Hey Dragons! It turns out that April is a very slow month for our usual brand of movies, so instead of our normal preview, we’re focusing on the most amazing film franchise of our time: The Fast & the Furious. I know this doesn’t quite fall into one of our usual categories, but our fearless leader Kenny and I both share a deep love for car racing, heist movies, and Vin Diesel.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, The Fast and the Furious franchise is a heartwarming saga about the complicated friendship between cop/car-racing extraordinaire Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker, RIP), the badass Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), and their ragtag team of bandits. They like to race cars, steal things, fight bad guys, and sometimes blow things up. The Fate of the Furious – the eighth movie in the series – comes out on April 14th, so you need to be caught up. Here are the definitive power rankings of the last seven films, along with some highlights from each one.
7. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
I hate to admit this, but I haven’t seen this one. Wasn’t this straight to video? I can’t even remember. You can ignore this movie but for the fact that it introduces us to Han Lue. Though it’s the third in release order, the events take place between the sixth and seventh movie – yeah, I don’t get that either. There’s no Vin Diesel or Paul Walker.
Best Scene: All of them? None of them? I’ve got nothing.
6. 2 Fast 2 Furious
The second movie in the series is not great, but it does introduce us to the best character in the franchise, Roman Pearce. Brian and Roman team up with Eva Mendes to bring down a high level drug dealer in Miami. This movie loses serious points for its lack of Vin Diesel. It gains points for Ludacris.
Best Scene: Brian lands a car on a boat.
5. Fast and Furious
The fourth installment lacked some of the energy and fun of the later movies, so it’s further down on my list. But it does give us all the original characters back and welcomes Gal Gadot. Dom’s out of the country, pulling off heists, but returns to the U.S. when he learns that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been murdered. His path crosses with Brian, who’s still pretending to be a law enforcement officer at heart and tracking down a drug lord. Racing and hijinks ensue. The film ends with Dom getting sentenced to 25 years in prison, and the crew plans to intercept his prison transport to break him out. That’s true friendship.
Best Scene: Dom and Letty hijack a tanker truck.
4. Fast Five
“One last job, and then we’ll disappear forever,” Dom claims in this movie. Yeah, right, Vin – it’s not going to be that easy. Picking up where the fourth movie ended, this movie opens with Brian and Mia breaking Dom out of his prison transport. They get involved in more shenanigans, all while being pursued by Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). The crew pulls off a heist to steal $100 million from a criminal mastermind, and they go their separate ways around the globe. Meanwhile! We learn at the end of the movie that Letty is still alive. The absurdity of this movie put the fun back in the franchise. Did I mention this movie has The Rock?
Best Scene: Brian and Mia rescue Dom.
3. The Fast and the Furious 6
Enemies teaming up against bad guys! Hobbs tracks down Dom to recruit him for a job – he’s looking for a team of drivers who took down a military convoy. Dom’s like, “dude, I live on a beach in Brazil with my cut of $100 million, so, no, thanks,” but he changes his mind when he learns that Letty is alive and working for the bad guys, led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Turns out she didn’t die back in the fourth movie, but the explosion caused serious memory loss, and Shaw brainwashed her. It gives us the line, “You don’t turn your back on family,” and Gina Carano is in it. What else do you want?
Best Scene: The entire sequence with the tank, but especially where Dom defies the laws of physics to save Letty.
2. Furious 7
The most recent installment is easier the second best. First, it gave us this gem:
Second, this movie rocked. THEY DRIVE CARS THROUGH BUILDINGS. LIKE FROM ONE BUILDING TO THE OTHER. The bad guy is Jason Statham! The last chase through the streets of Los Angeles is insane! The Rock says, “Woman, I AM the calvary!” Everything about this movie is wonderful, and it gives Brian a happy, realistic ending that allows the franchise to go on without Paul Walker.
Best Scene: Again – cars through buildings. The Michelle Rodriguez-Ronda Rousey fight is a pretty close second.
1. The Fast and the Furious
Of COURSE the original is the best one. How can you argue against this trailer?
Listen to the music! Look at Paul Walker’s hair! I remember seeing this trailer in the theater all those years ago and thinking, “How the hell did this get made?” And now, look at where we are. Eight movies in, with characters who are like family. Who knew that a show about car racing would end up being so emotional?
Best Scene: Dom and Brian’s meet-cute at the street race.
???. The Fate of the Furious
So, where will the Fate of the Furious fit in? The premise is that Dom is a bad guy, but, come ON, we all know that can’t be true. He must be working to double-cross Charlize Theron, that sneaky vixen.
Charlize looks delightfully evil, and I am all in for this. Plus, Kurt Russell! Clint Eastwood’s hot son! Racing cars on ice! The Fate of the Furious hits theaters on April 14th – I expect to see you there.
Dragons, what’s your favorite F&F movie? Did anyone actually watch Tokyo Drift? Leave your thoughts in the comments!