I will admit to everyone, while I love action movies, The Fast and the Furious series never caught on with me. The racing aspect is one I never particularly cared for. I saw the first movie on when it was released on DVD and didn’t even see the second until about 2 years ago. My family actually owns all of the series on DVD or Blu-Ray, but as the newer films came out, I just never got around to seeing them. With the recent release of Furious 7 marking the final film appearance of series star Paul Walker who was killed in a car crash back in 2013, I decided to at last binge and catch up with the series. It took me a week and I watch both the fifth and sixth installments back to back, then got up went to the theaters at 11:30am on Good Friday to see Furious 7.
Now that I have seen all 7, allow me to present my rankings of the series. No worries about spoilers, I’ll try to keep things brief. This is from least to most favorite.
7. 2 Fast 2 Furious
Other than Brian O’ Connor returning and introducing us to the characters of Roman and Tej, this is just a standard sun-soaked movie that involves federal agencies and drug lords. Fast cars and nothing really special stands out.
6. Fast and Furious
The 4th film brings back most the original cast of the first, but it’s just a very grim and dour affair. It’s just a bore with the main focus being a revenge story. It also has dark cinematography throughout most of it. Probably not a good example of the “dark and gritty” trend.
5. The Fast and The Furious
The first film in the series is not a bad movie at all. It’s just pretty dated. We have good introductions to the characters who will be with us during this ride and the racing scenes are top notch.
4. Furious 7
The most recent movie, (and first I actually saw in theaters) is funny with great action set pieces and gives Paul Walker’s character a proper send off. That being said it is about 15 minutes too long, with most of that being part of the climatic action scene. Still pretty fun.
3. Fast and Furious 6
This one ups the action from its predecessor Fast Five and sets up the threads that we will see in Furious 7. Our core cast of characters returns and continue to shine in their roles. Like 7 it’s a tad longer than need be.
2. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift
The third film is probably my favorite. It’s a fish out of water story which sees a young man sent to Japan to live with his father after getting his last strike in the U.S. It’s a new world for him and us as viewers. It actually was refreshing to see a character not be an automatic wiz at racing and as he grows as a person, his racing skills grow as well. This is the most character driven film of the series.
1. Fast Five
Here is where the series reboots itself internally from a racing series to an action series. Fast Five’s plot involves our crew planning and executing a heist for $100 Million. It balances the seriousness of the fourth film with the lighter elements of others. This is a boatload of fun. Plus we are introduced to Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs who is just a really cool character in the series.
There you have it. This is how I rank the Fast and the Furious franchise having seen them all now. It’s a good series. It’s not my favorite series ever, but it is fun and I am glad that I finally was able to catch up with the story.