Determine when the Fast and the Furious rolled down: from street racing to saving the world

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A long time ago, back in 2001, the movie “Fast and the Furious” showed the world of street racing in all its glory – fast cars, brave racers and the roar of the engine instantly conquered the audience. That cult film can be watched endlessly, but watching the last parts of such a famous franchise at least halfway through is a real test. Surprisingly, having the same set of components in hand, the directors each time make a new cocktail more disgusting than the previous one. How did it happen and when everything flew into the abyss? I rallied my strength, reviewed all ten films in the franchise, and am ready to answer this question.

The fast and the furious

  • Racing: ★★★★★
  • Saving the world: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Action: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Budget / box office: $ 38 million / $ 207 million.
  • IMDb: 6.8 points.

The FBI injects a police officer into a gang of racers to track the daring robbers in a black Honda Civic, and instead he befriends the main villain and falls in love with his younger sister, letting the gang go right in front of law enforcement. Isn’t it a reference plot for a movie about street racers? We add on top really cool cars for those times with neon and body kits, action-packed racing scenes, beautiful girls in bright outfits and quite understandable motivation of the main characters. It turns out an excellent film about friendship, love, a sense of duty and, of course, speed – that is why people went to the cinemas.

Double afterburner

  • Racing: ★★★★ ☆
  • Saving the world: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Action: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Budget / box office: 76 million / 236 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 5.9 points.

On the wave of overwhelming success, the second part of the series comes out – the drug cartel and undercover agents are at the forefront, but fast cars, street racing and all the attributes of street racing have remained in place. And the plot, despite a couple of rather shameful scenes and an overly caricatured Roman Pierce, turned out to be quite good, especially the scene with a police chase and a warehouse full of sports cars. But even then, in 2003, viewers could watch the first news of the future collapse – for the sake of entertainment at the end of the film, Brian O’Connor jumps from a springboard in an ordinary car straight into a yacht passing by. It turned out unrealistic and even stupid, but very cool and spectacular – remember this moment.

Triple Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

  • Racing: ★★★★★
  • Saving the world: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Action: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Budget / Gross: $ 85M / $ 158M (lowest grossing franchise)
  • IMDb: 6.0 points.

The plot of the third part, to put it mildly, caused bewilderment – Khan, a local tough guy, gives a newcomer Lucas his expensive car, and he naturally breaks it to smithereens. But instead of sending the would-be driver to intensive care, Khan hires him to work so that Lucas can take part in the races and fight off the debt. Logic is zero, but the director at least refused to violate the laws of physics for the sake of realism, drive and drift. Plus Japanese cars, very unusual after Los Angeles Tokyo, bright memorable characters and Vin Diesel at the end – what else does a devoted fan need?

Important: Despite the high (relative to the franchise) ratings from critics and viewers, the box office of “Fast and the Furious” nearly buried the entire franchise. And, apparently, then the bosses of Universal Pictures decided that it was time to raise the bar for action in the frame.

Fast & Furious 4

  • Racing: ★★★ ☆☆
  • Saving the world: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Action: ★★★ ☆☆
  • Budget / box office: 85 million / 363 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 6.6 points.

In an attempt to attract viewers and at least recoup filming costs, the director and the scriptwriters went all out – there is a world-class drug cartel, an almost supervillain, and absolutely crazy races in the rock (yes, that’s right, it is inside the rock), and Vin Diesel as a budget version of the terminator. For the entire film we will be shown only one street race, the rest of the time “Fast and Furious 4” is trying to play a blockbuster with special effects, tough guys in the lead roles and, surprisingly, drama. And everything seems to be bad – the plot, acting, flirting with an action movie, almost complete absence of races. But the film raised the box office and the bosses realized that the franchise needed to be redrawn in a new way. And from that moment on, “Fast and the Furious” ceased to be “Fast and the Furious”.

Fast and the Furious 5

  • Racing: ★★ ☆☆☆
  • Saving the world: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Action: ★★★★ ☆
  • Budget / box office: 125 million / 626 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 7.3 points (the highest rating in the franchise).

In the fifth part, the team of former street kings is not at all up to street racing. First, the three members of the “family” attack a bus with prisoners, saving Dominic without a single scratch, then rob a guarded train with confiscated cars, jumping out of the cars in sports cars on the move, then run away on the roofs from the American special forces led by Luke Hobbs and local bandits. Cherry on the cake – racers rob the police station, literally pulling out a giant-sized safe from the wall, and then ride with it all over the city, violating all possible laws of logic and physics. In the fifth film, there was almost no room left for racing, because it was necessary to fit more action movie, but the audience liked it.

Fast & Furious 6

  • Racing: ★★ ☆☆☆
  • Saving the world: ★★ ☆☆☆
  • Action: ★★★★ ☆
  • Budget / box office: 160 million / 788 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 7.0 points.

The financial success of the previous film completely untied director Justin Lin’s hands, allowing his wildest fantasies to come true. Special forces have appeared in incredible vehicles, devices that can disable any car, a super-secret chip that cannot be handed over to villains, and melee fights worthy of WWE. Two brightest moments – brave racers with the help of a cable and a car body stopped the tank, and then, using a similar method, they did not allow a huge cargo plane to take off. For a complete transformation in “The Expendables” was not enough except for Sylvester Stallone in the frame.

fast and furious 7

  • Racing: ★★ ☆☆☆
  • Saving the World: ★★★★ ☆
  • Action: ★★★★★
  • Budget / Gross: $ 190M / $ 1,516M (Highest gross in a franchise)
  • IMDb: 7.1 points.

If viewers in droves carry money to the box office of cinemas for stupid action films with the name “Fast and the Furious” and with Vin Diesel in the lead role, why not raise the level of passion? In the seventh part, the scriptwriters write into the plot the “Eye of God” – a special device that allows you to instantly track any person on the planet. And the villains, of course, want to get this device, but it will not be trained military personnel, but street racers, that will save the technology so important for world peace – the logic left the chat, as they say. But the audience’s love for Hollywood action films, an incredibly famous cast and Paul Walker (died during the filming) did their job – the film, to put it mildly, turned out to be profitable.

Fast and Furious 8

  • Racing: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Saving the World: ★★★★★
  • Action: ★★★★★
  • Budget / box office: 250 million / $ 1,236 million.
  • IMDb: 6.6 points.

Robbery of a military base in Berlin, escape from a maximum security prison, a world-class hacker, secret agent Mr. ice from this very submarine on a Lamborghini, a fight on an airplane with a child in her arms and, my favorite, Dominic escapes from a rocket in an ordinary car! It’s hard to imagine that this is a short synopsis of the film with the word “Fast and the Furious” in the title, but it is exactly so. And also add here a dozen ridiculous dialogues and jokes in the spirit of “frostbitten ass”.

Fast and Furious: Hobbes and Shaw

  • Racing: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Saving the World: ★★★★★
  • Action: ★★★★★
  • Budget / fees: 200 million / 760 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 6.4 points.

If the audience liked the chase from the submarine, then why not come up with a plot with an incredibly dangerous virus and a corporation of the future that is capable of literally resurrecting people and making them a super soldier? It even sounds good apart from “Fast and the Furious”, but the plot itself was written so badly that you just need to watch it in three passes, or turn off your brain and just enjoy the picture. However, this particular film has a minimum of claims – this is not “Fast and the Furious” at all. It’s just that two famous actors starred in a formulaic Hollywood blockbuster, in the name of which they added a famous franchise to increase the box office.

Fast & Furious 9

  • Racing: ★ ☆☆☆☆
  • Saving the World: ★★★★★
  • Action: ★★★★★
  • Budget / box office: 225 million / 721 million dollars.
  • IMDb: 5.2 (lowest franchise score).

I remember very well how they joked under the trailer for Fast and Furious 8 that Dominic was about to get to space. Who knew that the jokes were prophetic – the writers believed in the omnipotent characters of the series so much that they literally sent street racers into outer space to save the world from the dangerous Ares virus. Against this background, even an airplane with a powerful magnet that can pull a car falling from a cliff does not seem such an incredible phenomenon. In addition, the franchise was reinforced by the protagonist’s brother who suddenly appeared, and Khan, who had died in the third film, was suddenly decided to resurrect – they left, so to speak, a stock for Fast and Furious 10.

The wrong “Fast and the Furious”

As a dedicated Fast and Furious fan who has watched all the films in the franchise at least twenty times, I think the first and third parts were really good. These are almost reference pictures about street races with all the characteristic attributes and a simple, but strong plot and vivid characters. The second part turned out to be too caricatured and ridiculous, and in the fourth the train went off the rails – starting from the fifth part “Fast and the Furious” ceased to be a movie about races, turning into the most ordinary action movie from Hollywood with fast cars in the frame. And although the box office allows Vin Diesel to shoot new parts before retirement, this is not the same coat.

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