Ranking all of the Fast & Furious movies from worst to best, including Hobbs & Shaw
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To date, movies have made over $5.1 billion at the box office.
Yep, without a penny from Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, the series has made A LOT of money, and shows no sign of slowing down, with Fast & Furious 9 already in production and gearing up for a Summer 2020 release.
So with all that in mind, and to celebrate the release of the franchise's first spin-off, here we go, from worst to best. Don't @ me.
The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift
No Paul Walker. No Vin Diesel (mostly). Nobody we fell in love with from the first two movies. Instead we get Lucas Black (who?) and Bow Wow (remember him?), who are not equal substitutes. But while this movie truly is the Daniel Baldwin to the rest of the more-known, more-loved entries, there were some great additions that can't go unmentioned.
First of all, this was where director Justin Lin got involved, who would remain on board right through the Fast & Furious 6 (and is coming back for 9) and is probably mostly responsible for the series becoming what it is today.
Plus it introduced us to Han (Sung Kang), one of the best characters of the franchise. Even killing him off couldn't keep him away, and he had the greatest character pun name of all time: Han Seoul-Oh.
Clip via Screen Junkies
2 Fast 2 Furious
Vin Diesel didn't come back for the first sequel because he went off to make xXx instead (which actually made more money at the box office than 2 Fast 2 Furious, go figure). Paul Walker hung around and was paired up with Tyrese, and their chemistry wasn't exactly the same. Don't know what we mean? Well, the rest of the internet does.
It would actually be pretty great and progressive if that was intentional, but we really don't feel that it was. Anyways, this really felt like a quick 'n' cheap sequel, and in any other universe, the franchise would've ended right here.
The plot was a mess involving under cover agents and Argentinian drug lords, but it did give us fan favs Tyrese and Ludacris. It also featured Eva Mendes, who really should've been folded back into the story by now (outside of that blip at the end of Fast Five).
Fast & Furious
This was the point where both the time-line and the titles get messed up. Chronologically, you should watch them as follows: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8, Hobbs & Shaw.
You'll notice that Han is alive and well and part of Vin Diesel's crew, despite being very much dead in the last one. That's because everything from Fast & Furious up to the beginning of Furious 7 takes place before Tokyo Drift.
Vin Diesel even wrote, co-produced and directed a 20-minute short that fills in the gaps, which you can check out in all of it's underappreciated glory right here.
Fast & Furious was also the point where the franchise simultaneously got much bigger, and much sillier, without properly nailing either aspect just yet. The opening petrol tanker heist was a tasty prelude to the kind of OTT set-pieces we could come to expect from the future sequels, while killing off Michelle Rodriguez was a nice plot surprise, and her eventual amnesia-fuelled resurrection (which she also managed to do in the Resident Evil series, FYI) was pure soap opera.
And we mean that as a compliment.
Fast & Furious 8 aka The Fate Of The Furious
Fast & Furious 8 is essentially what happens when you've got $250 million to make a Days Of Our Lives script. Playing along with 'Cliched Soap-Opera Plot-Line Bingo', you can now check off Surprise Baby and Good Guy Goes Bad (But Not Really). There is a big Paul Walker shaped hole here that can't be filled by just anyone (sorry Scott Eastwood), and the action sequences now include a submarine, and a massive auto-pilot pile-up in Manhattan that somehow mixes in elements of Die Hard 4.0, World War Z and video-game Watchdogs.
That being said, the chemistry between The Rock and Jason Statham is undeniable, Charlize Theron is having a ball chewing scenery as a villain who wants to cause World War III because [insert plausible reason here], and some of the some of the smaller set-pieces feature some fantastic choreography. But this might be the first time that Fast & Furious has actually gotten too big for it's own good.
Clip via Universal Pictures UK
The Fast & The Furious
Which brings us nicely on to how it all began. Remember when it was just about an undercover cop who was infiltrating a street car ring that was organised by a guy who was selling stolen DVD players, but then the cop goes all Point Break in-love with the bad guy and let's him get away? That all seems so quaint now.
Looking at Fast & Furious 8 and comparing it to the original is like saying Hot Fuzz is a direct sequel to Shaun Of The Dead - yes, the actors are all the same, but everything else is different. How exactly did we get here?
The small scale relative innocence of the 2001 original - for which we can probably solely thank/blame for MTV's show Pimp My Ride - was made for a scant $38 million. Fast & Furious 8 cost a quarter of a billion, before advertising and promotion.
But really what matters is the will-they-won't-they bromance between Walker and Diesel, a bond that would keep the franchise running for the next 15 years.
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Okay, the franchise is now so big that it is getting its own spin-offs. Who next? Tyrese and Ludacris? Good, because we would totally watch that.
The Rock and The Stath have built upon their on-screen chemistry fantastically here, with director David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) upping the hand-to-hand scenes, as well as the comedy quota, with the slagging matches between the two leads often resulting in some serious LOLs.
But the action does feel like it is relying a little too much on CGI, especially when Idris Elba's cybernetically-enhanced bad guy is giving chase on his self-driving motorcycle.
That is all well and good, and Leitch did tell us that even the most OTT action scenes were mostly done for real, but there is a feeling - in a world of Tom Cruise breaking his body for Mission: Impossible - that if Fast & Furious was a TEENY bit more realistic, it wouldn't be a bad thing.
Fast & Furious 6
Another check on your 'Cliched Soap Opera Bingo' score-card, a previously dead character is totally alive (check), but now has amnesia (CHECK). Michelle Rodriguez is back, but with apparently no real desire to find out who she was before she woke up in the hospital, falls in love with bad-guy Luke Evans, who uses street-races in order to start World War III because [insert plausible reason here].
Diesel and co. are on rich-people retirement (i.e., living the life of luxury in their late 30's), before The Rock is all "Hey guys, your bestie is alive, and she's with this bad guy. Team up?" This would be a bit of a routine for the series, with a previous bad-guy coming back to join the good-guys in the next movie. We fully expect Charlize Theron to be helping their cars with their orbital re-entry in The Fast & The Fur10us (p.s. Dear Universal, please use that stylizing for the final movie).
After Fast Five, the series got a second wind and ran with it, so the stunts were bigger ("Uhm, guys, they've got a tank!"), the chemistry was better, and The Rock and Vin Diesel teaming up to beat up bad guys on a slowly exploding airplane on the world's longest runway is the most Fast & Furious thing that has ever happened.
Clip via Movieclips
Actually, no, the most Fast & Furious thing that has ever happened is when Vin Diesel fixes Michelle Rodriguez's amnesia with a street race. Because of course he does.
If you didn't cry at the end of this movie you're a liar and a robot and you can't be friends with us. Saying goodbye to Paul Walker after all these years was painful, but somehow the makers of this movie managed to do it in the most heartfelt way imaginable. Even thinking about it now has got us welling up a little bit.
Clip via Abdelrahman Dawoud
Outside of that, we've finally got the team all back together, but then Jason Statham has arrived and he is pissed, so goes on a bit of a killing spree, murdering Han (tying up a four movie old plot-hole), and shooting missiles at cars as they fly between skyscrapers.
The Rock is MIA for a lot of it, until he flexes his arm so hard that he busts out of his cast, picks up a machine gun and shoots at a drone in downtown L.A., so he makes up for lost time in a hurry during the climax.
Meanwhile we've got Michelle Rodriguez fighting Ronda Rousey, Djimon Hounsou using a weapon to start World War III because [insert plausible reason here], and the team air-dropping in Azerbaijan in their cars which is a totally sensible decision made by Kurt Russell who has hired these former stolen-DVD player salesmen to take down international terrorists.
This is why the Fast & Furious movies are amazing.
What do you when you need your action movie franchise to be better? You put in The Rock. There is no other action star in the world with the same combination of physical presence and pure charisma that can match Dwayne Johnson, and putting him toe-to-toe with Vin Diesel was obviously a decision made out of pure artistic genius.
Elsewhere, the action sequences are big-without-being-too-big, with the car jumps from the train, the foot chase through the Brazilian favelas, that massive missile shoot-out, and the big finale of dragging a bank vault through the streets of Rio.
Every stunt felt crunchy in its realism, before the submarines and zombie cars and CGI took centre stage, and the sense of family was well earned and enjoyed without being too cheesy. Legitimately, Fast Five is one of the best action movies of the last decade, and anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong.
Clip via Movieclips
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