By Ruthie Cordia
The Fast and Furious franchise started off in 2001 with their latest release F9: The Fast Saga in 2021. The movies follow Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a street racer, and his friends and family as they go on missions and get themselves into a whole lot of trouble. These movies are action packed and always end with a cliffhanger. Many people have been obsessed with the franchise since its first movie back in 2001 but some are wondering if they took it too far?
The Fast and The Furious (2001) starts out with Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), an undercover cop, being taken under the wing of Dom Toretto. Dom and his rival at the time, Johnny, are both suspects in dirty money and big-rig hijacking. Mia (Jordana Brewster), Dom’s sister, falls for Brian not knowing that he is an undercover cop. When things take a turn for the worst Brian ends up choosing a life with the criminals over the law.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) follows Brian and an old frenemy Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) as they team up to go undercover to take out a drug lord. I know what you’re wondering. Didn’t I just say Brian chose a life with the criminals. The truth is that they are going undercover in exchange for their criminal records being erased.
Tokyo Drift (2006) takes an entirely new spin on the world that was being created. Switching lanes we are now taken to Tokyo to follow a high school car enthusiast named Sean Boswell (Lucas Black).
Fast and Furious (2009) takes us back to Brian and Dom. The FBI recruits them to help take down a drug lord named Arturo Braga. The common ground between the FBI and the two men is that Braga murdered Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) who was Doms girlfriend at the time.
Fast Five (2011) keeps following Bria, Dom, and Mia as they plan to steal 100 million from a corrupt businessman. Also during this time they are being hunted by a Diplomatic Security Service agent named Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
Fast and Furious 6 (2013) starts to get complicated when Hobbs now offers amnesty to Dom and Brian’s team if they help him bring down an organization led by a man named Owen Shaw. SPOILER ALERT. Things start to get even more complicated when its found out that a member of the organization is Letty Ortiz who at the time was thought to be dead.
Furious 7 (2015) introduces new bad guy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who is now after Dom and his team because they put Owen Shaw in a coma.
Fate of the Furious (2017) introduces another new bad guy but this time she is a girl. Cipher, a cyberterrorist, forces Dom to go rogue and work with her while his team fights to take them both down.
F9: The Fast Saga (2021) is a blast to the past as Dom now has to take down a new plot that is headed by Cipher and his estranged younger brother Jakob. Not only does F9 have the same action packed scenes as all the other movies but it also takes us deeper into Dom’s past. It answers many questions that a lot of us have had for years. Questions like what actually happened to Dom’s father? Why did we never hear a word about Jakob all these years? Other people had different questions. Did they go too far taking Roman and Tej (Ludacris) to space? How exactly did the magnets work the way they did?
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me explain. Some felt that the franchise took things a little too far with the release of F9. Unlike every other movie in the series they take a very modern spin on it. As a last resort they send Roman and Tej to outer space. Yes I just said outer space. In a car wearing what looks like a scuba outfit instead of a space suit. They also do something else during this scene that makes many people question how the two are still alive.
Personally I do agree that they may have gone too far with it but I also believe the original message and action packed fun still remains in the series. Fast and Furious has always been about family. Not just blood relatives but the friends that you will consider family for life. F9 also brought in a new message. Forgiveness and that things are not always what they seem in the moment. Dom and Jakob may have a complicated past and if they had never met eye to eye again things may have never changed. You have to watch the movies to completely understand.
It’s a series you will fall in love with. A series that some days you will wake up and have to remind yourself that it is fiction. The feelings however are real. The characters you fall in love with and even the ones you hate. They are real to the fans of the franchise. Many of the people who love this franchise felt as though they lost someone very important to them back in 2013. Paul Walker who played the ex-cop Brian O’Connor died in a tragic car accident. Throughout the movies that Paul has not been a part of they did place memories for us viewers. Dom now has a child named Brian and in the series Mia and Brian are safe at home with their two kids. This franchise is also still growing. Hobbs and Shaw came out in 2019 as a spinoff of Fate of the Furious. Upcoming projects such as Hobbs and Shaw 2, a womens movie, and Fast and Furious: Spy Racers which is a cartoon television show.
Not everyone is going to like this franchise the way some of us do. Do not feel bad if that is you. As for the rest of you, please watch the first film. If you like action, if you like seeing bonds as strong as family, and especially if you enjoy watching criminals who aren’t really the bad guys. Yes it can get confusing at times but I guarantee it will become your favorite just like it is mine.