What Went Wrong With… The Fast & Furious Franchise?

A parody of the Fast & Furious posters with a broken down car and text "Not Fast Enough"

In 2001, a cheap and tacky B-movie titled The Fast And The Furious unleashed a filmic demon onto the world, a demon which over two decades later has yet to be vanquished and placed back in the Hollywood dungeon from whence it came. Who’d have thought that a trashy film about illegal street racing, car-modification, unrealistic heists along with unconvincing thieves and cops, not to mention a flick that objectified women, would go on to spawn a multi-billion dollar franchise, a franchise which has been responsible for ten films including one spin-off movie (and I’m told an animated TV series) with god-knows what else to come…

Jump to: Fast And Furious 1 / Fast And Furious 2 / Fast And Furious 3 / Fast And Furious 4 / Fast And Furious 5 / Fast And Furious 6 / Fast And Furious 7 / Fast And Furious 8 / Fast And Furious 9 / Hobbs & Shaw

Fast And Furious 1 aka The Fast And The Furious (2001)

The Fast And The Furious posterThis was essentially a car-tuning, Nu-Metal reworking of Kathryn Bigelow‘s Point Break, with Paul Walker (whose voice sounds a lot like a young Keanu Reeves) playing an undercover, import-car-modding cop named Brian and Vin Diesel playing the muscle-car-street-racing thief called Dominic who unwittingly befriends said copper. Jordana Brewster played Mia, Dom’s sister, a love interest for Brian, and there were a whole host of other cast members playing Dom’s musical chairs gang. With a post-credit scene showing Dominic driving off into the desert sunset, this story was hardly the same as dying in a 50 year storm, plus instead of surfboards and bank heists we had bodykits, frosted tips, and a plot (I kid you not) about Panasonic DVD and TV/video combos being stolen from a truck. I suppose this load was worth considerably more than if it were filled with The Fast And The Furious DVDs, but in either case, it was hardly the crime of the century (and fuck-knows why they couldn’t just jack the cargo once the truck was parked and stationary). The most important aspect of this kind of movie – the action – was unfortunately constrained to green-screen fakery with only the truck theft looking like real-life. The street racing scenes in particular, were awful to watch, looking like a porno and a computer game fucked each other.

With Limp Bizkit‘s “Rollin” playing within a few minutes of the film starting, Michelle Rodriguez’ character Letty wearing ghastly platform boots complete with fire motif, not to mention what looks like a white woman calling Ja Rule’s character Edwin a “nigga”, this film represented everything wrong with the 2000s from music, fashion to societal conditioning. Aside from Letty, most of the female characters were merely sexual conquests or potential “wifeys” and every ethnic minority was a caricature… whaddup homes! With the racially segregated Latino gang, Asian gang, and black gang (sorry, teams) I guess going to the Woodstock ’99-looking “Race Wars” was appropriate.

Vin Diesel’s lead character Dom Toretto with his ambiguous skin tone and Italian-sounding surname was the only non-stereotype there and that’s only because Vin Diesel himself is a racial enigma (which explains why his sister and in later films his brother, look nothing like him). I’m guessing the only reason Vin was cast as the central character was because his fossil-fueled surname and possibly his automotive serial number forename (Vehicle Identification Number) could be added to the poster and trailer.

With Paul Walker the only person in the entire cast trying to act, all this flick succeeded in doing was make you wanna watch Joy Ride again. And speaking of the rest of the cast, you could plainly see Chad Lindberg (Jesse) doing his best Giovanni Ribisi impression, Matt Schulze (Vince) looked like Stephen Dorff on steroids, and Ja Rule sounded like a wannabe DMX. Along with the manure-bag of a soundtrack which contained Ja and Fred Durst sing-rapping (separately thank god) the entire film was heaving with uncool looks and sounds. So why did this crapfest take off like the NOS tanks in the film? From a budget of $38 million the movie made over $200 million, so a sequel was almost guaranteed. Although, two decades later, I’m still trying to figure out who in the hell paid to see this shite at the cinema.

Fast And Furious 2 aka 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

2 Fast 2 Furious posterWhereas the first film was at least watchable, the second, third, and fourth most definitely weren’t, in fact they got progressively worse. In the first sequel we first meet “Roman” played by Tyrese Gibson who is Brian’s childhood friend and demolition derby contestant. The pair get embroiled in a daft plot concerning drug money and this is somehow linked with street racing. With the location moving from California to Florida, this doesn’t feel the same as the first film, in fact it feels more like a Bad Boys knockoff (incidentally Bad Boys 2 was released in the same year). Despite a character referring to “That man in L.A.” this sequel is clearly missing Vin Diesel’s Dom. We also have a one in, one out system for rapping cast members with Ludacris replacing Ja Rule and thus getting to offer the audience his title track. The soundtrack is utter crap as usual (although Dead Prez is in there for some reason). It’s filled with dross by 8Ball, Pitbull, and of course Luda’s “Act A Fool”. If Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up” isn’t the worst song in the soundtrack, it’s SMH for the OST.

This being a Fast And Furious sequel, all women are here to be groped, even the character Suki who’s a racer. Suki is dressed in a leather garter and chaps because that’s oh so comfortable to race in and her car is pink because, you know, fEmAlEs LiKe PiNk. To even things out, Suki could have had topless, oiled-up men fixing her engine or waxing her bodywork (easy) but no, this was a time of tramp-stamps and thongs, in fact Suki is happy to come second in a race where only the first place winner claims the cash. In any case, $3500 x3 isn’t gonna fix the damage done to these twerps’ cars by drawbridge jumping. Of course this is the Fast & Furious franchise, so nothing makes much sense. For instance, at slightly over 100 mph the audience (and possibly the characters) start seeing light streaks like it’s Star Trek warp speed!

In this sequel, Brian’s fleeting romance with Eva Mendes’ Monica in my opinion, lessens his romance with Mia throughout the rest of the franchise. We also have a nonsensical plot, sub-par acting, and we even have crap costumes with Ludacris making every outfit from a boiler suit to a track suit look like he’s been to Goodwill. The oddest aspect of this flick isn’t the story or costume issues, it’s the fact that John “Boyz N The Hood” Singleton directed this shit! Despite this one-time talent getting behind the camera, this is not an original or interesting story and the action is below average with Smokey And The Bandit-style police car crashes. Somehow however, with a $76 million budget, this movie made over $236 million so another sequel was greenlit.

Fast And Furious 3 aka The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Tokyo Drift posterTokyo Drift was a wannabe Halloween III (doing something different with the franchise) kinda film, but unlike Halloween’s third outing, this was utterly dull. Opening with the raping of Colonel Bagshot’s “Six Days War” (a band who are incorrectly pluralised as “Colonel Bagshots” in the end credits) this film contains none of the stars of the first two pictures. The Hip-Hop one-in-one-out continues however, with Bow Wow replacing Ludacris but to be fair, Bow is not a bad actor. It’s also nice to see Caleb from American Gothic but not necessarily Brad from Home Improvement.

We start the “plot” in the U.S. and we begin with surprise, surprise, a race but instead of competing for pink slips, the “winner gets me” declares a girl, and along with the race starting at the drop of a bra, this is obviously the typically sexist Fast & Furious franchise we all know and loathe. Ignoring the car racing, this is a fish out of water story about an American “kid” called Sean (although he looks 30) who is sent to Japan because it’s either that or juvie (due to him driving his hooptie banger through a housing development). When Sean arrives in Tokyo, we meet his father and we see what looks like a prostitute with bruises on her face exiting his property. I suppose it’s appropriate for this sexist franchise to go full-on misogynist here, but because Sean’s dad is in the Navy we’ll never mention this woman-beater’s, sorry, patriotic hero’s wrong-doing again… U-S-A, U-S-A!

50% of this threequel is a Karate Kid-esque learning of a skill (intentionally oversteering instead of fly kicking) but I care even less about drifting than DVD player theft. Whenever there is a car chase, there’s more views of the front of the cars so even these sequences have no peril or excitement. We do at least have a time capsule of Japanese car-modification here with Bow Wow’s Hulk-themed compact MPV. When we first see this fist-punch-dented vehicle, Bow Wow says “my car’s one of a kind” which it is, but like his MTV Cribs episode it’s probably rented. 😉

There are a few minor positives here if you look for them; the Neptunes-produced title song by the Teriyaki Boyz was catchy for the time I suppose, and we meet the likeable character Han (played by Sung Kang) who is constantly seen snacking like a long-haired guinea pig. Han is inexplicably killed off but then resurrected in later movies, an unfortunate trend of this franchise which places it firmly in Days Of Our Lives, The Bold And The Beautiful, or The Young And The Restless territory.

I also have to mention the unintentionally but extremely homoerotic (and therefore hilarious) closing lines with Sean saying to the hench Dominic Toretto “I didn’t know Han was into American Muscle” to which Dom replies “He was when he was rolling with me” …gaaaaaaaaaay!

Tokyo Drift made the most modest of profits so far in the franchise making $159 million from $85 million budget. I guess any profit is profit to Hollywood execs, so onward and downward we go…

Fast And Furious 4 aka Fast & Furious (2009)

Fast & Furious posterThe fourth installment had a very unimaginative title and replacing the “And” with the ampersand is the only updating here. We have a daft plot about Letty being dead (possibly because actor Michelle Rodriguez was busy doing Avatar?) and Dom investigating her murder. This leads to underworld crime and drug trafficking once again implausibly linked with street racing, kinda like far-right conspiracy theories linking the sale of halal meat with terrorism. 🤯

We’re offered a ludicrous storyline, ironically without Ludacris in the cast. This is a prequel to Tokyo Drift since we see the now deceased Han with Dom’s team. They’re back to truck heisting but it’s not DVD players this time around, it’s err petroleum? I didn’t know gas prices were that high in 2009, or is it 2001 or 2003 perhaps?

Fast & Furious was another crappy film even without mentioning the plot. We had Paul Walker looking miserable for the entire runtime, the CGI’d mine tunnels looked like a level in Donkey Kong Country, and there was a pointless sat nav animation complete with stills of scantily clad women when the route was complete. Whilst on this topic, I may as well mention Gal Gadot, who saw fit to appear in a series filled (so far) with women as merely sexual conquests but in a time of fake-wokeness, she’s suddenly anti-sexism, and Wonder Woman is now a fake-feminist icon.

Back to the movie, the soundtrack’s somehow worse (it’s more pop than ever) with Lil’ John, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, and Pharrell. We also have a side character looking like Machine Gun Kelly with a foot fetish and Mia at one point says Dom is her “only brother” but later on in the franchise we have Jakob. Mmm, bad writing and continuity issues. Along with this movie’s semi-serious tone, the whole thing comes off as uninteresting and the worst in the series.

You could be petrol head but this is the kind of film that’ll make you hate cars. Despite being the weakest film in the franchise, this $85 million movie grossed over $360 million! I’d love to know; who in the flying fender rushed to see this garbage at the cinema?

Fast And Furious 5 aka Fast Five (2011)

Fast Five posterYou might think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is and always was a part of this franchise but he didn’t show up until the fifth film. The filmmakers found a chunkier and balder adversary for Vin so they kept him for a few of the future flicks. The Rock hunts down our protagonists who are now fugitives in Rio de Janeiro. Vince is back from the first film (if anyone cares), we have what looks like a chubby Christopher Lambert as the villain (Joaquim d Almeida who I suppose is an upgrade to Wing’s Hauser’s son Cole from the second film), and Han is once again present so this is another pre-Tokyo-Drift-set film (if that even matters).

There’s lots of minor issues here and there. There’s irritating subtitles coming from left and right like a news chiron from hell, the opening features the dumbest escape plan involving toppling a bus and almost killing Dom, and might I suggest that the team wear a mask and maybe use untraceable, indistinguishable cars for breaking someone out of prison transport, especially when one of them is an ex-fed? Dom now suddenly possesses superhero-like powers, breaking his wrists out of metal chains when faced with torture. There’s a subplot about the villain hiding his criminal-endeavours (a delivery schedule and a ledger) in a car audio microchip when surely an password protected document in an encrypted thumb-drive would suffice. All this silliness is thankfully redeemed by Justin Lin’s direction of the safe heist finale which is exciting and impressive given the non-action-pedigree of films 1 through 4.

So yes, Lin (who directed Tokyo Drift) suddenly created action on a level with other blockbusters of the day. Film fans always talk about the rarity of a superior sequel (Terminator 2 or err… Ouija 2) but Fast Five has to be unique in that it betters every movie that came before it. I know it’s not a high bar but for a fifth film to be better than all four of its predecessors has to be noteworthy in cinematic history.

The tone and narrative here is somewhere between Bad Boys, the Italian Job remake, and one of the mid-to-late Mission Impossible films. Ignoring the crap acting and comedy, overall Fast 5 is a decent movie. There’s less scantily-clad racer groupies and a somewhat realistic heist (compared with what’s to come). This was a formula that worked and the filmmakers should have stuck with it. What doesn’t work is a post-credit scene showing us Letty isn’t dead, a soap-opera addition that not only ruined the upbeat and seemingly complete ending, it unfortunately became a bigger part of the franchise than the satisfying action. Oh yes, with a budget of $125 million, Fast Five made just over $626 million.

Fast And Furious 6 aka Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Fast & Furious 6 posterPart six was all about nostalgia with the opening titles showing the previous films. Justin Lin’s chases were never going to be on-par with something like Ronin but there weren’t any set pieces as satisfying as the fifth outing either (so maybe Fast 5 was a fluke?). This movie is noteworthy for featuring the first utterance of “family” by Mia (then by the Rock, then later by Vin). This buzzword is now a hackneyed concept that’s part cliché and part parody of the franchise. It’s odd how many people mention this line but it hasn’t featured in the series that much (if at all) until now.

The whizzing subtitles are back as is the Rock, Interpol’s only bodybuilding, consultant assaulter who works for the Diplomatic Security Service. Like I already said, in full soap opera mode, Letty isn’t deceased, plus she has amnesia and is working for a British criminal, an ex-SAS mastermind Shaw played by Luke Evans. Shaw is building a “nightshade device”, a tech bomb, so cue the filmic cliche of “getting the team back together”.

Speaking of the team, Tyrese delivers his comedic lines well, Ludacris on the other hand does not. Gal Gadot’s character Giselle is killed off in this one which is a good thing ’cause after Wonder Woman she’d be too expensive (although after WW84 maybe her fee went down). Fast & Furious 6 also features a cameo by Rita Ora which possibly made her think she could act and which therefore directly lead to the god-awful Twist. So now we know who’s to blame.

This has clearly now become the completely unbelievable Fast & Furious series so we have Dwayne Johnson jumping an overpass onto a heavily armoured car and surviving. There’s a tank chase which is almost entertaining but the flying-through-the-air-catch by Dom at the end is completely beyond belief. The final airplane sequence is not as fun as it wants to be and in my opinion is a let-down after the aforementioned tank.

There’s a few other issues. The team are contracted by the D.S.S. but Dom has to remove his own bullet at one point. We’re also told London is the “worst city in the world to commit a crime” because there’s CCTV everywhere but we Brits know this didn’t apply to 7/7 or other terror events. 🧐 Just like 7/7, wherever Shaw is the CCTV is down, but unfortunately Fast & Furious 6 is not subversive enough to be a comment on real life events.

The pacing here is very slow, yes there’s action but with lots of lulls in-between. There’s way too much standing around and talking and there’s a pointless Jean Claude Van Damme Death Warrant-style prison-undercover subplot and even a Lethal Weapon 3 comparing of scars but not as effective. Han goes off to Tokyo Drift at the end of this one so we’re finally out of the noughties (someone tell the set designer and costumer, nevermind, they’re ignoring the time this is supposedly set).

The budget for this one has a few different numbers online but it made over $788 million so nobody cares. In any case, this wasn’t a great movie and that applies to the soundtrack too. The end credits shows how “Pop” Hip-Pop can truly get…

Fast And Furious 7 aka Furious 7 (2015)

Furious 7 posterFast & Furious 7 is where Horror director James Wan took over. It turns out he isn’t as good at directing action as he is at creating horror, constantly rotating the camera thinking that’ll be sufficient in terms of action. The story is a revenge mission; Shaw’s brother, err.. Shaw who comes to the hospital to infect his brother’s wounds by placing a machine gun on his body, now wants payback! This would be a decent Die Hard With A Vengeance-type sequel but the writers by the looks of things, had other things in mind. We’re now firmly in “out of ideas” area of the franchise. You know the thing that happened before? Well it’s gonna happen again in a different location… cue “God’s Eye” another tech device more deadlier than the “Nightshade” device from before. We now have its inventor Ramsey (played by Nathalie Emmanuel) which in my opinion convolutes the revenge aspect of this film. And oh yeah, given this is still the Fast & Furious franchise, even at world-ending events there’s lots of supercars.

At the start of the film we see Brian revving his car but we cut to him doing the school drop off. This shows James Wan isn’t that great at comedy, and in retrospect this is where he got the tone for his disappointing movie Malignant. Please no more Aquamen Wan! But I digress. Whilst on the topic of Brian, this as you may know, is the film in which Paul Walker tragically died whilst it was still being made. Walker’s brother had to body-double for him with the addition of a CGI face composited from previous films. Early on in the first movie we had two separate characters commenting about Brian “blowing [himself] up” which you could say is kinda prophetic, but alongside Ja Rule’s atrocious acting you didn’t notice the possible foreshadowing of history. In this the seventh film, we have one scene where Brian’s son throws out a red toy car, possibly a Porsche (the car Paul died in) which is a little offensive if it was added post-mortem and spooky if it was already shot. Mia at one point also walks past a silver Porsche, which looks like James Dean’s final car (another actor who perished in a sports car). I’m no expert in vehicle models but this stuff had me thinking, which is more than the storyline did.

For original fans of this franchise who don’t want to ponder, it’s back to bikinis, thongs, and asses, including the actual arse Iggy Azalea doing her fake Yank accent and her bad acting, although like Ja, it’s not that obvious amongst everyone else (BTW if you know about Iggy Azalea I guess it’s appropriate for her character to attend something called “race wars”). This is now 2015 but people are still dressed like the 2000’s. This shit is about as stylish as Dom’s shiny, patent leather shoes, and with cringe-worthy lines like “Time to unleash the beast”, we’re most definitely stuck in the past here.

Speaking of the past, Colonel Bagshot’s “Six Days War” plays again when we cut to Tokyo, a cut-and-shut addition to the 2003 film, where mid conversation, Sean ages by 12 years. Holy hot rod, we’re finally connecting pieces that most likely weren’t ever intended to be connected.

Furious 7 is clearly trying to be Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with the jet-setting and middle eastern building action-ing-ing. The CGI isn’t great (the armoured bus, the car falling in Abu Dhabi, the drone). Paul Walker’s lips when flying through the air from tower to tower shows how poor the CGI is. This doesn’t matter because nothing here is real; for instance a car breaks the Rock’s fall again, from what looks like the tenth floor. We also have numerous scenes where special forces and DVD player thieves have a fight, as well as Tony Jaa getting his ass whooped by Paul Walker. Sure.

The Rock at one point channels his inner-Schwarzenneger with his Terminator 2 mini gun (although without the menace or the mood). Despite there being nods to classic action flicks, this franchise can’t meet or exceed them. Like I said, James Wan should stick to Horror.

When the Charlie Puth song starts playing at the end, like me, you may shed a tear. There’s a pre-credit dedication “For Paul” along with a montage of the previous films, which unlike the montage in the sixth opener, now has a reason to look back. The overhead parting of the road scene is also sad, but because of real life events rather than direction or the writing that precedes it. This movie made $1.5 billion, the most so far, and despite this being partly because Paul Walker would never act again and fans therefore went to watch his final film, Hollywood wouldn’t relent in their upcoming soulless profit-making.

Fast And Furious 8 aka The Fate Of The Furious (2017)

The Fate Of The Furious posterFate opens in Havana, Cuba and the director we’re given this time is F. Gary Gray who’s hit and miss when it comes to his filmography (Friday and Italian Job vs. A Man Apart and Be Cool). There’s a street race for the car crowd and a bit of upskirt thong action for the, err.. car crowd. At this point it’s all just a tried and tested formula for generating money, it’s hackneyed, it’s trite, and of course there’s no Paul Walker which is a much bigger hole than a missing Vin Diesel in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

This is one of the most forgettable stories and movies in the series. Charlize Theron plays Cypher, a highly-funded but highly-unbelievable spy-cum-terrorist who blackmails Dom into stealing an E.M.P. At one point we’re shown Cypher’s profile on a computer monitor and her weight is “unknown” because a lady never tells her age or weight, whereas Dom is “215” pounds if anyone’s interested. Charlize not blinking creates a great villain apparently (err… no) good enough to appear in the next one or two films (fuck knows why).

So what’s this one about I hear nobody ask. Well, SPOILER ALERT… not, Dom’s child with Elena (a very forgettable minor character) is at risk of being killed by Cypher so he has to go rogue (cliche alert)! There’s some corny lines here about earning respect and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says “big mistake!” like he’s now channeling Last Action Hero rather than the previous T2. The rest of the team (who are “ride or die” 🤢) follow Dom and try to help him rather than kick his big behind. Everybody’s back from the previous film, even the “God’s Eye” device is back, because this is reminiscence and continuation for no reason other than profit.

The Rock’s Hobbs is at one point taken to prison and Statham’s Deckard Shaw is in the same prison (he’s no longer in his own vault like Magneto). This is where presumably, Hobbs And Shaw first becomes a thought in someone’s Hollywood-head, as though the pair have some kind of chemistry (they don’t).

There’s poor CGI once more (look at the shadow under the parked Lamborghini in Russia, it’s clearly not there) not to mention believability with Cypher possessing the ability to take over any car’s controls (surely clutch, gas, and brake aren’t tied-in to the computer circuitry?). Cypher has a plane and a small army of lackeys, but for some reason she needs Dom to execute her dastardly plans. Oh yeah, there’s no road on an ice sheet, but for some reason our heroes can’t turn left or right from a submarine chasing them from behind and underneath.

There’s lots of other problems. The F&F team in the command centre feel like a Sunday evening family TV show, especially because of the way Nathalie delivers her lines, and the English Helen Mirren does a bad English accent if that’s at all possible (which it apparently is). F. Gary copies J. Wan’s flipping of the camera in a fight which means this is not an “Original Film” like the company involved in the production. If the first movie was an updating of Point Break, this would be Point Break 2, a film without Reeves or Swayze but with Gary Busey and Anthony Kiedis. I don’t understand people who were or are watching this dross, it’s just not the same without Paul Walker.

The music is once again awful like the finished film itself (a lead single by Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, and Migos? Please no). It’s not “one more ride” because from a budget of between $250 – $270 million, this garbage made over $1.2 billion so there’s at least one more pissing ride to go! 🤦

Fast And Furious 9 aka F9 (2021)

F9 posterIn the ninth (bloody hell, count it, ninth!) we’re offered (whether we want it or not) a racing backstory for the Toretto family set in 1989. Dom now has a brother played by muscle-bound but Nordic-chinned John Cena. Han is now miraculously alive along with the previously deceased-not-deceased, amnesiac Letty. Despite this soap opera extension of the character list, we’re still left with the previous installment’s leftovers, namely Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. This is odd when every film from 1 to 7 was kinda self contained.

Justin Lin who directed the best (the fifth) and the worst (the fourth) is now back to make err… the most meh? There’s nonsensical plot points once again. We’re told vehicles have to travel around 80mph to clear landmines which our heroes do but since the enemy’s 4×4’s keep up with them, how come they’re blowing up? In Furious 7, in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Nobody (Russell) had a helicopter to rescue him within minutes of being shot, but now his plane is brought down and he has to call a bunch of ex-DVD thieves. Okay.

At least the direction is a tad better than F. Gary Gray’s previous bullshit but there’s lulls, obvious CGI (the telltale haze around everyone which means people are not in that environment but against a green screen), retroactively toned down sexism in the past, and Helen Mirren doing a “Dick Van Dyke” with her accent again. There’s too much backstory and there’s too much soap opera retconning (Han’s death and Jacob being a spy for Mr. Nobody). This is also a reunion of the previous characters (or cast members) but there’s no Devon Edwenna Aoki or Jeffrey Bruce Atkins Sr. 😉 I know we had a one-in-one-out system in the early flicks but it’s no longer just for rappers, it’s for racists (Cardi B now replacing Iggy Azalea from the seventh movie). And if it at all matters, every single one of the emotional familial notes fail.

At this point you might as well stick with thongs and upskirt shots since this is part of the franchise’s U.S.P. but oh no, in a time of fake-wokeness, we have to tone down the sexism. Why do I call this a “fake-woke” time you ask? Well #MeToo means we can’t have scantily-clad sluts any more but Cardi “I called a black woman a ‘burnt roach’” B is included in the cast because being woke is superficial in Hollywood, it’s meaningless window dressing to distract the mainstream from obvious shit.

The most glaring problem here is the fact that Mia seems to show up to any random scene but her hubby Brian refuses to because hE HaS A cHiLd NoW (surely their child potentially losing a mother is just as bad as potentially losing a father?). All this feels fake and even wrong. Brian would at least be invited to a house renovation BBQ, oh wait, here’s his Skyline pulling-up to the Toretto house. We’ll keep up the pretence that Brian’s alive because execs didn’t want to end on a poignant moment a couple of films back. 🙄

From a reported $225 million budget, F9 made $726 million, closer to Hobbs & Shaw‘s $760 million box office rather than previous two billion dollar generators. You’d think this would be enough to leave the franchise there but a profit’s a profit to a money-grabbing tit from Tinseltown.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

I know that technically, Hobbs And Shaw is part of the series, but I don’t have the constitution to watch that shit again, so just read my old review. Just because there’s a rumoured feud between The Rock and The Iron Giant, there was almost no need for this film to exist, and that includes the atrocious soundtrack…

In a time of MTV’s Pimp My Ride with that sellout Xzibit, every other rapper yelling about their “20-inch rims”, twats wearing velour suits, and every music video containing a fish-eye lens and thong-n-ass-shaking “bitches”, art and society was devolving in front of our very eyes. With a pointless war or two and a culture drought in full-effect, people had nothing better to do but make their cars look “good” and I suppose the public consumed this kind of nonsense in droves. Car mechanics and illegal racers with a harem was of course a young male fantasy. Watch any street race on TikTok and see what the audience really looks like… not a silver thong in sight.

With cameos by Iggy Azalea and Cardi B charting the decline of female rappers, Hip-Pop music, and acting in one foul swoop (as well as promoting racists) this was a franchise teeming with tackiness. It’s astounding that some of the films in this franchise get close to five stars from audience members (and even some critics) even though almost all of them are average or well below average. The first four are pretty bad, but it seems the more money you throw at this franchise, the films never seem to get better. After re-watching all the flicks in this series, I think I actually prefer the low-budget kitsch of the first rather than the big-budget blockbuster behemoth we have today.

I should also mention that the franchise’s titles are all over the place (“Fast And The Furious”, “Fast & Furious”, “Fast Five”, “Furious 7”, “Fate Of The Furious”, “F9” etc.) which shows there’s no consistency. Never mind swapping directors willy nilly, we went from low-key storylines to apocalyptic, spy-war nonsense.

With Jason Statham and now Jason Momoa showing up claiming to be relatives of previous villains, I’m surprised that Keanu Reeves hasn’t popped-up during the end credits with blonde hair playing Paul Walker’s brother, that way the series could feature Arch motorcycles riding around a volcano or some other inane, money-making shit whilst throwaway, autotuned muzak plays in the background.

Let’s face it: this franchise could have ended with the fifth and best movie, or on a poignant note with Paul Walker’s tragic death during the seventh but no, money was and is calling and producers and movie studios are listening to the sound of ka-ching-ing. That being said, the budget has now ballooned to almost ten times the original so is there any profit left to be made? For the reported cost of $340 million, Fast X could have blown the actual Vatican up! This noughties Mac OS-sounding blockbuster, we’re told, leads to an eleventh (and hopefully final film) but this means this franchise is going nowhere soon, and if the next two flicks do make a killing at the box-office, you just know there’ll be a spin-off or two.

So to close: The Fast Franchise has had more character resurrections than the Bible, more made-up backstories than History class, more cast changes than a West End show during the plague, and more ass on show than a proctology pop-up tent at a gay strip-club. This is not a good combination for a film franchise. This turbocharged shite needs to end fast.


From The Vaults Of

I intended to write about the entire Fast & Furious Franchise before my review of F9 but I missed the deadline. Approximately half this article remained in note form until I recently finished and updated it.

Back To Top

What Went Wrong Or Right With This Article? (spam & shite will be deleted)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.