Every ‘Fast & Furious’ movie, ranked

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In 2001, Universal Pictures released The Fast and the Furious, the story of a gang of thieves and street racers infiltrated by a car-loving police officer.

Two decades later, the franchise has spawned eight sequels, a spinoff series of movies, a children’s animated series, and a theme park attraction, to name a few. With such a long-running series, there are bound to be hits and misses, so with that; we have ranked each of the films from the Fast Saga.

Honorable Mention: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw

Although it was one of the major tentpoles of summer 2019, and although it stars series staples Luke Hobbs (Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw is technically classified as a spinoff of the main series, and doesn’t count for this ranking.

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That said, it still features the hallmarks of every F&F movie, including wild, expensive-looking chase scenes, far-off locales, and even family, with Vanessa Kirby joining the cast as Shaw’s sister Hattie. 

9. Furious 7

Furious 7, the seventh movie in the series, had to perform several thankless tasks at once. After the sixth film wrapped up the story of the Toretto/O’Connor family very neatly, Furious 7 arrived to throw a wrench into everything. Building off of the tag of Fast & Furious 6, the gang finds out that Deckard Shaw was responsible for the death of their friend Han during the events of Tokyo Drift. Not only that, but the man is out for revenge. 

This is where the series really starts to crank up from street-racing into the spy-action-thriller territory, where the team’s budget increases just as exponentially as the film’s budget. In disturbing the hard-won peace, Furious 7 spends too much time trying to justify its existence, making the story lag, and it’s simply trying to do too much in a limited time frame.

Then, of course, there is Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). Walker passed away during the filming of Furious 7, meaning the plot had to scramble to give him a proper—and definitive—sendoff. It was always going to be bittersweet for that alone, and the grief of co-star Vin Diesel can be especially felt, particularly in Dominic Toretto’s parting comments to Brian, which are almost certainly directed at Walker. It’s not that the love or effort have disappeared from the series, not at all. It just suffers from doing way too much.

8. F9

The longest of all the Fast & Furious movies at just under 2.5 hours, F9 is much like Furious 7 in that it spends its lengthy runtime trying to do everything all at once. Except for Hobbs and Shaw, who got their own spinoff, everyone of importance from the earlier films appears here. 

Though it suffers many of the same faults as Furious 7, it squeaks past it in the rankings not only for the sheer audacity of sending two men to space in a car, but because somehow this late in the game, it manages to up the emotional stakes, and not just the explosive ones. 

John Cena joins the cast as Dom’s younger brother Jakob, and the two of them spend most of the film at odds over unresolved grief surrounding the death of their father. The story of his death, as Dom once told it to Brian, is played out in full here, alongside a series of other flashbacks that fill in the early lives of the Toretto brothers. 

It’s obvious the cast is still grieving the loss of Paul Walker, particularly since the story reintroduces his wife and Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). Still, the way Brian is referenced is jarring. Though the actor has passed, the character is still very much alive but is constantly spoken about as though he isn’t. 

7. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Aesthetically, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the most beautiful of all the movies. The bright neon vibe present throughout the movie is such a stark contrast to the wilderness or sun-drenched cityscapes of the other movies. However, Tokyo Drift also contains so many strange story choices; it almost takes the viewer right out of it. 

Why, for instance, is Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) being sent to a Japanese high school immediately on arrival in Tokyo when it’s clear the boy does not speak a word of Japanese? There might have been an interesting angle in the idea of wealthy, bratty ex-pat kids causing trouble in a foreign country, mingling with the similarly wealthy and bratty local teenagers. 

Tokyo Drift also suffers in the overall ranking because of how removed it is from the rest of the series. Yes, Sean and two of his friends reappear in F9, but because this wasn’t the first of several racing movies removed from the Toretto family, it inevitably feels like the odd one out. The one thing keeping it from feeling totally removed is the presence of Han Lue (Sung Kang), a street racer who, it turns out, has ties to our gang back in the states. 

As fantastic an addition as Han is to the cast, his presence messes up the timeline. Han appears to die in a car crash towards the end of the film but reappears in the fourth film in the series until things come full circle with his car crash again at the end of the sixth. This means we now have a man in at least his late thirties racing a bunch of teenagers, who are all, by this point, using woefully outdated tech. But then, some things in the F&F franchise work better if you just don’t think about it too hard. 

Fast & Furious

6. Fast & Furious

A return to form for the series Fast & Furious, the fourth film, reunites the core cast for the first time since The Fast and the Furious kicked things off. 

At the start of the movie, Dom’s love interest Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) appears to be “fridged“—when a female character is killed to serve the male character’s plot. If this had been the case, Fast & Furious would have suffered in the ranking, but because it does later become clear that she isn’t actually dead, this can be overlooked as part of a larger character arc. 

Fast & Furious manages to recapture the smaller, more intimate feel of The Fast and the Furious and is the last time the series actually does this before exploding into big-budget action with Fast Five. Character beats that were set up in the first film pay off, and Brian and Mia’s romance comes full circle. On top of that, it integrates Han with the main crew and introduces the new, central character of Gisele (Gal Gadot) as well. 

The best way to describe Fast & Furious is as the inhale, the calm before the absolute high-octane storm that starts raining on both the characters and the audience with Fast Five. The plot is not the most gripping, it’s fairly run of the mill, but there is something to be said for remembering the roots of what makes these stories click with people. 

5. 2 Fast 2 Furious

2 Fast 2 Furious, hilarious name aside, is another anomaly in the series. Though it does center around Brian O’Connor, he is the only character from the first movie to appear in the sequel. The scale and the spirit of the story are very much in line with the first, despite the near-total absence of recognizable characters—although Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) become series mainstays later.

Adding to the nostalgia factor is the presence of Eva Mendes, playing an undercover agent who may or may not be in too deep with crime boss Carter Verone. It’s also a shame that Mendes never returned to the series because her turn as the morally ambiguous Monica Fuentes was fantastic and would have been just the thing to keep the team on their toes. 

Paul Walker

4. Fast & Furious 6

Though the series obviously continued on afterward, Fast & Furious 6 acts like a very satisfying conclusion to the story overall, were it not for the tag right at the very end revealing that Deckard Shaw is responsible for Han’s death (which, according to F9 was also faked, since Han appears in that one, alive and well). 

Because by this point, the audience has spent a lot of time with these characters and has become invested in their stories,  Fast & Furious 6 ups the emotional ante by threatening not just the characters but putting everything they’ve worked to build in jeopardy too. Brian and Mia’s family is growing despite the threats that constantly surround them. Han and Gisele are eager to leave everything behind and start a life together somewhere fresh. And then there’s Dom and Letty. 

Despite moving on and finding happiness with Elena (Elsa Pataky), Dom is shaken by the news that Letty is still alive and working with antagonist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). His driving motivation then becomes not tangible but rather the love he still has for Letty. Sure, it plays into the soap opera amnesia stereotype, but this far into a series that is still so earnestly devoted to its central romances, it can be forgiven. Even encouraged. There are only so many ways to race a car, after all.

3. Fast Five

Fast Five feels like the movie the team set out to make with the absolute certainty that this would be the last one they ever got to do. Couples are happily established, everyone is made fantastically wealthy by the end, and the film ends on a happy, contented note. It’s only a mid-credits scene—featuring a returning Eva Mendes, though it barely counts as a return for her character—where the audience learns that Letty is still alive, which sets up a continuation to the series. 

But Fast Five is also the movie that sets the tone for what the future of these movies looks like. It’s the first appearance of Luke Hobbs, the DSS agent, and it’s also the first time the team is assembled at the behest of a very well-funded government agency for a top-secret mission with global consequences. More so than the others, this one feels a lot like a heist film in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven. The montage of them “putting a team together” is a perfect example of this. 

This is also the first time that the core heist team is really seen working together, so while it is still the fifth movie in the overall series, it feels in a way like the first installment in a whole new franchise and was the perfect way to breathe some fresh air into the Fast & Furious world.

2. The Fast and the Furious 

The very first movie. The one that started it all. The story of a cop and a criminal who found brotherhood and family in the world of Los Angeles street racing. The story of a doomed (for now) romance. It’s easy to forget when seeing the wild turns the series took, just how small everything started out. 

It’s been two decades since The Fast and the Furious hit theatres, and the movie feels almost like a time capsule full of low-rise jeans, flat-ironed hair, Von Dutch shirts, and frosted tips. The crime that Brian is trying to pin on Dom involves the theft of DVD players. That’s right, DVD players. 

The scope of the story is very small. Not a whole lot happens. But it’s still unbelievably cozy, nostalgic, and romantic all in one. While some of the viewpoints expressed and the language used didn’t exactly age well, it’s to the series overall credit that as times changed, so did the content. They allowed the story and characters to grow. But even without that added context, The Fast and the Furious holds up as a well-told, self-contained story that is extremely earnest in the message and sentiment it tries to convey. 

1. The Fate of the Furious

Of all of the Fast & Furious movies, the eighth one, The Fate of the Furious, is the best. This is because it is entirely unashamed to be all things to all people, and by some miracle, it pulls it off in spectacular fashion. 

After several movies of always doing the right thing and standing on the side of the moral right, if not the legal one, The Fate of the Furious has Dom Toretto going rogue. But of course, it’s not for no reason. It’s because criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron) has taken his former lover Elena hostage and Elena’s son with Dom. The son he didn’t realize he had. Back once again to those soap opera plot points, but it just works so well. There is not a trace of irony in that plot point, nor in Letty’s determination to get her husband back after they were finally starting to actually find some semblance of normal. 

The Fate of the Furious puts every character into possibly the most difficult position they’ve ever been in. The personal stakes run very high. It’s become a meme at this point to say that these movies are about family but remove that from the equation, and the whole thing falls apart. More so than the others, The Fate of the Furious makes the characters face what it is to be a family—through marriage, blood, or found family—and fight that much harder to keep it. 

Bottom Line

All franchises change over time; that’s only natural, and keeping things stale is the easiest way for people to lose interest. But the most audacious thing the Fast Saga manages to do is to take the simple premise of the first movie and build on it in such a natural way that by the time they are literally going to space in a rocket car, the audience doesn’t notice it’s actually quite a shift in tone. With a tenth two-part film on the horizon, at this point, it’s any guess where Dom Toretto and his gang are going next. 

This article originally appeared on YourMoneyGeek 

https://wealthofgeeks.com/fast-and-furious-movies-ranked/

and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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13 of the most iconic classic cars from the movies

13 of the most iconic classic cars from the movies

Movies are often cherished as much for their sweet rides as any thrilling plots or romantic speeches. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for certain vehicles to be remembered years or even decades after their debut because of their presence in iconic films. Which of these automotive movie stars is the most popular, though? The folks at GoCompare.com crunched some IMDB scores and found the most iconic movie cars of all time. We took that list and added some historic facts we found interesting.

Here are the 13 most iconic movie cars of all time:

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean is as much a “Back to the Future” icon as Marty McFly. In fact, audiences were so smitten with the car that demand for DeLoreans spiked following the film’s 1985 debut. A word of advice for any would-be time-travelers, though: Save hitting 88 miles per hour for the highway.

Universal Pictures

There’s a lot to love about 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.” It features an inspired plot, visceral visuals and one of film’s greatest female action heroes. The movie also sports the franchise’s biggest fleet of post-apocalyptic vehicles, including a heavily modified (and terrifying) Tatra 815-7 fittingly called “The War Rig.” It’s true that The War Rig isn’t a car, but Imperator Furiosa’s spike-and-skull-covered menace is undoubtedly the meanest semi in cinema.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Despite its durability issues, the Gran Torino was an enviable car long before Clint Eastwood’s eponymous 2008 film. That movie modified the vehicle’s niche in cinema because, while many gritty films relegate cars to sweet ride status, the movie’s Torino gradually becomes one of the movie’s biggest plot points. The car’s placement in both 2004’s “Starsky & Hutch” and 2009’s “Fast & Furious” also point to its enduring popularity.

Wikimedia Commons / GPS 56

It may have taken six films for the “Transformers” franchise to earn some acclaim, but that never stopped it from, well, transforming a few hot rods into movie stars. Both the 1976 and fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro have gained heightened pop culture notoriety because of their use by Autobot superhero Bumblebee, whose recent solo film points to a bright future for the car in cinema.

Paramount Pictures

The 1949 Buick Roadmaster is the vehicle Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise awkwardly palled around in through much of 1988’s “Rain Man.” The car used in the film was so iconic that it sold for a whopping $170,500 in 2012. It then underwent a full restoration in 2015, almost 30 years after the film opened in theaters.

Wikimedia Commons / Morven

The Volkswagen T2 Microbus is now associated as much with dark humor as hippie stereotypes thanks to 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine.” Writer Michael Arndt picked the bus because of his own road trip experience with it. Reportedly, everything from the film version’s broken clutch to its detached door was inspired by problems his family’s own Microbus had on the road. Still, more than 60 of these vans were present at a drive-in screening of the movie in 2006.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Ray Parker, Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” theme song doesn’t sound complete without Ecto-1’s sour klaxon blaring in the background. Ecto-1 launched Cadillac ambulances into the cinematic stratosphere, where they have remained ever since. Many media have paid homage to Ecto-1 over the years; the racing game Burnout Paradise, for example, references the car with its own ghost-mobile: The Manhattan Spirit.

Columbia Pictures

Even 30 years later, the Batmobile from 1989’s “Batman” remains the coolest, sleekest ride in the Caped Crusader’s subterranean garage. Not even the Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy holds a candle to this vehicle’s art deco-inspired design. Over the years, this version of the Batmobile has appeared in everything from OnStar commercials to “Animaniacs.” Gamers can drive the car themselves in 2015’s “Batman: Arkham Knight” and the vehicular soccer title “Rocket League.”

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Mini Cooper S defined some of the most compelling scenes in the 1969 film “The Italian Job,” including that daring staircase derby. In 1999, the vehicle was voted the second-most influential car of the 20th century by a panel of 126 auto experts (the Ford Model T won first place). “The Italian Job” wasn’t Michael Caine’s last tango with this car, either; he drove a Mini yet again in 2002’s “Austin Powers Goldmember.”

Oakhurst Productions

It probably comes as little surprise that NASCAR finds its way into cinema. Some of those films, like 1965’s Redline 7000, aren’t even strictly about racing, yet NASCAR still discovered a way to promote its stock cars. These vehicles have appeared in multiple films over the years, including the documentary “The Dale Earnhardt Story” and 2005’s “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Stock cars were also the chief inspiration for many of the characters in Pixar’s “Cars” franchise.

This article originally appeared on MediaFeed.org.

Wikimedia Commons / Alf van Beem

Quite possibly the fastest bus in motion picture history, the GM TDH 5303 reportedly wasn’t supposed to make the famous jump scene in the original script of the movie “Speed,” which made the bus iconic. The idea was apparently director Jan deBont’s, who came up with the idea when he noticed one section of I-105 in Los Angeles was missing, according to IMDB.com.

Also of note: Sandra Bullock reportedly learned to drive a bus for her starring role in the film, and passed her driving test on the first try.

Twentieth Century Fox

According to IMDB, replicas based on the 1967 Shelby used in the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” skyrocketed after the film was released. This reportedly forced executive producer Denice Shakarian Halicki to “file a copyright for Eleanor’s likeness, and she successfully won a court case against Carroll Shelby in 2008. 

“His company, Carroll Shelby Enterprises, had a licensing agreement with Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, where his continuation series of Shelby Mustangs were produced until the company was closed in 2008 in response to law enforcement raids regarding vehicle identification number irregularities, and the lack of a just-in-time inventory where the Shelby continuation series were not delivered to customers. 

“As of 2014, Classic Recreations of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the licensed manufacturer of the Eleanor replica used in the film using 1967 Mustang fastback bodyshells supplied by Dynacorn Restoration Bodies.”

Touchstone Pictures

Known as the Bluesmobile, the 1974 Monaco used in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers” wasn’t a particularly sexy car (and it wasn’t meant to be) but it became a film icon anyway.

As the story goes, Elwood Blues purchased the car at an auction after trading his 1968 Cadillac for a microphone. 

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Universal Pictures

Featured Image Credit: IMDB / Universal Studios.

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