How Has The Fast & Furious Franchise Gone Off The Rails?

A split image of Letty, Tej, and Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious franchise

When The Fast and Furious franchise started in 2001, no one could have predicted how successful the film series would be. 22 years later, The Fast and Furious franchise is still going strong and thrilling fans worldwide. The upcoming Fast X is the 10th film in the series and promises to be as explosive as its predecessors. However, many fans believe the franchise has gone downhill.

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Over time, the Fast series has made controversial and ridiculous choices, from characters being brought back from the dead to absurd stunts and government-level threats. While fans still love the Fast and Furious franchise, they can’t deny that it has gone off the rails.



10 Raising The Stakes With Every Fast & Furious Movie

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While the first Fast and Furious movie was full of action, car races, and stunts, there was a level of realism. Paul Walker played an undercover police officer who was trying to take down street racers and their criminal enterprises. This continued until the fourth movie, which had much heigher stakes and operated more as a heist movie.

From there, the franchise has raised the stakes to unbelievable levels, with Dom Torreto and his family of racers taking on wanted international criminals and terrorists. The higher stakes has affected the level of realism in the movies, as the characters are now too far removed from their humble beginnings.

9 Bringing People Back From The Dead

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dominic Toretto and Letty Ortiz in Fast and Furious movie

Letty, played by Michelle Rodriguez, was in an explosion in the fourth Fast & Furious movie. Letty’s death devastated fans, who grieved the loss of a popular character. However, Fast 5 revealed she was alive. This upset many fans, as it made Letty’s death feel insignificant and Dom’s actions seem ill-advised. Letty experienced amnesia from the explosion, which led to another emotional plotline when she didn’t remember her life with Dom.

Han died in Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, but he came back to reveal an elaborate plot that explained his faked death. This rewriting of the franchise caused many to wonder if anyone in the Fast & Furious was ever really dead or if they would return as if nothing had happened.

8 Turning Villains Into Heroes

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jason Statham as Shaw in Hobbs and Shaw

The Fast & Furious crew has had to call on some unlikely allies for help in the past. This has resulted in many of the franchise’s worst villains becoming heroes. While this is a fun development, it also rewrites much of the Fast history and goes against the characters’ principles. Ian Shaw is the perfect example of this, as he has tried to kill many Fast family members.

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Usually, this would mean Shaw is an enemy for life, especially for someone like Dom who puts the safety of his loved ones above all else. However, if villains like Ian Shaw can help defeat a new and more dangerous villain, Dom lets them redeem themselves. This has become a defining feature in the Fast & Furious franchise, making fans question whether any villain is a real enemy or a plot device.

7 The Stunts Have Become Too Unbelievable

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Images from 'Fast and Furious' including 'Tokyo Drift' characters, Dominic and Brian.

Stunts and action movies go hand-in-hand, and The Fast and Furious franchise is no stranger to big stunts. However, the franchise has drifted from potential car accidents to impressive spectacles of death-defying stunts to unbelievable action sequences.

While audiences were prepared to suspend their disbelief for cool setpieces like characters jumping from moving cars, other sequences were too nonsensical, like Dom swinging his car across the Grand Canyon. Also in Fast 9, Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs stops a moving missile with just his hands. Everyone knows The Rock is strong, but this stunt was too far-fetched and ridiculous for even the most devoted fans.

6 Continuing To Add Characters

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jason Momoa's Dante rides through the streets during a scene in Fast X

For many film franchises, the addition of new characters keeps things exciting and engages fans. However, after 10 movies, Fast & Furious has so many characters that it is hard for fans to remember their individual storylines. To make matters worse, the franchise is still introducing new characters, which only adds to the confusion.

This is prominent in Fast X. Jason Momoa has now become a villain with a vendetta against Dom Torreto and his family. Many of these new characters feel forced and are dealt with in the one film, so they feel insignificant to the franchise and the characters’ development.

5 The Lack Of Consequences

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Fast and Furious Family Promotional Poster

One of the most important parts of 2001’s Fast & Furious was the consequences the crew faced after a street race. They knew the police were watching and might arrest them. However, this fear of consequence has faded as the franchise has gone on. Now, the stakes are much higher, and the characters are taking on government-level threats instead of just racing cars.

The Fast crew can drive through buildings, blow up structures, and kill people, but they are never punished for the damage they cause or their vigilante actions. Part of the appeal of the first Fast & Furious movie was the characters’ nearly being caught.

4 The Weapons

Out of all the things that don’t make sense in the Fast & Furious franchise, the weapons the crew or their opponents use are the most nonsensical elements. Absurd weapons have been present since 2 Fast 2 Furious when Brian’s supervisor uses a gun that can shoot a grappling hook and strip his car in seconds. Fast & Furious 6 continues the trend with chips that allow cars to be remotely controlled.

The trailer for Fast X shows Dante using tech that can blow up whole city blocks with the push of a button. Many of the weapons in the Fast & Furious movies aren’t necessary and feel too futuristic.

3 Superhuman Abilities

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hobbs flexes to break off his cast in the hospital in the Fast & Furious franchise

Hobbs being put in the hospital in The Fate of the Furious seemed like the worst thing to happen to him, but the franchise’s reliance on super-strong – but regular – humans restored him to full health quickly. Hobbs breaks his plaster cast by tensing his biceps and breaking the cast so he can rip it off with his other hand. This was a ridiculous move, given the severity of his injuries and how quickly he healed from all the other injuries he sustained.

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Dom also experiences an absurd jolt of superhuman strength in Fast 7 when he stomps on the cracked pavement, which gives way and sends Shaw into the rubble. These moments make it seem like the main characters have superpowers, even though they don’t. While the scenes were cool, they were utterly absurd.

2 Dom’s Son

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Baby Brian in a carrier with headphones while Ian shaw shoots at someone off screen

The kidnapping storyline in The Fate of the Furious made characters seem human and highlighted one of the most ridiculous plots in the franchise. Dominic Toretto always talks about family and its importance, but he doesn’t seem to care about his son until his son goes missing. There are many ridiculous elements around Dom having a baby and how the child becomes important in the Fast franchise.

The Fate of the Furious reveals that Elena had a son, and Cipher had kidnapped them both to get Dom to work for her. However, when Elena died, and Dom was left to care for his son, there was little to no mention of how Dom dealt with her death. The baby seems to only serve as a means of Dom “protecting the family,” but the plotline doesn’t develop his character as a father or person.

1 Going To Space

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The rocket car in Fast 9

The Fast & Furious franchise made its most ridiculous move when it sent Tej and Roman into space in a car. While there had been plenty of over-the-top moments in other Fast & Furious movies, the space mission suspended fans’ disbelief so much that it made the scene feel like a joke rather than the climax of Fast 9.

Roman and Tej strapped a rocket to their Pontiac Fiero, entered space, reached the International Space Station, and stopped the upload of Project Aries in a satellite. While the moment was entertaining, it ruined some of the Fast 9‘s more redeeming qualities and left many casual fans to write the franchise off.

NEXT: 8 Ways The Fast And Furious Movies Are Clichéd


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