One of the longest running movie franchises of our time has been living life in the fast lane since 2001. The Fast & Furious franchise has grossed over $5 billion in sales and looks to aim higher for their future movies. With nine movies already under their belt, we look at, in my personal opinion, the best and worst films out of this franchise. My opinion has nothing to do with the soundtrack or sales of the movie, just the pure plot of the film. (Major spoilers ahead).
The Worst: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
This movie led by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham is not what I picture when I think of Fast & Furious. Yes, of course they had a lot of action scenes, but at the same time there was very little racing or even just car scenes in the entire film. The plot of this movie was basically an enhanced soldier that is bulletproof with superhuman strength looking to wipe out half of the world’s population with a lethal pathogen. This in itself sounds like a spy or superhero movie, but now it is a part of a racing and cars franchise. Luke Hobbs (played by Johnson) who works for Diplomatic Security Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation partners with former crime operative Deckard Shaw (played by Statham) to take down this enemy.
This movie was filled with a lot of filler scenes of just small tidbits of comedy and no real chemistry, but it did go further in depth with Hobbs and Shaw as characters, which is really the only part I appreciated. At the end, Hobbs and Shaw put their moral differences aside and beat the superhuman soldier Brixton (Idris Elba). But, left with knowledge knowing Brixton wasn’t the brainchild behind this operation, it leaves a door open for future movies centered around Hobbs and Shaw, or maybe somehow it will connect to the other F&F characters like Dom, Roman Pearce and others.
Overall it is not like I hated this film, I appreciate every F&F movie in its own way, but this one I can honestly say could have been done better, and it shouldn’t have strayed away from the main films on the cars and racing aspect, but overall I think this has the potential to lead to something much better in the future.
The Best: Fast Five (2011)
This was particularly hard for me to completely decide on which F&F movie is my favorite. The race for it was close, as I have to give a humble nod to the original, The Fast and Furious movie where it all started. The movie made the bed rock on the future franchise featuring Vin Diesel as Dominic Torretto and the late Paul Walker who played Brian O’Connor. I also appreciated the Furious 7 movie as it had one of the best endings for a movie I personally have seen. It gave a good ending to Paul Walker’s character, as the actor sadly passed away back on Nov. 30, 2013.
For Fast Five, this movie had an elegant and straight plot from the beginning as it began with where the previous F&F move had ended. As Brian O’Connor and others helped Dominic escape from a prison bus en route to his sentence, Brian leaves the life of a cop behind and goes to the other side. Now set in Brazil, the group is on the run and wanted by the government. As they do a job for a major drug cartel boss, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), they have a situation where two federal officers are shot and killed and they are framed for it.
Now pushed even higher on the FBI Most Wanted list, a task force led by Luke Hobbs is set to capture Dom and Brian. Needing an escape and looking for the last big score, Dom and Brian make calls to get their friends from multiple F&F movies to help in this big heist. With actors like Gal Gadot from the fourth installment as well as Ludacris and Tyreese Gibson reprising their roles from the second instalment of the F&F franchise, and finally Sung Kang from the third installment, this team is set to steal over $100 million dollars from Reyes.
In the end the team got the money by breaking into the police station guarded by cops on Reyes’ payroll, and getting chased by almost every cop car in the city of Rio De Janeiro. They were assisted at the end by Luke Hobbs, after he decided to switch sides to get back at Reyes for killing his task force earlier in the film. As Dom and Brianl tricked Hobbs into thinking they had left the money and just escaped, they successfully pulled off this heist, and they split the take and went about their own paths. On the emotional side, you see Brian and Dom’s sister, Mia, get pregnant and ready to settle down, as well as others living their more lavish lives built on the bold escape and snatch of the money they robbed from a corrupt leader.
To me this had a foundation of the original four movies with a pathway to the new versions of F&F with a more crime and heist style type of instalment. The diverse cast of actors allowed for a natural and great piece of entertainment and that is why this one’s my favorite Fast & Furious movie out of the franchise.