Ride or die, remember?
Oh yeah. We remember.
With the release of Fast and Furious 9, it is only appropriate that we dissect and break down the entire Fast Universe by ranking them from worst to first.
And don’t forget, it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.
Listen, I am going to see these movies no matter what. At this point, I’m hooked.
But F8 just did not do it for me. I know that these movies have evolved into giant blockbuster action movies, and I’m OK with that. I just want it done well. And I didn’t get that vibe with F8.
Charlize Theron is a nice addition to the already studded Fast-cast and she plays a quality, cruel villain. Sure, you still get some witty one-liners from Tyrese Gibson and co. – but outside of that, this movie is not that memorable.
The two Shaw brothers bring the action in the plane hijacking scene. The scene is also ignited by one of the more enjoyable lines of the film, “you just took your foot off the tiger’s neck.” It is probably the best sequence in the film, but it all just feels meh to me.
Standout Song: Hey Ma – Pitbull, J Balvin, & Camila Cabello
Fire Quote: “I’m going to beat you like a Cherokee drum.”
It has only been in the theaters for a few days, but I was able to make my way to catch Fast 9 in a timely manor.
Being completely transparent, I think I am still processing the film. So I will do my best to provide commentary on some of the things I am sure of.
Yes, it is over the top. Yes, there is some mildly funny commentary. Yes, it certainly helped that I smoked a joint with friends before going into the movie.
In the trailer, it shows them going to space. With that information alone, you have everything you need to know. While I found myself smirking, giggling, and enjoying some moments – I also felt insulted at times. The action is RIDICULOUS.
Where I was surprised was in the backstory of the Torreto family. I thought that was really dope. It explained how John Cena’s character fit into all of it. And, although it was brief, I thought Cena and Diesel had some quality moments and chemistry. Even just by way of a look or a grin.
But the space stuff was too much. I couldn’t do it. On top of that, the movie was insanely meta. Tyrese Gibson is making jokes for the entire movie about how they shouldn’t be surviving all of these outrageous crashes. (Dom and Letty drive off a cliff, hook onto a rope, and then crash into a different cliff WITHOUT A SCRATCH)
The movie glances over Han’s death pretty quickly, but at least that is acknowledged in the mid-credits scene.
The franchise has announced the final installment of the sega will come in two parts. They also announced a new solo film for The Rock’s character, Hobbs. And then teased a potential film with Han and Shaw in that mid-credits scene. They are going to milk the shit out of this.
But I just want one more. A gritty, low-budget, and grounded film set in LA. I am convinced that it can be done. And I believe it would be the perfect way to conclude the franchise.
Standout Song: Fast Lane – Don Toliver, Lil Durk, and Latto
Fire Quote: “How in the hell are you not dead?”
Scene: Opening racing scene at the old track
For years, I missed this one. But I think over time it has grown on me slightly. Obviously, this one sticks out amongst the rest when you look at the films from a distance. But there is a little bit of nostalgia that sucks me in from time to time.
I’m never going out of my way to watch it. But the perception of the movie was so bad, I think it is slightly underrated. If anything, the movie kills it when it comes to Han. In a series filled with overacting and cheesy lines… Tokyo Drift treats Han differently. He is calm, cool, and collected. He says so much with just a smirk or a look. I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to rewatch this one, but if you stumble upon it, it is worth giving a few minutes just so you can appreciate the legend, Han.
And who can forget that final scene? When the music suddenly shifts from Tokyo Drift… into “Los Bandoleros.”
Standout Song: Tokyo Drift – Teriyaki Boyz
Fire Quote: “He was when he rolled with me.”
When I originally saw this one, I felt like it had been a minor letdown. Obviously, there was a ton of momentum coming into this addition to the franchise. Fast 5 blew people out of the water, and The Rock had become an official staple in the series.
Now, Fast 6 was not bad. It has a lot of very memorable moments to the franchise and Owen Shaw is a solid villain. It was actually one of the few times in the series where the team felt overpowered. Shaw’s team had a beat on Dom’s. And perhaps most importantly, we get the return of Letty.
While the climax of the movie has its flaws, like the length of the runway (lol), it does also give some outstanding spots as well. It is not too often that you get to see Vin Diesel lift up a giant man and then have The Rock clotheslining that man to hell.
The closing action sequence takes away Gisele, played by Gal Gadot. It is a heartbreaking loss. It also gives us a semi-bizarre after-credits scene that reveals Jason Statham as the next villain. I’m not going to go down a rabbit hole of evidence, but in Tokyo Drift, they are using flip phones… but in Fast 6 they are using incredibly advanced technology. Someone messed up there.
If you like the other movies, you are going to like this one.
Standout Song: We Own It – Wiz Khalifa & 2 Chainz
Fire Quote: “It’s not that simple. The crew we are after, they hit like thunder and disappear like smoke. You go in alone? You won’t ever touch ‘em. I’ve been chasing this guy across four continents and 12 countries. And believe me the last damn place I want to be right now is on your front doorstep, selling girl scout cookies. I need your help Dom. I need your team.”
OK, now we are talking. And get the tissues ready.
This was an incredibly tricky movie to manage. Of course, this film’s production was interrupted by the tragic death of Paul Walker. For about a decade, Walker helped carry the load in the Fast and Furious franchise. He was more than a staple. This might be a “hot take,” but I think Walker was more Fast and Furious than even Vin Diesel.
This was a tough task, and coming into the movie, I was hesitant and unsure. But holy shit, they fucking nailed it.
The movie comes with the usual over-the-top action sequences. It has the cheesy one-liners that we have grown to love. Deckard Shaw’s introduction is world class, as is our meeting with Mr. Nobody.
But when you talk to people about Fast 7, they immediately talk about one thing. The final shot.
Yeah, I cried. Right around the time Dom goes, “it is never goodbye.”
Then I cried some more when Dom and Brian saw each other on the road.
And god damnit, I’m crying right now.
On its own, I don’t know how this movie is. For people who were introduced to the series, later on, I don’t know what they thought. But for the tried and true Fast fans, this was an emotional installment.
Standout Song: See You Again-Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
Fire Quote: “Dom, cars don’t fly.”
I will defend this movie until the day I die. I don’t care if it is corny. I don’t give a damn if it is too much. This movie has it. You know, the thing. The thing that, despite all its flaws, makes a movie so fucking fun.
You will be hard-pressed to find an art piece that encaptures the early 2000’s better than 2 Fast 2 Furious. I’m well aware that a lot of people consider this one to be on the goofier side. But this movie is very near and dear to my heart, so I want to point out a few things.
First of all, I’m gonna be straight up. Paul Walker is an all-time “hot-guy” in this classic. This might be a Mt. Rushmore All-Time Hot Guy performance from Walker. In the opening scene, he rolls up as a late entry to the race. The blue underglow on his car is shining bright as ever. And the first thing he wants to do is up the stakes.
The other thing worth mentioning about this one is the introduction of Tej and Rome. Obviously, early on we get to meet Tej. And Ludicrous is a really solid addition to the universe. But this movie absolutely takes off with Roman Pearce’s appearance. The character comes with mysterious mythology, an undeniable swagger, and some of the most classic one-liners in the history of the franchise.
EJECTO SEATO CUH
Standout Song: Too Fast Too Furious – Lucacris
Fire Quote: “I said forget about it, cuh.”
The one that brought us back.
Just solid. Across the board. We get a little bit of everything that we want. Fast fans get the sexy racing scenes, Dom sipping some Coronas, and Brian looking sick as ever. We are also introduced to Gisele, who quickly became a fan favorite. Brian is climbing his way through the ranks of the police force and is absolutely slick.
When rewatching Fast and Furious, some of the intensity is lost in regards to Letty’s death. Like a lot of other movie franchises, Fast and Furious has no problem bringing back characters who the audience presumed to be dead. I love Letty, but bringing her back in the sixth film takes away from the high-stakes nature of the fourth installment.
At times, it feels like any other action movie from the 2000s. But it stays more grounded than a lot of its counterparts and ultimately does the job it was set to do. Bring. Us. Back.
Standout Song: G-Stro – Busta Rhymes
Fire Quote: “Pussy.” (I apologize for the crude choice. It is so good though.)
I know that people just automatically assume that the first movie is the best. And to be truthful, this is like asking me to pick my favorite child.
This movie is almost perfect. The tuna. The car vocabulary. The music. The aesthetic. The southern California vibes. The Corona.
Honestly? It is hard to explain how much I love this movie.
Plenty of people talk about how incredible this movie is. And it is all valid. But there is something in this movie that I think is often overlooked. At the end of the day, this is a movie about an undercover cop – just as much as it is a racing movie. And perhaps the best thing this movie does is showing the transition that Brian has. At the beginning of the story, he is a young, hot-shot in the police. He wants to do whatever it takes to take down the “bad guys.” And by the end of it, he feels for Dom and his family. And if you compare The Fast and The Furious with other undercover movies, like The Departed, that is something that is slightly different.
The Fast and The Furious changed car culture. It gave people a new insight into a different side of Los Angeles. It changed people’s choices in beer. The importance of the movie that started it all cannot be understated.
Standout Song: Area Codes – Ludacris & Nate Dogg
Fire Quote: “Ask any racer. Any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.”
My friends, this is the best Fast and Furious movie.
Let’s start with the opening scene. Dom is sentenced to prison for his crimes committed in the previous film. With the help of some of his friends, Dom never makes it behind bars.
When you think about heist movies, there are some vital ingredients. Somewhere on the totem pole is a good soundtrack, a last minute reverse uno card, and a getting the team together moment.
Ocean’s 11 is often considered the gold standard of heist movies. And it is for good reason. But I’m not sure even Danny Ocean and Rusty can compete with the team-up scene in Fast 5.
This… is an elite group.
And then, of course, fans get the ultimate showdown. Dom vs Hobbs. Vin vs The Rock. And HOLY SHIT does that scrap deliver. The two are exchanging blows that would make Rocky and Creed jealous. It is the fight of fights. It can only be described as back-and-forth action at mythological proportions.
Dwayne Johnson’s introduction into the franchise was massive. First and foremost, it wasn’t forced. At this point in time, The Rock was yet to hit that insane level of superstardom that he would reach a few years later. The series was still known for its driving sequences. And when the two meet, it was a perfect match. Johnson’s role as Agent Hobbs gave life to the series that would continue to today.
When the movie is all said and done. Our family wins. And the fans want more…
“Hey Toretto, I’ll see you soon.”
Standout Song: Danza Kuduro – Don Umar & Lucenzo
Fire Quote: “We are gonna need two precision drivers.”