Home Culture ‘The Fast And the Furious’ franchise history

‘The Fast And the Furious’ franchise history

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Bro Jackson staff writers Deion Moskal and Chris Marler love fast cars, hot chicks, and easily digestible blockbusters. In honor of Friday’s release of “Fast & Furious 6,” the two combined for a historical look at the series.

“The Fast and he Furious” was created to be a reimagining of a TBS afternoon rerun classic. While none of the “Fast and Furious” (henceforth known as FFs) movies come close to matching the brilliance of Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow‘s “Point Break,” I think the franchise as a whole surpasses the one movie. It’s like how despite losing Trent Richardson to the NFL, the 2012 Alabama national championship team had a better rushing attack with Eddie Lacey and T.J. Yeldon sharing the workload. It’s not just the large catalog of movies that makes the FFs stand out from a glut of early-2000s, high-octane driving movies (cough, Jason Statham, cough), but it’s how self-aware the franchise became. Dom’s Charger is third most important character and deserving of Cosmo Kramer entrance applause when it first shows up in each movie. The way engine revving is used as a soundtrack is perfect to turn any movie theater parking lot into a pathetic display of machismo. For guys, watching FFs is a lot like peeing in public. It’s frowned upon, and we may not want to admit to doing it, but deep down we love it.

“Fast & Furious 6″ opens this Friday and the tagline on the movie poster says “All Roads Lead To This.” But where did those roads start?

Top 10 Broments in Fast and Furious History

10) FF1: Dom beats up Johnny Tran – Even though it’s late in the movie, this is the first time we see Dom (Vin Diesel) in a bad-ass fight scene. He not only beats up a pretty jacked dude, but an Asian pretty jacked dude, so you know he knows tai chi and shit. Dom beats his ass and is dragged away yelling, “I never narc’d on nobody! I never narc’d on nobody!” I once yelled this in college after a fight outside of a bar and couldn’t stop laughing.

9) FF1: Dom vs. The Train – On the run from the feds and reeling after his friend Jesse (Chad Lindberg) is killed before him, Dom sits at a red light in his father’s car, as Brian (Paul Walker) tries to talk some sense into him. Dom never looks at him and merely replies, “Those train tracks are exactly a quarter mile away. When the light hits green I’m going for it.” He, of course, is hit, not by the train but a truck that pulls out into his way. But we get to see our first instance of his indestructability. Brian pulls him out of the car, and all Dom offers up is, “That’s how I would’ve had mine.”

8) FF4: Dom and Letty’s Heart to Heart – Immediately following the heart-racing, adrenaline-filled opening scene, FF4 shifts gears to a somber serious side of Dom, as he finds out he’s wanted by the authorities on a global scale. It’s tough in the streets, Dom. With a heavy heart he tells Letty, “I’m a walking target. I don’t want you around when they catch up to me.” Without missing a beat she replies with a statement that exemplifies the foundation of their entire existence, “Ride or die, remember? Dom, how long have we been doing this? And now, all of a sudden out of no where, it’s too dangerous? Come on. We’ll figure it out. We always do.” Sadly it’s the last time we see Letty as she’s murdered shortly after.

7) FF4: Killing Fenix – Finally these two square off. Fenix (Laz Alonzo) is pinned between two cars. Dom is sitting in the Charger revving the engine. Fenix pulls his gun to shoot, and Dom hits the gas causing the Charger to pop up, rendering Felix’s bullets useless. Dom then runs straight through him, and in a moment of beautiful FF tradition, the camera zooms in to Dom who simply grins and says, “Pussy.”

6) FF5: Dom vs. The Rock fight scene in the warehouse – Boxing wouldn’t give us Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, but don’t fret because FF gave us an even bigger prize fight. Diesel vs. Dwayne. Under Armour vs. Wifebeater. Awesome vs. Awesome. The Battle of Brograine. Dom somehow wins because, obviously, unbridled suppressed anger overcomes military training any day. Best part is that Dom holds up the infamous torque wrench and brings down the hammer to Agent Hobbs. However, he spares him by hitting a few inches away from his face, cratering the concrete floor.

5) FF 4: Calls out Fenix – As Braga’s racers are lining up in front of an impending firing squad, Dom tells Fenix, “Only pussies run nitro meth.” I don’t know what the fuck that meant, but it pissed off Fenix. They exchange words about Letty, as Fenix says, “You remember her face? ‘Cause, I don’t.” Classic Dom: he is a stone wall before he replies with, “I’m gonna really enjoy what happens next.” Then, a huge explosion sets the scene in disarray leading to an “Outsiders”-esque rumble between everyone. The best part of the scene is when Dom gets shot in the arm. Unfazed, he turns around, pissed off, and beats the shit of the person who shot him.

4) FF4: Last scene – It ends with Dom being sentenced to 25 years in prison, and it seems that just as they finally got it right. It was the end of the line for the FF series. Then, as Dom is riding on the transport bus to prison you hear the faint noises of muscle cars in the distance. As everyone on the bus looks around you see Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) approaching the bus, and you know shit’s about to go down. Then they pan back to Dom, who is still calmly facing forward, and the movie ends with him giving that cocky grin that lets the audience know there will be another installment. Glorious! 1

3) FF1: First race scene – It has everything you could ever want. Spoilers, neon lights, revved-up engines, and even a cameo from Ja Rule who says, “It’s not how you stand by your car. It’s how you race your car.” Holla holla to that Ja Rule. Also, it’s the first look at how much of a badass and hero Dom is to this underground street racing community, as he delivered this monologue, “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning is winning.” If street racing were a respectable sport, that quote alone would’ve got Dom a Gatorade contract.

2) FF1: Garage scene – As Dom and Brian’s bromance begins to flourish in front of us, we have this scene that pulls a Craig David and fills us in on a background explanation for everything in the movie. It’s also the first time we see the Dodge Charger that Dom’s dad drove. Also, it’s first time we hear the story of Dom’s dad dying, Dom using the torque wrench on his accidental killer, and, finally, he shows his vulnerability because he informs Brian he’s never driven it because “it scares the shit out of him.” Most importantly, it’s where Dom delivers the most NOS-filled bro quote of the entire series: ”I live my life a quarter mile at a time. For those 10 seconds nothing else matters. Not the mortgage. Not the store. Not my team and their shit. For those 10 seconds I’m free.” I was harder than a catalytic converter in a ’67 Shelby when I heard that.

1) FF4: Opening scene – After the atrocity that was FF3, I went to see FF4 in theaters with the same attitude as going to a Creed concert, fully planning on it to suck. Remember, this is coming on the heels of FF3, which had no original members and included a cast of Lil Bow Wow, the kid from “Sling Blade,” and Brad from “Home Improvement” for Christ’s sake. The opening scene was like a Susan Boyle moment for the series. It was five minutes of precision driving and flawless execution as they stole three tanks full of gas with some of the most innovative thievery in any of the FF movies. Then, with an 18-wheeled ball of fire barreling down toward he and Letty, Dom revs the engine and waits. With Letty screaming, “Dom!” he guns it and narrowly ducks below the tanker without a drop of sweat. He was as cool as the underside of the pillow–if that pillow was wearing a wifebeater and could drive a stick.

Top Quotes

10) “Too soon.” – Any racer when talking about their opponent’s use of NOS in a race for slips

9) “Make sure you got your Thunder-wear on.” – Hobbs, FF5

8) “You can have any brew you want…as long as it’s a Corona.” 2 – Dom, FF1

7) “This…is…BRAZIL!” – Dom, FF5

6) “I never narc’d on nobody. I never narc’d on nobody.” – Dom, FF1

5) “Dominic, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what I’m doing Dom. I’m so scared right now. I don’t know what’s going on.” – Jesse, FF1

4) “Yeah, so now you owe me a 10 second car.” – Brian, FF4

3) “I owe you a 10 second car.” – Brian, FF1

2) “Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” – Dom, FF1

1) “I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those 10 seconds or less, I’m free.” 3 – Dom, FF1

Unanswered Questions

  • How does Dom always have his 1970 Charger?
  • Which number is greater: Total box office gross of the franchise or the cost of property damage caused by Dom’s crew in “Fast Five”?
  • “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” is set in the future of the Fast Universe. When the franchise ends, and “Tokyo Drift” is definitively placed in the timeline, will it garner the respect the other movies received?
  • Does illegal street racing really attract that many hot skanks?
  • Where is Dom looking when he talks?
  • How high are their insurance premiums?
  • How do you drive a stick?
  • Seriously though, why “Tokyo Drift”?

Notes:

  1. It also gave the audience a classic overlap in movies when the actual escape from the bus is used as the opener in FF5.
  2. Worst. Party. Ever.
  3. The thesis statement of the franchise.