The highly anticipated ‘Fast & Furious X’ has hit theaters, aiming to dominate the box office like the rest of the adventures in this universe. Few franchises enjoy such good health after being this far along, but their creators have found the right formula to captivate audiences: offering increasingly grandiose and entertaining spectacles, which is ultimately what many fans crave.
However, in this article, we won’t be discussing box office numbers. Instead, we will delve into the quality of a franchise that began twenty years ago and will have at least two more adventures. Below, I have ranked the eleven movies in the series from worst to best, along with my reasons. Remember, this is just my personal opinion.
11. ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’
An absolute disaster that, in other cases, would have killed the franchise. While Vin Diesel still had room for improvement in the first installment, his absence is sorely felt. Paul Walker doesn’t have what it takes to carry a film that becomes increasingly absurd. Though intentionally done to elevate the spectacle, the simplification of the story to appeal to a wider audience is unsatisfying in every aspect.
10. ‘The Fast and the Furious’
A rather brainless undercover remake of ‘Point Break,’ with the distinction of being the most focused on the world of motorsports. However, a terrible script and the poor direction of Rob Cohen prevent it from reaching its full potential. It is worth noting that Diesel’s charisma, which later defined his career, is already evident in this film.
9. ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’
An unexpected twist that breathed new life into the franchise by exploring the collision between cultures. The best part is still the final cameo. Justin Lin utilizes the Japanese capital to give the franchise a fresh twist, and Lucas Black proves to be more capable than Paul Walker at the forefront. However, the stupidity outweighs the entertainment value, leaving one yearning for the excesses that would later be amplified in future installments.
8. ‘Fast & Furious’
An important step forward in the franchise reset orchestrated by Chris Morgan and Lin. It starts off powerfully, showcasing the excesses that only escalate over time. While several good ideas are scattered throughout, the overall execution falls slightly short. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step for understanding the transition of the franchise, with car races becoming a means rather than an end.
7. ‘The Fate of the Furious’
The madness that the franchise is known for reaches new heights with a thrilling submarine chase. This film presents several iconic moments, particularly those featuring the hilarious duo of Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson. However, Diesel’s excessive screen time and a ridiculous explanation for his turn to the dark side are detrimental to the film. Additionally, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are underutilized.
6. ‘Hobbs & Shaw’
The first spin-off shamelessly relies on the charisma of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Their chemistry is evident, and the film knows when to prioritize action and when to let humor take the lead. Interestingly, the best moments result from the characters’ playful rivalry, reminiscent of Legolas and Gimli in ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
5. ‘Fast & Furious 9’
Another step forward in the franchise’s shameless pursuit of entertaining audiences. It showcases the franchise’s ability to deliver constant improvisation, although the return of Han may feel somewhat underwhelming. If you embrace the film’s game and let yourself be carried away, it’s a fabulous experience.
4. ‘Furious 7’
With high expectations as Statham takes on the role of the main villain, the film falls slightly short. It feels unbalanced, trying to introduce new elements like the mutation into a streetwise version of ‘Mission Impossible’ while simultaneously grappling with the tragic death of Walker. Nonetheless, exciting scenes abound. However, the presence of Johnson and Statham is missed.
3. ‘Fast and Furious X’
An absolute blast that rewrites scenes that have already occurred within the film itself. Jason Momoa’s larger-than-life villain is a stroke of genius, taking the franchise to new heights that seemed impossible. Alongside the trademark action scenes, the film maintains an enviable pace. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride, you’ll have a blast.
2. ‘Fast Five’
Considered the pinnacle of the franchise, this film expertly combines all its defining elements for a highly entertaining experience. Personally, I appreciated the addition of The Rock to the franchise and the energy he brought. The film manages to strike a balance so that the madness doesn’t overshadow everything else. However, its runtime can feel a bit long for this type of movie.
1. ‘Fast and Furious 6’
The franchise reaches new levels of excess in this installment, which Justin Lin intended to be a grand farewell. It features an incredible, in every sense of the word, final airport chase, as well as a preceding tank scene. The perfect blend of insanity and emotional moments, including the return of Michelle Rodriguez, who adds a predictable but effective subplot. Although there are some flaws, I had an absolute blast with this film, which is exactly what I was looking for.