s a great start. Paul Walker actually does not know how to act in this movie. It’s hilarious. His delivery is completely void of emotion, but he somehow still lands the hot girl, Mia. The only issue with this is that Mia is the sister of Vin Diesel, which if I was Paul Walker’s character, I would consider moving on.
The premise of the movie is simple: Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) is an undercover cop looking to find a crew of highly skilled drivers who have robbed multiple trucks full of TV’s. I wonder who the skilled drivers could possibly be?!? Could it possibly be the 230 lb bald man that runs the racing scene in Los Angeles? Yes. And his name is Vin Diesel, but he goes by the name of Dominic “Dom” Toretto. The ending is nonsense, but that’s a pattern in these films.
2. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
The second film in this series takes a serious dive in terms of the acting quality. While before Paul Walker’s acting could have been considered “not good,” this second installment feels and watches like a student film. Or better yet, imagine a super fan of The Fast and the Furious decided to write their own film but had a loose command of editing skills, sound mixing, and directing actors.
Set in Miami, Paul Walker’s character meets his old friend Roman, a comic relief character that offers the best moments in this film. At this point, the characters start to become virtually above the law, but we’ll get to that later.
3. Tokyo Drift (2006)
This movie veers off slightly from the main storyline. We meet Sean, a southern boy that is relocated to Tokyo to live with his strict, veteran father. His father has one rule: no cars or street racing. Uh oh. Here, we encounter our first and largest issue. Sean can’t race? Well, yes, he can.
Despite his serious demeanor, Sean’s dad barely enforces this rule and it holds no water, much like this whole plot. Sean befriends Han, another racing enthusiast, and the coolest character in maybe this whole series. In the end, Sean defeats the bad guy–in a street race consisting of mostly drifting into oncoming traffic–and becomes top dog in Tokyo, despite the fact that he is balding but supposed to be 16 years old. Also, Han dies…sort of.
4. Fast and Furious (2009)
Movie number four is Fast and Furious, not to be confused with “The Fast and the Furious.” Forced to work together–it was lost upon me that they were at one point enemies–Brian and Dom look to defeat a Mexican drug lord named Braga. This movie introduces Gisele, played by Gal Gadot, who is, well, a hot girl. She proves that hot girls do like muscle cars. Thanks, Gal.
At the end of this movie, Dom and Brian get chased out of Mexico to the Mexican-American border where they drive directly into a secret tunnel for smuggling heroin. Convenient. If crossing the Mexican-American border was as easy as it looks in Fast and Furious, the majority of the country would be Mexican-American.
5. Fast 5 (2011)
Easily the best movie in the franchise, Fast 5 assembles the greatest heist crew in cinema history to steal 100 million dollars (in cash) from a Brazillian crime lord. This is roughly where these films start to drift away from their car chase roots. See, in the old movies, disputes were settled with a good old-fashioned street race: we start here, first to make it past that light post wins. Simple, effective, elegant.
Fast Five on the other hand, introduces Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne the Rock Johnson, who literally guns down and beats the shit out of anyone that gets in his way–he’s a federal agent of the law mind you. So in Fast Five (and the rest of these films) disputes are settled with bullets and fists, not sweet driving. In the end, the team steals the cash by hauling a 4 ton safe out of a highly guarded police station, once again proving that international law is more like a set of loose guidelines.
6. Fast and Furious 6 (2013)
Fast and Furious 6 introduces audience members to the beautiful function of a complete revival of characters who we assumed were dead. Dom Toretto’s wife, Letty, is now somehow alive! This comes as a shocker, as in Fast and Furious (the fourth film) we see her get shot in her face. Not exaggerating–she gets shot point-blank in her face. But wait! No she didn’t. It is revealed that Letty, after surviving her near-death experience, is in a state of amnesia and remembers none of her old racing pals. So, logically, she is recruited by the bad guys and Dom is faced with the decision to either beat up his wife or save her from the bad guy’s grasp.
In this film, Dom jumps from a moving car, clears a 30-foot gap, catches Letty while falling in mid-air, and lands back first on the windshield of a car. Whatever effects you previously thought gravity had on the human body are now worthless. Dom is above such laws. Also, Gal Gadot’s character dies. I guess she wanted out of this franchise.
7. Furious 7 (2015)
Dom saved Letty and this movie starts with everyone happy. Brian has been starting a family with Dom’s sister…somehow still ok. Dom and Letty are working on her memory recovery which is insane to think about: waking up and not knowing anything and then Vin Diesel claiming that you were once married and in love. That sounds like a fever dream.
Anyway, it’s revealed that Han was killed in Tokyo, which was shown in Tokyo Drift: a movie from 9 years before Furious 7. The timeline doesn’t add up but who cares. You’re still watching these movies, so the formula obviously works. Dom, enraged to find out that his friend was murdered, goes on a killing spree looking for Han’s killer, Shaw, the brother of the villain of Fast and Furious 6. They steal back a computer expert named Ramsey, steal some software, drive a sports car through a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi, and then blow up Los Angeles while being chased by an attack helicopter. Shaw gets put in prison by Hobbs while they not so sneakily set up their spin-off film.
Paul Walker actually passed away while filming this one, so Brian’s character is sent off in the end, driving into the sunset. If you think Brian’s character isn’t coming back as a CGI cameo at some point, you’re clueless.
8. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
The most recent film is The Fate of the Furious and it’s nonsense. In Cuba, Dom is
approached by a woman, Cipher. She whispers something secret in his ear and shows him a photo. Dom proceeds to turn on his friends and family, blow some shit up, steal some stuff (nuclear launch codes!), and pretty much becomes the main villain here.
At this point, we realize that Dom is superhuman. He defeats all of his friends with his sweet driving skills, while they wonder what they would have done without him in movies 1-7. Later we see that Cipher has kidnapped Dom’s son and ex-lover; he was hooking up with this woman while Letty was presumably dead, so it’s cool. Cipher has Dom under her thumb and a few times she is seen threatening an infant with a gun. This movie really blends the lines between PG-13 and R because these scenes are dark. Cipher then murders Dom’s ex-lover and the primary caregiver to this infant, in front of Dom and his baby.
After watching this one, I started to believe that the MPPA or the association that assigns ratings to movies (Motion Picture Association of America) was comprised of individuals who regularly witness threats to babies and murder. Dom then arranges the kidnap of his child and then turns on the bad guys. In the end, the good guys protect Dom and ask him no questions about why or what made him switch sides.
Where We Stand Now:
So now you are all caught up. As you can see, these films have slightly drifted from their wholesome roots of street racing to saving the world from nuclear fallout. Expect illicit behavior with no repercussions, sexy women that like fast cars, murder, the revival of characters we previously assumed were dead, sweet stunts, Vin Deisel’s polished head, and maybe–if we’re lucky–some driving. See you in the theaters.