The Fast & Furious series has evolved greatly from its humble beginnings. Over the course of seven films we have watched Dominic Toretto and his crew go from street racing criminals to government sponsored superheroes (or elite task force if you will). While fans can debate the ranking of their favorite films in the series, for the record The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is great, one thing they can agree on is that the franchise has continually raised the entertainment bar. As the plots of each film get more elaborate, and the family bonds grow deeper, the action sequences have become more over-the-top. With The Fate of the Furious about to speed into theatres, we look back at the eight most wonderfully outlandish moments in the Fast & Furious franchise. Warning spoilers ahead:
Etihad Towers Jump – Furious 7
Traveling to Abu Dhabi to locate the God’s Eye USB drive, the team discovers that the device is installed in a rare Lykan HyperSport. As luck would have it, the car just happens to be owned by a Prince and stored in a secure room in one of the Etihad Towers. Of course when the villainous Deckard Shaw shows up and foils the team’s plan to steal the device, Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner have no alternative but to drive the rare sports car out the window knowing full well that “cars don’t fly.” What makes this particular scene gloriously ridiculous is not just the fact that they jump the car from tower to tower, but the fact that it is the explosion from Shaw’s weapon that gives the Lykan HyperSport the propulsion needed to reach the next tower.
Leap of Faith – Fast & Furious 6
From flipping cars to dual fights in the subway, Fast & Furious 6 is a treasure trove of top-notch action. A perfect example of this is the thrilling highway tank sequence. Cars jump across highways, characters leap from one car to the next, and tons of vehicles are destroyed. However, the standout moment comes when Toretto goes full “Superman” by propelling himself into the air to catch Letty Ortiz who would have otherwise plunged to her death. Though a car eventually breaks their fall, it is clear that Toretto had no prior knowledge that things would work out so well. He merely took one of the many leaps of faith that conveniently occurs in this series.
Drifting in Shibuya Crossing – The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
From a narrative standpoint, Tokyo Drift may be the most plausible of all the Fast & Furious films. It does not have the gleeful insanity of the films that come after it, but it is far better than most give it credit for. Having said that, it is not immune to moments where one needs to suspend their disbelief. For an example of this look no further than the chase scene that ensues when Takashi discovers that his business partner Han Seoul-Oh has been stealing from him. Weaving through the streets of Tokyo, guns firing, the chase takes all the parties involved to the famous Shibuya intersection. Miraculously, the sea of people part just enough, as if Moses himself was walking though, giving Sean Boswell and the rest of the drivers enough room to drift through without injuring a single civilian.
The Safe Heist – Fast Five
This magical ability to engage in reckless actions without injuring innocent civilians hits its peak in the climax of Fast Five. In any other film breaking into a police station to steal millions of dollars would be outlandish enough; Toretto and crew take things to a whole other level when they pull a stolen safe through the streets of Brazil. As the safe bounces around like a tetherball-destroying banks, police cars, and countless other items- the citizens near the carnage walk away unscathed.
O’Conner Trapped on a Bus – Furious 7
Truth be told, this whole list could be made up with Furious 7 moments as the whole premise is ludicrous. While many will point to the parachuting cars as an example, it is the ending of that particular action sequence that is truly outlandish. After freeing Ramsay, and fighting Kiet, O’Conner finds himself trapped in a bus that is sliding towards the edge of a cliff. On its side, and teetering over the edge, O’Conner manages to open the door, which is facing the steep drop, and climb up across the windshield to the top side of the bus. As if that was not unbelievable enough, he runs across the bus, which is now beginning to fall off the cliff, and jumps off just in time to grab the spoiler of Oritz’s sliding car.
Train Heist – Fast Five
O’Conner’s uncanny ability to get stuck on things only to have to jump off at the last minute can be seen in the train heist sequence in Fast Five. Where does one even start with this scene? Desperate for cash O’Conner, Toretto and his sister Mia agree to take a job that will have them stealing high end cars from a train right under the DEA’s nose. The elaborate heist, which no one on the train seems to notice until the last minute, goes horribly wrong when Reyes’ men double-cross them. After the flatbed truck he is on crashes into the side of the train and catches fire, O’Conner finds himself hanging off the flatbed as the train speeds towards a bridge. As is par for the franchise, O’Conner leaps onto the top of Toretto’s car moments before it smashes into the bridge, and causing a massive fireball they have to outrun, only to realize that they are headed at top speed for a cliff with a drop that would injure the average person. Of course these are no average men, and they survive the whole event with nothing more than a few mild bruises.
Tanker on Fire – Fast & Furious
The fourth films’ greatest appeal is the reuniting of the original cast. The first of several prequels in the franchise, the film takes place before the events in Tokyo Drift, but it never matches the height of its absurd opening. Toretto and team are back to stealing from truckers, in this case a gasoline tanker, despite having tools suited for banks. When things go wrong, Toretto and Ortiz find their vehicle stuck between a turned over truck and one of the on fire tanks barreling towards them. This does not bother Toretto though as he manages drive under the bouncing tank just before it explodes. In order to time it so perfectly, Toretto was clearly tapping into his James Bond level of precision.
The Longest Runway – Fast & Furious 6
Hands down the most thrilling of all the actions sequence in the Fast & Furious franchise, the army base runway is the gift that keeps on giving. Taking place on the longest runway in cinematic history, the climax of Fast & Furious 6 has it all. There is plenty of action, humor and even heart – Gisele and Han’s final scene together still gets the eyes misty to this day. What is wonderful about this epic sequence is that there is so much going on all at the same time. The numerous fights on the plane are matched by the equally outlandish car inspired conflicts occurring on the outside. In regards to the latter, some of the best moments come when the vehicles are interlocked in battle while attempting to anchor down the jumbo plane.
As an added bonus we’ve also included a just released preview clip of a chase scene from the upcoming Fate of the Furious.