[Movies] It's about family. Poe watches The Fast and the Furious (all of them)

I don't know why I'm doing this to myself, but recently a friend asked me if I wanted to see Fast X, and I told him I couldn't because I've never seen any of the fast and furious movies, I wouldn't know any of the deep Fast-Universe lore.

So then a challenge was taken. Over the course of the next two weeks, I intend to watch all of the Fast and Furious movies. Every single one. I am either going to bail halfway through because I can't stand these, or two weeks from now I am going to be showing off my Paul Walker tribute tattoo sleeve. I'm fairly certain there is no in between.

I thought it would be fun, and give me a reason to pay attention, if I then review and recap the movies here, for the enjoyment of I assume Pat and Bubble who will probably be the only ones foolish enough to read through all of it.

Tonight, I started where it all began, with:

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Plot synopsis: cars go fast

This movie was honestly better than I expected it to be, but is definitely also a product of its time. Right off the bat I can tell this takes place in southern california because everything is yellow. The color grading on this movie is very yellow. Breaking Bad Mexico yellow. But the visuals and cinematography all actually look very good. I don't know if this was shot on film or just happened to be shot in high definition for imax or whatever, but it looks fantastic in UHD. The race scenes are stylized as if they are live action animes, complete with characters hitting their power level limits and going beyond when they hit their NOs buttons. A spoiler-filled recap will follow below.

So, first surprise, Paul Walker's character is a cop? Yes, he's an undercover police officer named Brian that's trying to infiltrate the illegal street race scene because there's been a string of thefts on shipping trucks carrying tvs and dvd players and various other 2001 era expensive electronics that is always done with souped up street racing cars that attack and rob the trucks while driving.

While Brian is a cop trying to uncover a crime ring, he was chosen for this task because he also happens to think that street racing is super cool and always wanted to be a part of it. Cars go fast and that's fucking rad as far as he's concerned.

Brian also keeps visiting the same sandwich shop because he likes to flirt with the girl there, and her brother happens to be Dom, played by Vin Diesel, who is not only one of the top street racers but also something of a community dad. He's got his own crew that he looks out for and people of the community know they can go to him for problems. Brian immediately looks up to Dom and thinks he's super cool, and wants to become his best friend and also date his sister.

A few times Brian's handlers accuse him of "going native" and losing sight of the investigation because he's spending so much time hanging out with Dom. Brian assures them this isn't the case, but it actually totally is because spoiler Dom is the one robbing the trucks. Brian is a very bad detective, but an ok street racer.

In the very first race, Brian, to prove he isn't a cop and to show he's serious, puts down pink slips on the race in lieu of the several thousand dollar entry fee, stating he will give his car to the winner if he loses. Now, very early on it's established that these are all "Ten second cars," aka drag racers. They are meant to race in a straight line down a quarter mile track. Every single race in this movie is a drag race, except for this first one. In this first one, an entire freeway is illegally closed off and they all race on it at once, NASCAR style, going through twists and turns to get to the finish line. I don't know shit about cars, but I don't think a drag racer would actually do well in a race like this, but fuck it, car go fast.

Because Brian is a cop and not a street racer, he immediately blows his engine when he gives it too much NOs and comes in last, having to give his car up to Dom who won the race. The cops then come, and Brian, still in the car he blew the engine out of, tells Dom to get in, and he outruns the police and saves Dom from getting caught, up until some Asian people on motorcycles come to surround them. These guys are lead by Johnny Tran, who is clearly set up to be the villain of this movie, and they threaten Dom with some stuff and then blow up Brian's car. Dom tells Brian he'll explain what this was all about later. Later comes in the third act.

With Brian still owing Dom a ten second car, Brian now starts working in Dom's garage and on Dom's crew, planning for the next big race which is at a huge event that is unfortunately titled "Race Wars." During this time Brian starts sneaking into other crews turf and snooping around their garages, trying to match tire prints to the cars doing the robberies or find some evidence of the stolen goods, until he's caught by one of Dom's crew who immediately accuses him of being a cop. Brian tells Dom he's actually collecting intel for the next race, and since Brian saved his life and is now his best friend, Dom believes him and they go to check out Johnny Tran's garage to see what he's hiding.

They all have to hide suddenly when Johnny Tran and his gang enter the garage with one of their mechanics, which they beat and torture telling him that he better get them the engines they need for the next "event." It's during this time that Brian also notices tons of TVs and DVD players stacked in giant heaps around the garage, so he calls in a tip that this is the place and the feds come and raid the place.

As it turns out, Tran purchased all of this stuff legally. He's putting the tvs and dvd players into cars because it's 2001 and that's what you do.

Later, at Race Wars, Tran accuses Dom of being a narc because obviously someone called the feds on him, and Dom punches him in the face and starts a fight, loudly proclaiming he would never call the cops. Brian knew this whole time that Dom was a convicted felon, but it's during this point that they have a heart to heart and Brian learns that Dom went to prison for assault against the person that caused his dad's death. It was a dumb thing to do and he wishes he hadn't done it, but after serving two years in prison and having a felony charge he now has no legit options for work and can't get out from under poverty. Brian finally decides that Dom has a motive to need money and starts to think that maybe, just maybe, Dom could be involved in the robberies.

During the race wars, one of the 20 year old kids that Dom looks after decides he wants to be like Brian, putting his father's car on the line as he bets his pink slips in a drag race against Johnny Tran. Brian warns him not to do this but they race, and when Tran wins, the kid just speeds away in a panic. Tran tells Dom he better get him his car or their deal is going to be off, and finally Brian learns that Dom is in debt to Tran and Tran will hurt or kill some of Dom's people if he doesn't get him his money, which is what prompted Dom to start these high speed burglaries.

Dom leaves to go do another truck job, and Brian speeds off after to stop him, knowing that the trucking companies have started to arm their drivers in defense against this. The job goes bad, one of Dom's crew gets shot, and Brian speeds in to save his life by revealing he's a cop and calling in an emergency medivac. Dom, betrayed, leaves, and Brian has to car chase after him. He finds Dom back at his house, where they have a standoff with Brian telling Dom he can't run. Dom says he's not running, he has to find Jesse (the kid that lost his car) before Johnny finds him, Jesse then pulls up and says he's sorry, he didn't know what to do, he couldn't lose his dad's car as it's all he has. Before they can do anything though, Johnny comes by and does a drive by, shooting and killing Jesse. Dom immediately chases after him, and Brian has to then chase after them both.

Johnny beefs it and dies during the chase, and Dom speeds off. Brian eventually finds him on the road his dad died on, and Dom tells him that it's a quarter mile to the train tracks and the train is coming. He's going to go for it and Brian shouldn't follow.

Brian of course follows, and for the first time he matches Dom's drag run, beating the train just barely and making it out the other side, but then a truck comes out of nowhere and Dom flips his car. Crawling out of it, Dom tells Brian he never thought it would end this way while police sirens close in. Brian gives him the keys to his car, telling him that he still owes him a ten second car, and Dom drives away while the police close in, leaving Brian to take the heat and do what cops do best, pin it on someone else. In this case he pins it all on the dead Johnny Tran.

The movie ends with Dom driving off free for another day, living his life a quarter mile at a time, and Brian wondering what his future in the force holds and how much blowback he's going to get. The end.
I look forward to this. I've only watched them all a few months ago. The first few are....I'm not going to say "grounded", but pretty much standard fare for (street) racing movies. If we ever got a Need for Speed: Underground movie, this would be what it would look like.
Then somewhere in the series things just go a bit weird.
I look forward to this. I've only watched them all a few months ago. The first few are....I'm not going to say "grounded", but pretty much standard fare for (street) racing movies. If we ever got a Need for Speed: Underground movie, this would be what it would look like.
Then somewhere in the series things just go a bit weird.
There actually was a need for speed movie, starring Aaron Paul. It was real bad
I skipped 3 because if it ain't got the vin that movies a sin but let me tell you that you're in for a treat my friend.

I still need to see the newest ones and the spin off Hobbs and Shaw to fully immerse myself into the Fast cinematic universe so let me know when you get around there and I'll join if I can.
I'm excited for this. I've only seen a handful of these movies (I only watch highbrow cinema, like Marvel movies and shitty comedies), but I like your reviews.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

I'm not going to have a lot to say about this movie, because it was fucking terrible. This movie is exactly what I expected these movies to be like, and after being pleasantly surprised by the first one, this one crashed even harder.

Right off the bat, I notice a difference in image quality. I'm watching these on amazon streaming in Ultra HD, and when watching the first one was immediately surprised by how crisp and vibrant it looked, which I assume means it was shot on film. This one was obviously shot on digital and upressed, and the dip in quality shows, especially in the blurry action sequences. There's only one actual street race in this movie, right in the very beginning, and gone is the quick and stylized editing from the originals that made each race feel like an anime. Bland shots and uninspired chopped up cuts make this race feel dull, with no real feeling of speed, whereas the original made each race feel like you were reaching warp speed every time.

I want you to watch this scene from the first movie, the first race that introduces our characters. Yeah, I know it's six minutes long, it's worth it.

Now compare that to the first race in 2 Fast 2 Furious, which reintroduces Brian. Don't worry about any of the other characters, none of them are going to matter after this scene.

Feel free to skip around on this one, it isn't worth your full time. Everything in these scenes feels like a worse version of the first movie, with none of the excitement or adrenaline that should be coming from these high octane races.

Ah fuck, I think there actually is one more race later on. Who cares, it doesn't matter, none of this matters. The main plot is that Brian is now an ex-cop after letting Dom go in the first movie. Dom escaped to Mexico, and after reading the script to this movie, he stayed there, leaving Brian to move to Miami on his own. He skates by winning purses in illegal street races, until the cops bust his latest race and threaten to use his past crimes against him unless he helps them infiltrate the operations of a drug lord they're after. He recruits wheelmen from the race scene, and if Brian can help them bust him, they will wipe his record clean. Brian agrees, but only on the condition that he gets to choose his partner. And since Vin Diesel has better judgment than Paul Walker, we're gonna have to introduce an old friend that had previously never been mentioned before.

Enter Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce. This guy had served three years in prison and is now on house arrest after getting pinched, and while they never explain just how he got caught stealing all those cars, the fact that his friend was a cop probably had something to do with it. Roman is real mad to see Brian, until he hears that Brian is no longer a police officer, and the promise of getting his record wiped clean is all the reason he needs to become instant best friends again.

The rest of the movie is a bunch of boring exposition and not nearly enough vroom vroom car go fast in my car go fast movie. It's basically a poor remake of miami vice, and I was happy when it was over. Movie review over.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

After 2 Fast 2 Furious, the bar is set really, really low. I'm not expecting a lot out of this movie, but if it can at least deliver some car go fast action, I'll count it as a win. Luckily, it does.

First of all, we have to start on this absolute banger of a theme song.

From what I can tell, this movie was intended as a sort of soft reboot after how poorly 2 Fast 2 Furious did. Justin Lin is a fresh new director that is brought in for this one, and he fucking understands the assignment. He'll go on to direct several other fast movies and really serves to bring the bold sense of style the original had back into the franchise. We start the movie with a race, introducing our new protagonist, Sean.

Sean is a highschool student who is also 30 years old. He's got a somewhat Texan accent, and he likes to race cars and fight authority. He's also an absolute vacuum of charisma. This guy sucks, so very much, and I don't give one shit about him. Luckily, he is surrounded by much more interesting characters, one in particular, but we'll get to that.

So Sean flirts with a girl about his car, and gets into a fight with her boyfriend, another 30 year old highschool student and Tim Allen's eldest son from Home Improvement. Seriously, it's that guy, wanna know what he did after leaving Tim's home? He repeated 12th grade about 8 times, that's what. The girlfriend suggests they let their cars do the talking, so they do a race through a home construction lot, wreck both cars and cause a lot of damage.

Sean gets picked up by the police, none of whom are Paul Walker this time, and they tell him that as a 30 year old man he can't keep getting into this sort of highschool trouble. They might even finally try him as an adult if he doesn't do something, so it's agreed that he will go live with his Dad instead, who inexplicably lives in Tokyo.

Sean's dad is, in the army? Maybe? It doesn't matter. He lives in a tiny apartment and tells Sean that he has to follow his rules or it's straight to juvie. He goes to school, he comes straight back home, and he absolutely must not drive any cars or do any racing. Sean will then stay out for like two weeks learning how to race and this will never come up again, but honestly it doesn't matter.

Sean goes to his new school, immediately flirts with the only non-asian girl that speaks english, and makes friends with Bow Wow, formerly lil Bow Wow, but now he's a man, but still closer to high school age than Sean. Bow Wow (I think his character's name is Tinkle? Tingle? It doesn't matter) is into cars, immediately sparking Sean's interest, and he takes him to the place all the cool kids hang out tricking out cars and doing crimes. This place is run by a guy named DK, or Drift King, a guy who actually is older than highschool age, but is still into highschool girls. He's the boyfriend of the only non-asian english speaking girl that Sean likes, and also the petty gangster that runs these streets, all thanks to his uncle being Yakuza.

DK insults Sean, who then challenges him to a race because he knows what this movie is called. DK tells him he can't race without a car: Enter the coolest character in this movie, Han Lue.

Han is DK's partner in generic, never fully defined crime. Han is charismatic, intelligent, and a bit of a philosopher. He wants to know what the new kid can do, and also wants to piss off DK just a little, so he offers to let Sean drive his car. Sean immediately wrecks it because he's never heard of drifting and has no idea to do it. Second race of the movie, second car Sean has totaled. Sean might be kind of a shit driver.

Han, being cool as fuck, shrugs it off and tells Sean not to leave town. He works for him now. Working off his debt to Han means Sean is now in the same circle with DK and the other gangsters, which gives him access to cars and knowledge. Han agrees to teach Sean how to drift, and there's even a drifting training montage. There's also some like, drama with the girlfriend, they flirt, they tease, she keeps going back to DK, honestly none of that matters because there's more sweet cars and drifting.

This movie is about 20% crime drama and 80% cars and drifting. And honestly this is the ratio it needed to recover from the stink of the last movie.

DK's Yakuza uncle shows up, he's supposed to take 50% of all of DK's earnings as payment for letting him play gangster, but Unc is here to tell him he's an idiot that can't read his own books. Han is stealing from him.

DK pulls a gun and tries to hunt Han down, but because this is a car go fast movie, they get into a car chase. Their cars go very fast, but in the end Han wrecks, and explodes. Han is dead.

WTF? Han was the best part of this entire movie, now we're stuck with just Sean? Fuuuuck.

DK tracks Sean to his dad's home, pulling a pistol on him. But dad shows up with his own pistol. How do all of these people have guns in Japan? DK tells Sean he'll be back when Daddy isn't home.

Oh yeah, Sean's dad is also restoring a Ford Mustang, but doesn't have an engine for it. This will be important later.

Sean finds the money that Han was laundering, and comes up with a plan. He goes to the real Yakuza hangout, to talk to DK's uncle. He returns the money to him in an act of humility, and tells him that he's sorry that he and his nephew have been making fools of themselves, but he has come to offer a peaceful solution. Sean finally realizes the name of the movie is The Fast and the Furious, so he offers a race. Loser leaves town forever. Fuuuck yeah, cars go fast! This is the cheesy cornball stuff I wanted, and Yakuza Uncle agrees.

Sean returns to Han's garage only to discover the police had come and confiscated all his cars. Everything except the original car that Sean wrecked. They pop the hood and the engine is still intact, you know what that means.

Going to his dad for a favor, Sean puts the engine of Han's car into his Dad's mustang. The heart of Han lives on, asian tuning inside an american frame. Race time! It's time to drift down a mountain, at night. Cue the theme song again. This race is awesome, well shot, and ends with an explosive climax. Of course Sean wins, he's the new Drift King. He runs these streets now. What exactly does that mean? Doesn't matter, he won.

We end with Bow Wow telling Sean there's someone here that wants to race the new Drift King. Sean says he's not feeling it tonight, but Bow says this guy knew Han. He said Han was family.

Fuck yeah! Cars go fast!


So, curious about the guy playing Han, I look him up. It looks like he's most well known for this character, known mostly for The Fast and Furious Franchise, but first appearing as Han in... Better Luck Tomorrow? WTF, is this a crossover?

Looking further, it looks like Justin Lin's first big movie was... wait, what's happening, oh god... ITS A DOUBLE FEATURE!

Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

Ok, I really can't give a blow by blow for this movie, this post is too long already. But this movie is pretty fucking good. Justin Lin's first feature film, it has a very arthouse feel to it. Part Kevin Smith. Part Reservoir Dogs. If you've seen the movie Juice, this is basically that, except instead of black teens in poverty it's well off Asian teens suffering under expectation. A surprisingly good coming of age story, and best part, more Han! Han is the cool guy of the group, and the dialogue in Tokyo Drift suggests that after the events of this movie, he gets into some heat, starts rolling in Dom's group, and then has to flee to Tokyo to start a new life. Cool.

I think I'm finally all in for the Fast and Furious. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
My son has not stopped listening to this theme song for. Two. Whole. Years. I'm going to lose it.

And Mr. Z is to blame for it, because he gave our son the song and let him watch this particular F&F. Mr. Z and his friends were fans of this installment back in the day, so it's the only F&F movie I've mostly seen. It did put Sung Kang on my radar, and he's very good in the movie The Motel.

I meant to comment earlier, I appreciate you doing this review. I always thought this series looked dumb as hell, and I couldn't understand why they made more than one. But Li'l Z has been BEGGING us to let him watch all the F&F films, and this is giving me a good idea whether or not I can handle that.(Spoiler: probably not.)
My son has not stopped listening to this theme song for. Two. Whole. Years. I'm going to lose it.

And Mr. Z is to blame for it, because he gave our son the song and let him watch this particular F&F. Mr. Z and his friends were fans of this installment back in the day, so it's the only F&F movie I've mostly seen. It did put Sung Kang on my radar, and he's very good in the movie The Motel.

I meant to comment earlier, I appreciate you doing this review. I always thought this series looked dumb as hell, and I couldn't understand why they made more than one. But Li'l Z has been BEGGING us to let him watch all the F&F films, and this is giving me a good idea whether or not I can handle that.(Spoiler: probably not.)
Honestly, so far 1 was great, 2 can be skipped, Tokyo Drift was fun, and if you do what I did and go back to watch Better Luck Tomorrow, absolutely do not let Lil Z watch that one.
I skipped 3 because if it ain't got the vin that movies a sin but let me tell you that you're in for a treat my friend.

I still need to see the newest ones and the spin off Hobbs and Shaw to fully immerse myself into the Fast cinematic universe so let me know when you get around there and I'll join if I can.
Shawn and Hopps is basically a Marvel Superhero movie.
Trying to shoehorn in at least one race per movie really becomes a problem later on. It's like having James Bond having to have at least one scene reading the newspaper:confused:
I'm now unironically looking forward to this part of every day:


Fast & Furious (2009)

After three movies, we finally get back to Dom and see what he's been up to. In the five years since (or two years? Or ten years? The timeline is weird, more on that later) he's gone south from Mexico before expanding out into the carribean into the Dominican Republic. Actually, can you drive to the dominican republic? How the fuck did he get there? This guy isn't getting on any plane, he's super wanted. Did he teach a car to swim? ..probably.

Anyway, Dom, Letty and a new gang are jacking gas trucks in the Dominican, during what I think is a gas shortage and actual gas war going on there at this time. But more importantly, Dom's got a dodge charger now, and it goes fast.

Also, Han is in their gang. ... WHAT THE FUCK HAN, YOU DIED?! The best part of Tokyo drift is back... briefly, and with Dom appearing at the end of drift to say he used to run with Han, and Han here saying he has plans to maybe one day flee to Tokyo, I'm guessing these are no longer going chronologically and this takes place before Tokyo Drift. So we're in prequel territory, baby!

After a successful heist with some pretty cool car stunts, Dom and Letty attend a party. I really liked their relationship from the first movie. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez have some real on-screen chemistry with each other, and it's unique to see Rodriguez as the love interest where usually she's cast as a nonsexual badass. Here, she and Dom really seem like partners, equals in crime that just happen to like to fuck. And they do.

Dom, however, reveals that he's starting to feel the weight of being a protagonist again. He's worried that one day the heat will catch up with him, and he'll take Letty down with him. He thinks maybe he should just vanish into the night and let Letty be free. Letty of course tells him he's stupid, that she has agency and has chosen this life, and that they should enjoy their time together.

Dom immediately vanishes into the night never to see Letty again.

Cut back to the states months, or possibly years later, and we see Brian O'Connor has moved back to LA after briefly being in a terrible movie set in Miami. He's also a cop again, fuck... you were just starting to be cool. At least he no longer has frosted tips and had stopped ending every sentence with 'cuz,' now he's a seemingly respected FBI agent. Just how many people go from being a cop working with the FBI, to getting fired and becoming a fugitive, to becoming a fugitive forced to work with the FBI again, to just being an FBI agent? It's like they said let's just cut the middle parts out, you're a fed now. I assume this took a lot of time and a lot of effort on his part, so he must really want to change and be a fed now.

He'll quit and be back to being a fugitive by the end of this movie.

We learn that Brian is trying to help the feds track down a heroin kingpin that no one even knows the true identity of. And after a long footchase and lots of property damage, as well as probably trampling on many of the rights of the guy he literally tackles through a window (I never heard any miranda rights being read) Brian finally gets a lead. A name. Just a name, a common one at that, not even a description or anything to narrow this name down.

Brian is a bad cop and an ok racecar driver.

Now, the big plot twist. We cut back to Dom, who is getting a call from the united states. Letty is dead. Someone murdered her. Fuuuuuuuuuu

So it's time for Dom to come out of hiding and back to the states, looking for who killed Letty. The FBI director informs Brian that their facial recognition software pinged Dom the moment he re-entered the united states, yet while they stake out Letty's funeral they never think to look in the bushes where Dom is watching from. Dom goes home to visit his sister, whose name I don't remember and I don't really care about, and discovers that the Plymouth he drove in the first movie, his dad's car, the car that got wrecked at the end, was being restored. Letty was rebuilding it, she wanted him to come home. Going to the crash site where Letty was run off the road and killed, Dom literally becomes batman, piecing together exactly what happened from the skid marks and flame trails. The killer was using green nitromethane... or some combination of keywords like that, in their car. And despite not having been in the states for the last two months to twenty years, or however long it's been, Dom knows there's only one guy in the whole world that deals in this *googles what it is* incredibly common race fuel. And it just happens to be the same guy Brian is looking for.

Dom and Brian meet at nitrometh guy's apartment. Dom is holding the guy out the window, Brian tells him they have to do this together, that Letty was his friend too. Dom says cops don't have any friends, and the guy hanging out the window asks if they could please hash out this problem another time. Dom lets the guy guy, but he grabs onto the window ledge, and while Brian is dragging the guy back in, Dom escapes again.

With Nitroguy in fbi custody now, they discover that he helps set up an illegal street race that the drug king uses to recruit new mules. They're going to need someone to enter the race on their behalf. Brian is visibly excited and feels alive within the halls of the FBI for the first time.

Brian and Dom meet again at the race, but they don't blow each other's cover. When asked if he knows that guy, Dom reveals yeah, this asshole used to date my sister. That's enough for any of them.

There's a cool ass race, one in which Brian gets lost despite racing with GPS. It says recalculating a lot... was GPS new when this came out?

Coming down to the final stretch, Dom hits his NOs, and Brian thinks he has him. He hit too early, Brian should be able to overtake him. But you can't overtake a man who only lives a quarter mile at a time, and this was all bait to allow Dom to fishtail Brian's car and spin him out, allowing Dom to win the race.

Brian says this was bullshit, he had to cheat to win. Dom says there were no rules, and the guy running the race reminds them all that they're auditioning to be goddamn drug mules. Dom is in, but Brian calls in a raid on one of the existing mules and has him locked up, so suddenly there's a spot open and Mr Second place gets hired as well. No one will think this is weird or suspicious at all.

From this point on the movie is kind of paint by numbers but is all pretty awesome. There's more awesome driving scenes, good action. Gal Gadot is in this movie unexpectantly. This is her first major motion picture role, and she's honestly pretty awesome. She doesn't have a lot to do in this film, playing a secret agent named Gisele from... Isreal? What the fuck kind of accent does she have? Who cares, she brings a surprisingly authentic air of badass. She also doesn't wear a bra for most of her scenes and is just in a rather thin tank top type top. I don't want to pull a bhamv and reduce her role entirely to how she looks, I'm just saying that two and a half coronas deep into this movie I noticed, and I was ok with it.

Dom and Brian manage to steal the drug shipment, and use it as leverage to finally get a meeting with the boss. The FBI wants Brian to bring the drugs and Dom in, but Brian refuses, going rogue. Instead he and Dom hide the drugs inside police impound, the last place they'll ever look (that's the actual reasoning given) and manage to find out that the guy running the race, that they thought was the drug lord's right hand, is actually the drug lord. Dom learns that Letty got offed by this drug guy because she was working with Brian trying to take him down, in exchange for clearing Dom's record, because she wanted to find a way for him to come home. There's some more cool car stunts, drug guy is dead, and they're all left out in the desert with police sirens closing in. Brian tells Dom he has to get out of here, but Dom's not running anymore, he's going to face his time. We later see Dom getting sentenced to 25-life, and being put on prisoner transport. But before the bus can ever make it to the prison, a bunch of fast cars show up, Dom's old crew, but this time lead by Brian, who I am guessing is no longer an FBI agent now, because they bust Dom out. End of movie.

This movie was pretty fucking fun. I loved seeing Dom back, and I liked seeing Brian. I'll be honest, I don't really give a shit about Brian, but maybe going forward he'll grow on me more, now that he's finally not a cop for real, I hope. The first one was still the best one, and if I'm being objective I actually think Tokyo Drift was better than this, if only slightly, but this movie does seem to set up a road going forward. A road that we will be doing sweet stunts down.
Fast Five (2011)

Well this movie had a far different tone. The car culture and races are almost completely gone, with only the barest hint of returning to them for a 30 second scene before competing in a race off-screen to win a car. Now we're a globe-trotting heist movie, and I'm ok with this.

So at the end of the last movie, Dom decides he's not going to run from the police anymore and is going to face the music. Brian goes back to the feds, which I assume he had to work hard to join after being a criminal previously for letting Dom go in the first movie.

Of course Brian immediately breaks Dom out of prison by hijacking the transport bus. They are both criminals again and severely wanted. WTF was the point of any of this?

Brian, Dom, and Dom's sister, Mia (I know her name now) who is still dating Brian, all head down to Rio de Jeneiro in Brazil to hide out and immediately run into... the asshole that hated Brian from the first movie. This was the guy that also liked Mia, and hated Brian, and would constantly accuse Brian of being a cop. Maybe this guy is the only smart member of the crew. Anyway, he takes in Brian and Mia while waiting for Dom to arrive, and tells them that if they need some money, he's got a job lined up. Because nothing says laying low like robbing a train.

Vince (that's the asshole guy) has agreed to have himself and his friends help steal cars off a train, but while on the train Brian notices there are american agents on the train. Making their way to where the cars are stored, Brian notices the keys (conveniently kept in a breakable glass case near the cars) have DEA tags, and that these cars have all been seized as evidence. I'm not sure what jurisdiction the American Drug Enforcement Agency has to seize property in Brazil, but I don't think this movie wants me asking these sort of questions.

Dom finally arrives... from the outside, to a moving train, don't worry about it, and as they cut through the side of the train and start to eject the cars out, Dom notices that the leader of the guys they're working with only really seems interested in one car. So instead of just doing the job and taking the payday, he decides to have Mia steal that car instead. Cue a fight, where Mia gets away, the DEA agents get alerted, and then killed, and Dom and Brian make a daring escape, only to jump off a bridge into a lake below and get surrounded by men with guns.

These men work for the drug lord Reyes, who runs all of Rio, and who hired them for the job. Reyes tortures them and tries to get them to tell him where they took the car, but they're too cool to break, and since Reyes is actually bad at being an evil drug lord they easily escape and manage to get back to their safehouse.

Once back with Mia, they discover they are being framed for the murder of the dead DEA agents, and now the US Government is sending a supercop after them. Enter Special Agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne the Rock Johnson. The Rock is doing his best to mimic Tommy Lee Jones's character in the fugitive, right down to walking and talking and ordering coverages and manhunts and wire taps, all with an occasional southern accent. For most of the movie The Rock forgets he started playing this character with an accent, so it will only sometimes crop up.

If you want a masterclass in acting, do the opposite of all of this:

The boys start to investigate the car they've stolen, trying to find why Reyes wants it, and Vince finally shows up. Having introduced them to the job, Brian is suspicious that this was all a setup, but Dom tells him if Vince didn't do it, then he didn't do it.

Vince did it.

When Vince opens a computer housed in the side of the car to remove the memory card from it, Dom catches him. Vince reveals that it holds information on all of Reyes illegal businesses and also where he keeps his $100 million dollars, and Vince was going to sell it back to Reyes. Dom tells Vince to get out, but because this is all about family, Vince will be allowed to come back later. It doesn't matter, he'll get shot in a future job and die, no one cares.

Hobb and Reyes men have both tracked down the location of Dom and Brian, and both attack at the same time. Luckily they get in each others way, and the boys are able to escape again. Mia reveals she's pregnant with Brian's baby, and Dom realizes they can't keep running. They're just going to have to make a new life, by stealing all of Reyes's money and buying their freedom. But first, they're going to need a team.

Enter every side character from every previous movie. Ludacris (I'll never learn his character's name, he's Ludacris) and Roman Pearce are back from 2 Fast 2 Furious. The Spanish speaking guys that I still can't believe aren't just expendable extras are back from Fast 4, and even Han who died in Tokyo Drift still isn't dead yet because what are all of these movies just going to be prequels? Was Tokyo Drift set in 2033?

Also, Gal Gadot as Gisele is back, even though she's an army agent from Isreal that was previously only posing as a merc so why would she... again I get the feeling the movie really doesn't want me to think too hard on this. What's important is that everyone is back.

What follows is a pretty fun heist, with everyone having their own roles to play. Ludacris is a master hacker despite having never shown to do this before, he just ran a race in 2 Fast, and when asked about it he just says he had a life before all this too. They come up with a plan to attack one of Reyes's businesses and burn the money stored there in front of his lieutenants, with the goal to get Reyes to move all the money to a single location so they can steal it all at once. That location happens to be in a super secure vault housed in the police station, because of course Reyes owns the police. Hobbs tracks down the boys, and despite being armed and surrounded by other officers that are also armed, gets into a fist fight with Dom, while everyone else just stands around and lets the street fight commence. Dom and Hobbs are almost perfectly, equally matched, which...

Ok, look, I'm not going to say Vin Diesel is a weak guy. He's pretty big, he looks like he works out, but The Rock is twice his goddamn size. Dom almost wins and almost bashes Hobbs's face in with a wrench, mirroring the rage-induced assault he committed in the first movie that sent him to jail the first time, but he stops himself, and the fight is over.

The boys are brought into custody, but before the SUVs carrying them can get to the airport, Reyes's men attack. Most of Hobbs's men are killed, but Dom pulls him out of a burning vehicle. Hobbs agrees, he'll help them take down Reyes, but after that he's going back to hunting them down.

Eventually they will send a cop after these guys who doesn't immediately switch sides.

With Hobbs's help they pull off the heist, blowing through the side of the building and stealing the entire vault by hooking it to two cars with ropes as they drag it away. It's at this point I realize that Saints Row the Third's opening sequence is 100% a parody of this scene. Reyes is defeated, the boys are now rich and conceivably use their money to somehow pay off their wanted stars, and the post credit scene goes back to Hobbs who is still working for whatever agency he belongs to despite having helped known fugitives blow up a foreign police department.

An agent (one from 2 Fast 2 Furious, in fact) comes in with a file saying he's going to want to see this, a military convoy has been hit. When asked if it's Dom she says no, and then asks if he believes in ghosts, opening the file to reveal a picture of FUCKING LETTY?!

DOES NO ONE EVER FUCKING DIE IN THESE MOVIES? I swear to god if Vince is alive again in the next movie I'm gonna riot.
Speaking of the music in Fast and Furious 3, the music for the final race was so awesome that the late, great Monty Oum used it for Dead Fantasy 2, which I maintain is one of the greatest Youtube videos in the history of Youtube videos.

In fact, I would assert that Dead Fantasy 2 uses the music even better than the movie did, because Monty was known to animate his fight scenes based on the rhythm of the music, so the hits often follow the beat of the background music, and every time the music shifted to a new melody or theme, it corresponded to something new happening in the fight scene.

Sorry, I just wanted to take this opportunity to fanboy for Monty Oum.
Dom knows there's only one guy in the whole world that deals in this *googles what it is* incredibly common race fuel. And it just happens to be the same guy Brian is looking for.
It's been forever, but wasn't the idea that he's the only guy that sells it in the colour green ? Like blue meth.
It's been forever, but wasn't the idea that he's the only guy that sells it in the colour green ? Like blue meth.
Yes, but it's still funny.

Also I just finished Fast 6. I'mma need some time to decompress, this was basically an Avengers movie
Ok, so...

Furious 6 (2013)

First off, this movie starts with its own anime opening sequence, and IT FUCKING RULES

Dom, Brian and the rest of the crew are living in luxury, in tropical countries without extradition. After the brazil job they've all got a ton of cash and and officially retired... until Special Agent Hobbs aka The Rock comes to Dom with a proposition.

Whatever agency The Rock works for is after an international terrorist named Shaw. He's hitting military convoys and stealing enough tech that he could potentially build a weapon of mass destruction. This is the sort of threat that you would normally call SHIELD in to stop, or maybe even some of the Avengers, but since those don't exist in this universe, some car thieves are obviously where you want to go.

But the real reason Hobbs knows Dom will agree: Letty is alive, and is a part of Shaw's crew.

I swear to god these people are all immortal. Letty died last movie, Han died like a whole trilogy ago by this point. But whatever, this band of street racers decide to help the supercop hunt down the genius terrorist and his band of top notch mercs, and this leads them to London.

We get to see just what sort of equipment Shaw and his crew are running. Shaw knows they are coming for him, and uses this as a diversion so that his crew can attack interpol. To make his getaway he and some of his crew jump into some custom supercars that are in the shape of wedges, allowing them to scoop under all uncoming cop cars and send them flying, because they 've watched battlebots before.

When Dom and his gang try to chase them down, another trick is deployed, sticky mines that then hack into the car's computer system and overtake the ABS system, forcing the brakes to activate. I think these would have been just as effective if they were -actual- mines, but that wouldn't be as sci-fi, and also wouldn't give our heroes a reason to switch to classic cars without computer systems.

Dom manages to stop the car Letty is in, calling out to her. She gets out and immediately shoots him in the shoulder, jumping back in her car to speed away. In the very next scene back at Shaw's HQ we discover oh no, Letty has amnesia! She can't remember any of her past, and she has no idea who this big bald guy that keeps talking about family is.

A bunch more stuff happens after this, chasing down leads, getting into shootouts. One of Shaw's contacts is potentially compromised, so before the heroes can question him he gets shot in the assault, and Letty learns that Shaw is the Anti-Dom. No family here.

Eventually there's another chase, this time involving a tank, and... you know, I'm just going to put the clip, you have to see this to believe it.

Of course that worked, why wouldn't it?

Shaw finally has the last microchip needed to build his tech bomb that could cripple an entire country, all he has to do is fly away with it, with all his stuff loaded onto a military plane. As it takes off down the runway, our heroes come in with their cars to fire harpoons into the plane. Under no circumstances can they let the plane take off.

These guys used to race cars, wtf are we doing here?

An epic chase down a 60 mile runway ensues, and during this time Han and Gisele (Gal Gadot) find themselves hanging out the back of the cargo hold, too high up to be able to safely jump. Oh yeah, Han's in love with her, I didn't mention this earlier because they don't have that many scenes together, but he is, and that's important because...

A goon comes up behind them, with Han's back to him. Gisele sees what is going to happen, and does the only thing she can to save the love of her life. She lets go, falls out the back of the plane, and pulls her gun to shoot the goon in the air mid-fall before plummeting to her death. Han, continuing to be the coolest character her, goes apeshit and throws the guy through one of the plane engines.

The only reason I believe she's actually dead is I'm pretty sure around this time Gal Gadot started her talks with Warner Bros. She's gonna be busy, so Gisele has to die.

Oh yeah, Gina Carano is in this movie... this is before the steroids, so I honestly didn't recognize her, but she's a turncoat with like five lines total, and she dies, no one cares.

In the final epic showdown, Dom destroys the controls for the plane, which has taken off by now but still isn't fully in the air, and yeets Shaw out the back, killing him. But as the rest of the crew watch, they know that it's too late, Dom is in a plane that's about to crash, without a parachute, and to jump would just mean the fall would kill him.

But he can jump a car off the plane just fine, Dom makes it, bad guys dead, the crew get Letty back (who still has no memory but I guess she's fine with all this) and thanks to their service, they all get full pardons and get to come back to the states.

Han, still mourning Gisele's death, says that finally he's going to go to Tokyo. They always talked about it, so he's finally going to do it.

Cue post-credits scene. We cut back to the infamous crash that claim's Han's life in Tokyo Drift. But this time around, we see it wasn't a random car that t-boned him, but instead someone specifically targeting him. As we watch Han's car explode in the background again, the killer gets out of his car, revealing that it's Jason Statham, who calls Dom and tells him he doesn't know who he is yet, but he will.


So we end this movie with two important deaths. Gisele dies saving Han, and Han finally fulfills his destiny of three movies ago and dies in a drift fight with a Yakuza. We're finally all caught up in the timeline.

This movie was bonkers, but overall pretty entertaining. But didn't this used to be about racing cars? WTF?
I'm 90% certain there will be a Charger crashing into moonbase in Fast 11 (or 12, or wahtever they're on now).
They're using Final Fantasy numbering (I was going to say FF but then I realized that wouldn't be very clear), it's 10 part 2. Supposedly
This movie was bonkers, but overall pretty entertaining. But didn't this used to be about racing cars? WTF?
They keep finding more and more ridiculous ways of shoehorning in at least one car chase, but you're now well into James Bond territory, and it only escalates.
Alright, let's prepare the waterworks.

Furious 7 (2015)

or alternate title: How Letty Got Her Groove Back

We open this movie with an introduction to Jason Statham's character as he talks to Shaw, who we discover ISN'T FUCKING DEAD! Instead he's in a coma after the heroes yeeted him out of a plane in the last movie. Statham reveals in his dialogue that he is Shaw's older brother, Deckard Shaw, and now it's time for big brother to do what he always does, finish what his little bro started.

As the camera pans back and New Shaw walks out, we get to see the hospital he is in, and the state it is in after his visit, in what is honestly one of the best opening sequence character introductions ever. Just watch this for yourself, you can fast forward through the talky bit at the very beginning if you want.

We're in trouble now. Because while Shaw was a terrorist mastermind capable of holding the world ransom, his biggest weakness was he didn't care about family. We now see his big brother is even more of a badass, and -does- care about family. We're doomed.

Dom takes Letty, who is still suffering from a serious brain injury, back to where it all started, the still problematically named racing event, Race Wars! I'm fucking stoked to be back here, but it's at this point I notice a stark change in directing style. This is the first movie since the third to not be directed by Justin Lin. James Wan directs it instead, and while he does a fine job, I notice some things. Like the Michael Bay style zoom in tracking booty shots on several of the scantily clad women at this event.

Look, I'm not against sexy ladies on the screen. At a car racing event like this yeah, there'd be lots of women showing lots of skin, both professionally in the form of 'booth babes' and just from the attendees because it's set in the desert. This was true in the Justin Lin movies as well. But the camera never ogled them. I don't mean to bring my 'woke' politics into this, but this is like the definition of male gaze in media, and it feels very gross. It's like the camera is trying to make me a part of the director's desire to objectify these women, and it's very distracting. If people want to leer at the babes, go for it, I'm not gonna stop you, but don't make the camera do it for them.

Ok, soapbox over.

Iggy Azalea is here, for some reason, and starts to say oh this is the Letty we've heard so much of. In an accent that is... isn't she australian? Why does she sound... is it too late to get the soapbox back?

Letty, surrounded by people that all know her while she still can't remember anything about herself, kinda freaks out here, punches someone, and then retreats back into her car, to sit there and then eventually drive away. I actually really like this sequence. I'm happy that they are giving weight to Letty's amnesia and it's not just a throwaway plot device, and I think her actions here and Michelle Rodriguez's acting really sells the trauma. Her getting back in the car is literally retreating back into her shell, where she feels safe. I dunno, I found it resonated with me. Dom and Letty have a heart to heart, over her grave, and Letty says she has to refind herself.

Just to touch on her grave for a moment... what did they bury? I realize you don't need a body to have a funeral and a burial, but like... it was thought that she died in a car crash, did no one question why there was no body? Do bodies just go missing all the time in this world? We're going to come back to this, later...

Cut to Brian, he's driving a minivan with his kid and meeting his wife and kinda hates his life because he's been told that having 2.5 kids and living in suburbia is what you're supposed to do and... skip. I've never really cared about Brian's family, sorry, they're boring. It's his own fault for having them.

Cut to the Rock. Look, I'm not going to call him Hobbs anymore, he's just the rock. In the first movie he tried to play a character, that character was just Tommy Lee Jones, now he's just playing himself.

The Rock is working at the department of secret shit or whatever agency he represents, wearing an undershirt three sizes too small for him, when he has to briefly leave his office to give a file to Elisa, the cop from Brazil that became his assistant and briefly dated Dom and I honestly don't even know if she's played by the same woman every movie but they keep pointing her out. When he comes back, Shaw is sitting at his computer, like a boss, collecting information because the Rock doesn't know to password lock his decktop. Shaw gets what he needs, and then he and the Rock have a fight, where Shaw proves how powerful he is by eating a rock bottom and getting back up. You have to be Undertaker levels of plot powerful to be able to shrug off a rock bottom, so clearly he's got game. It's time for the Rock to pull a Mr Worf and put over Shaw by getting absolutely bodied by him to show off how dangerous Shaw is. The Rock gets blown out of a sixth story window and lands on a car, breaking his arm and leg so that he can be out for the rest of the movie. I'm assuming he was busy shooting another movie, and judging from when this was filmed he would have been shooting... Hercules. Huh, he should have stayed in this one.

Cut to Dom, who is sipping a Corona outside his house while Brian and his sister come to visit. Mia asks what the package from Tokyo on his front step is, and Dom says Han must have sent him something. Now we're caught up to the post credits stinger from the last movie. Shaw has just t-boned and flipped Han's car, and as he has Dom on the phone, he blows up the car and blows up the package he sent on Dom's front step, knowing that Dom would leave it there and never open it. The villain has made his first move, the Family has been attacked, and Han is dead. For reals this time. We've been hinting at it for three goddamn movies now, but we're finally caught up and he's dead. Capital D dead. ... ........

Dom heads to Japan to collect Han's remains, and that means we get to revisit Tokyo Drift's banger soundtrack. Best fucking soundtrack of the series, it's this track, do yourself a favor and don't skip it.

We get the ending scene from Tokyo Drift, as we're finally caught up in the timeline, and then they actually film a new scene with Drift protagonist Sean's actor playing his role again, and... oh my god.


This man is canonically 17 years old in this scene. Being the new Drift King really wears on you.

Also, I want to take this little moment to have an aside, even though these are already too long. I've always heard that Tokyo Drift is the worst movie. Even today, looking up watch orders for this ordeal, people always say oh you can skip Tokyo Drift, it's a side thing and it's not very good.

Tokyo Drift is the best one and I will die on this hill. As someone who I feel can now call themselves well versed in The Fast and Furious life, I could spend the next twenty pages talking about everything Tokyo Drift gets right, how good its storytelling and foreshadowing is, and even critique and praise every song on the soundtrack. Feel lucky I don't just post a playlist now. I might edit one in.

Where was I? Oh, right. Sean gives Dom everything they could retrieve from Han's wreck, which was a picture of Gisele and the cross necklace of Dom's that bounces around to every member of his family. Sean says there's nothing else to take back, which means we are again going to have a funeral without a body.

... this motherfucker isn't dead. You can't keep doing this to me movie, you fucking can't. I'm onto you.

Dom goes back to the states and they hold Han's funeral. Roman says he can't take another funeral so soon, despite the subject of the last funeral literally standing right next to him alive and well.

It's at this point that I'm going to yada yada yada the rest of the movie. They get recruited by a special spook called Mr Nobody, played by Kurt Russell, who says he's a ghost just like Shaw, and that he will get them Shaw if they help him with a side quest, stealing a hacking system called God's Eye that can take over any camera or microphone on a network and use it to track people across the globe. So they're put on a sidequest that has them running afoul of a warlord who stole this software to begin with, and Shaw meeting up with them at every turn to make their lives miserable. They parachute some cars out of a plane and even jump a car from skyscraper to skyscraper in Dubai.

It's at this point that Brian stops talking much, and his face becomes awfully cgi looking. It's clear that this is where they ran out of shots after Paul Walker's death, and the few times he speaks from this point on uses dialogue from previous movies chopped together to form a new sentence. It sounds really bad and it's super jarring every time it happens.

The warlord is defeated, Shaw is imprisoned, Thanos I assume is going to make a mid-credits appearance at this point, and the heroes are happy. It's at this point as they relax on a beach that they realize that despite Brian saying he hates the family man life, that it's where he belongs, and that it's time for him to retire. Dom drives away without saying goodbye, CGI-Face Brian drives up and robot-talks that he doesn't get to leave without saying goodbye, and Charlie Puth starts to sing.

So, a little bit before this movie came out, maybe even a year before, maybe even two, it's hard to say, but a very good friend of mine died a tragic death. When this movie came out, this song was everywhere, and it was sitting in my car at a stoplight, driving home from work, with this coming on the radio, that I finally broke down and cried for the first time over my friend's death. This was when I was still severely suffering from depression, so dealing with my feelings wasn't something I was really good at, and as much as I want to hate this song for being so cheesy and feeling a little exploitative over someone's death, I can't. It's cemented into my memory as a major point in my life, and watching this scene as Dom and Brian drive away down separate roads, it got me. It fucking got me.

That's the end of Furious 7. I would argue that it's not as good as 6, but having a major actor die during production they did what they could with this film and it works out a lot better than it probably should. I have some problems with James Wan's directing as I've already pointed out, I also think the hand to hand fight scenes were way too jumpy and shakey-cammed with lots of cuts, and there's this one specific camera move where a character rolls backwards off an object, like being flipped over a chair or table, and the camera rolls with them, that was visually interesting the first time they did it, and then they did it six more times to the point of being silly. There's also a scene where Dom calls Mia, and while two characters are just having a conversation on the phone, the camera is spinning around them both as it cuts between one and the other, and it made me fucking dizzy. I hope Justin Lin is back for the next one.

The Fate of the Furious is up next, lord help me.
Elisa, the cop from Brazil that became his assistant and briefly dated Dom and I honestly don't even know if she's played by the same woman every movie but they keep pointing her out.
The character's name is actually Elena (it's ok, not blaming you for not knowing it, there are lots of characters and she's a relatively minor one), and she's been played by the same person each time. Her actress is Elsa Pataky, she's married to Chris Hemsworth, and I mention this specially because not too long ago I learned that during the filming of Thor: The Dark World, there's a scene at the end where Thor kisses Jane, except Natalie Portman wasn't available due to a scheduling conflict, so they put Elsa in a Natalie Portman wig and had Chris Hemsworth kiss his wife instead.

EDIT: Elsa Pataky also cameoed as a wolf woman in Thor: Love and Thunder, as part of a montage of Thor's love interests. She also kisses Thor here.
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