By Jim Foote
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS! (cheering is allowed)
Josh already tackled this one, where you can find at the following link: http://uruniverse.weebly.com/timelines--tangents/the-fast-and-the-furious-franchise-countdown-and-theories-galore-one-amped-up-turbo-charged-tricked-out-article-for-you
Now, unlike Josh, I have never played the Saints Row video game franchise. He swears by it and draws so many similarities and parallels between the two. However, the first one is a clear rip-off of the same trope used in Point Break. Agent goes undercover to infiltrate a group of criminals, this time with CARS! Difference is, The Swayze and his gang would legit kill you. Toretto had a hot sister and a little buddy with ADD. After that flick, it kept getting bigger and bigger. Since then, we've gotten building jumping (WITH CARS!), tank chases (WITH CARS!), The Statham Terminator (WITH CARS!), and even Tyrese in a starring role that isn't Baby Boy (WITH CARS!).
I love this series, even its bad parts... which there are some really bad parts. Click 'read more' for the countdown!
9 & 8. Los Bandoleros and Turbo-Charged Prelude
7. 2 Fast 2 Furious
The premise is pretty basic. They have Brian by the balls and in order to right the ship, he has to recruit Roman to help him catch a drug lord. Basic, but good. Just not good enough for a higher spot on this list.
6. Fast and Furious 6
I also love how when forced with Letty's memory loss, Gisele, Tyrese, and Ludacris (LUDAAAA) are all like, "yeah, we family. We need to bring Letty home." I'm sorry, but Roman and Tej don't know who in the hell Letty is and have never met her. As for Gisele... she was trying to bang Dom just two movies ago. So I don't wanna hear this family crap.
That being said, the fights are awesome and there's a scene with a tank just destroying cars along the way. Tyrese does the jump, and Dom does a Superman style fly to grab Letty and smash a windshield, not breaking his back, neck, or impaling himself in the process. Nice.
5. Furious Seven
First, we get another MMA vet in Ronda Rousey. She's randomly a white chick who leads a team of middle eastern military women? Fine, I'll believe it. Hell, I'll believe Rousey heading up a team of Australian sheep herders for what it's worth. However, how in the blue hell has Letty become some kung-fu/MMA master? Did the memory loss also give her superhuman powers? Were they all mixing it up in an octagon in between movies? Did I miss something there?
Number two. Jason Statham IS the Terminator here. He shows up everywhere just so he can kill people and destroy shit. It's what he does. So why does Team Toretto even need to search for him? He's coming anyway, to pretty much any spot you're in. So just suit up and wait. I get it, I get it. Plot, right?
Three. Kurt Russell, Gabriel Cash himself, comes to the party. No, I'm not saying Snake or Jack Burton. He's Gabriel Cash. C'mon now. As soon as I heard Russell was in this, I thought, "he's gotta do something cool or else there's no point." So of course he has some cool sunglasses that makes him be Deadshot and kill a bunch of perps. You have to throw the suspension of disbelief factor in the mix at this point. I look forward to more Cash in the next one. After all, it ain't JUST about being fast.
Finally, the elephant in the room. I thought they did Paul Walker's exit really well. At points, you can tell it was CGI'd, but who cares? It worked. You can certainly tell the parts where we were missing us some Brian, and it showed. However, him exiting the series makes sense in terms of story. I know if I had a family, I wouldn't be risking them with every step.
Big shout out to Tyrese and the reluctant flying car. That sounds like a good book, too.
Oh... and I definitely teared up at the end. I saw the flick with my brother in law, and we both pretty much curled back in our seats, slightly covering our faces so no one could see if we cried. Then, we both looked at each other and confessed. I mean, c'mon... HE DROVE AWAY IN A WHITE CAR!!! ::cries::
4. Fast and Furious (Part 4)
Fast and Furious, while I don't get why they just lopped off the thes (yes, that's grammatically correct, mother fuckers), I'll accept it due to the more over the top crazy these flicks are getting. By the time the tenth one rolls around, my money is on Furious X. They better be in space by then. Josh thinks Dom has superpowers here, and hell... I can't find a reason why he's able to recreate and visualize her entire death scene by looking at skid marks. So, I got nothin'.
Here, they killed off Letty. I loved it, because it created stakes. Of course, they undid it soon after, but here you get an actual sense and reason why Dom and Brian come back together. They're both going undercover for different reasons, on a crash course towards each other in the process. It's the immovable force meets the unstoppable object. Wait. I screwed that up. Anyway, it also includes (in my opinion) the best actual RACE from the entire series. When GPS leads the way, Brian's all "fuck this shit," and goes his own way. We get Gisele's intro as a sidekick who wants to bang Dom. She's literally NOTHING ELSE. Mr. Big Bad throws her under the bus and suddenly she's on team Dom. Screw that, you knew what kind of guy he was! No one is forgiven!
We get the pseudo intro of Han to Team Toretto, as well. Although, it was after we met him in another particular entry.
3. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Mother F*cking Drift
Tokyo Drift is like an 80s B-Movie. You have side characters they try to tie into the main story, but not really. You have a character who's supposed to resemble your main guy in the previous films, but not really. You have a sidekick who is supposed to resemble your past sidekick, but again... not really. The thing that is great, though, is they actually DO manage to tie this back into the main series.
The character of Han, created in his own movie Better Luck Tomorrow, plays the wise, Asian character. He's like Miyagi to Sean's Daniel. Did I spell Miyagi right? Who knows. He honestly has all the money in the world and doesn't care. He gets reckless and it costs him. Or at least we think it does, before the Statham-inator shows up in the after credits scene of Furious 6.
The opening sequence has the eldest Home Improvement kid as a high school bully, racing the main guy (Sean) in a housing development area... to the tune of Kid Rock's Bawitaba. I mean... COME ON. That REEKS of B-Movie action.
As for the time paradox they create when merging this back into the main story... this is going to require some explaining, so stick with me. Drift takes place in 2003, roughly. Although, in the timeline, it doesn't happen until AFTER Fast and Furious 6. Part 6 supposedly took place in the 2010-2013 range, depending on how you stretch time. Now think about some of the things the kids in TD are buying/hoarding.. new Lebron's, an old iPod nano... so either all of the Fast franchise takes place in the past, or they've created a Japan that's like Canada as told in How I Met Your Mother.
*In HIMYM, Robin states that they don't get the 80s in Canada until the mid-90s.
Bottom line, Drift is a hidden gem. It's not a *great* film. But I love it all the same. I love it like an adopted kid. They didn't come from you and they're a little weird, but they have some pretty cool shit all the same.
Drift on, folks. Drift on.
2. The Fast and The Furious
Sure, it's taking the premise of Point Break, but it still works. It works quite well. Like I stated above, I prefer this to Point Break. Toretto isn't a bad guy. He isn't a villain. He's not killing Gary Busey and his two meatball sandwiches. You have two characters who, are in fact, liars. They both lie about what they do, but are super loyal. That's why Brian ultimately gives himself up to Mia, to save Dom. He sees someone he wants in his life, as a kind of default older brother. He sees the values Dom has and sees what he has done, completely lying to himself and those around him. This movie is also the reason why drinking one carona turns me into "Furious Mode."
We get some deaths of side characters, solid action sequences, and some great lines. It's also responsible for my drunken reading to Josh, "Swat came into my family, disrespected my house!"
Oh, and Brian was full of shit. Like Vince said, "No one likes the tuna."
1. Fast Five
Exec 1: "What should we do next? We need to up our game."
Exec 2: "Bring the supporting characters and let's make 'em a team."
Exec 1: "But who are they gonna go up against?"
Exec 2: "Some drug dude."
Exec 1: "Needs more than that. Someone needs to be looking for them. They're convicts!"
Exec 3: "...The Rock."
As a lifelong wrestling fan, I was cheering for the former Flex Kavana. That being said, you knew the switch would come and they would have to work together. And it works beautifully.
Everyone plays their part. I didn't give two shits about the... are they twins? I don't remember their names. The guys who go and gamble in Monte Carlo at the end. Names? PLS HLP. Anyway, I even liked THEM in this. Every single aspect of this movie works, as batshit crazy as it becomes. You wanna have two cars pull a giant safe out of a police department? Cool. Want Rock to straight up MURDER someone at the end? Word. Want a cop give up her job in order to go live and bone Toretto? Sounds just fine.
And let's not forget they have a contest that is PRETTY MUCH DRIFTING. How Han didn't win that is freaking beyond me. Come on, man. YOU HAD ONE JOB.
With that, you have my list. I hope they keep making these, eventually traveling through time or racing in space. ZERO GRAVITY RACE WARS, PLEASE! Now, allow me to drive away in my white car and cry like a bitch.