Sunday, May 26, 2013


So, I came into this series a nay-sayer.  As a longtime film aficionado, I scoffed and felt myself above a series like The Fast & The Furious.  It was junk, garbage, for morons, bros, idiots.  It was stupid and Americans were dumb for dumping their money into it.  All these presumptions I could make from only having seen one film in the entire franchise.

Forgive me, I was wrong.

I went in expecting terror, torment and anger by the time I worked myself through it.  Instead, I found myself engaged in a lot of fun, with colorful, memorable characters that I enjoyed seeing in high speed, car action adventures.  It wasn’t bad, and I ended up enjoying enough entries that I’m definitely buying the set on blu-ray and CAN NOT WAIT for the seventh film.  Thankfully, its coming next summer!

Now, I’m sure a few of these films are bound to turn people off and you may not find things I or others like in them…but I strongly urge you to get through them.  To watch all of them in the correct order.  There are many rewarding moments in the recent films that will pay off fully for your troubles.  Once you get to Fast Five…you’ll thank me.  And you’ll look back a little differently.

Where does it hold its place among franchises and what is unique to it?  Well, oddly, this series has worked backward in terms of normal franchise standards.  You’re not supposed to be making your best entries with the 5 & 6th editions.  That’s just kinda crazy.  But the Fast series has accomplished it.

And now, a unique addition to the rankings I do.  I’m going to include Furious 6, the new and most recent entry, in my rankings.  Since I don’t have a history with this series that goes beyond this year, and I’ve only seen all the films once (twice for 2 of them), I have no bias putting it in the mix.  The extra films I watched – Point Break, No Man’s Land and Better Luck Tomorrow will not be included.

Push that NOS button, cuz here we go!

6.  2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003) 
After all that praise for the franchise, I have to sit and discuss this painful viewing.  Easily the worst film in the franchise.  This movie was just incredibly juvenile and stupid.  I’m going to give it a second chance one day.  The first viewing was so polarizing to me that maybe I need to see it again after knowing what to expect.  Maybe it’s the kind of stupid movie I could learn to embrace for its dumb qualities.  Maybe. (look out BMGB’ers muahaha) 

5. FAST & FURIOUS (2009)
 I wanted to put this higher based on the opening act.  The fuel tanker robbery and the Brian O’Connor foot chase are friggin’ terrific.  I loved them.  But immediately following its first act turn, this movie takes a nosedive.  The direction and acting is better, but it starts going back to old ways (while cinematically looking very nice) and relies too heavy on CG for me to enjoy it for any action sequences.  It’s a movie that does give hope for future installments, but as a whole it’s just not up to snuff.  I could watch it again, but really it’s deserving of this spot. 

4.      THE FAST & THE FURIOUS (2001)
It’s a rather silly movie, but it’s pretty entertaining.  Beat for beat borrowing from Point Break, but lighter on the goofiness and holding up much better.  It’s a movie that’s merely passable on its action, but that’s to blame on its uninspired director.  A difference in this one compared to others, while we’re amused at its silliness and having fun, this film is taking itself seriously.  Somehow it works.  And its an “ok” movie. 

When there were only 4 films in the franchise, this was inarguably the most complete package.  While I don’t care for the film’s lead, that’s a personal bias.  The rest of the feature is a solid well rounded film.  As colleague and Fast aficionado Aaron Neuwirth has stated, this is The Karate Kid with cars.  And it’s pretty fun.  It introduces us to my favorite character of the series, Han.  It gets better with more views too.  I know this was laughed at upon release due to its title, but it’s actually good.

The series just keeps on…trucking?  Haha.  I had a ton of fun seeing this one in the theaters.  Its big, its wow’ing and thrills from start to finish.  I just reviewed it, so you can see more details of what I liked so much about it there (yeah, being lazy, haha).

No question.  This one put the series on the map for the masses.  Even the snootiest of film lovers can’t deny this fun action movie.  Its an engaging celebration of cars and action.  A fun lovable cast mixed in with high tension and big stunts and effects.  If you want to sit for an action film this is it.  It delivers.  It’s not only one of the best of recent years, but definitely tops in the genre of all time. 

Thank you for keeping up with my FURIOUS retrospective.  I’m really glad I did this one.  Thought I was going to want a bunch of time back.  Instead I want to spend more time watching a few of these. 

NEXT TIME:  I trade in my American muscle for some muscle in blue and red tights.

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