With 2017 we have the latest installment of the 15 year-old Fast and Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious. I have ranked the previous seven films in an older post so this list but having watched the new film it was time for an update.
So how does Fate of the Furious fare among its fellow Fast and Furious films? After that alliterative overload let’s start our engines, put it in drive and get this race started:
#8 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Here’s an inspired idea – for the third film replace your charismatic leads with a dull new character speaking in a dull Southern drawl. And instead of racing and gangster drama let’s focus on drifting and Yakuza drama. You may want to skip this one completely.
#7 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson as ex-cop Brian O’Conner and his old friend Roman Pearce may lack the chemistry of Walker and Diesel from the original but they were decent. We have a bit of a buddy cop feel as they try to take down a drug lord.
#6 The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Who knew that this little racing/crime drama film would spawn seven sequels. Definitely not me. The original has all the racing, posturing, objectified race ladies and light crime elements that would feature in the earlier sequels. Here we first meet staple characters of O’Conner and Diesel as elite street racer and ex-con Dominic Toretto, and the two play off each other well. The movie is predictable and nothing spectacular but it has a guilty pleasure charm to it, especially for car lovers.
#5 Fast & Furious (2009)
After the travesty that was Tokyo Drift they thankfully brought back the cast from the original. This was the film when they started to move away from the racing focus and into more heist/action adventure. Following the (alleged) death of Letty, Brian and his crew face off against a drug dealer and his gang. The tunnel climax is some thrilling stuff but we would have to wait for the sequel for the franchise to really hit its stride.
#4 Furious 7 (2015)
As the movies progressed the stunts got crazier and crazier. By the time of the latest movie we reached science fiction levels. The movie is a lot of big dumb fun with exciting locations and over the top action but I rolled my eyes too many times to completely enjoy it. Though as a final farewell to Walker, who had died in a car accident before completing the film, there is a real world sadness that is quite touching.
#3 The Fate of the Furious (2017)
After the reality bending antics of Furious 7 the latest installment grounded things somewhat. In Fate of the Furious Dom is blackmailed by a cyber terrorist called Cypher (newcomer Charlize Theron) to betray his team and steal some high level equipment. Theron’s performance is one of the best parts of the film and her steely, calculating and psychologically manipulative character is the best baddie the franchise has ever seen. We also get a lot more Rock, have the addition of Jason Statham (former baddie Deckard Shaw) doing his Jason Statham action thing, brutal hand to hand action and lots of big, mind blowing action set pieces. And while Statham was entertaining the team being willing to work with Shaw after he murdered their teammate Han is a logical leap that pulls down the film a bit. And there is also an overdose of Gibson’s Roman Pearce humour which is sadly more miss than hit.
#2 Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Our crew of anti-heroes are recruited by the government to go to London to take down another crew led by a former British SAS Major and special ops soldier Owen Shaw and an amnesiac Letty. Lots of thrilling chase scenes, gun play and an epic climax with a plane makes this one of the best of the franchise.
#1 Fast Five (2011)
This is it people, the best of the best. Fast Five is not just the greatest of the franchise, it is also a really good action flick in its own right. Hiding out in Rio de Janeiro our heroes run afoul of a crime lord. They also have to face off against agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock) and his team who are seeking to arrest them. The hand to hand combat between Diesel and The Rock is rock ’em sock ’em great. There is an interesting heist plot, the best car chase scene, gritty gunfights and some surprising depth. I highly recommend this one.
So what’s your favorite Fast and Furious flick? Feel free to comment below.
For my full review of Furious 7 you can click here.