With The Fate of the Furious coming out today, I’m looking back on my top 10 favorite moments from the franchise. Whether its high octane action or moments of surprisingly emotional resonance, the Fast franchise has certainly left its mark.
10. Opening Race (2 Fast 2 Furious): The second film is the weakest of the franchise but it does start on a promising opening race scene that recalls one of the better moments from the first film. John Singleton wasn’t exactly the right choice of director for this project but this scene provides him with his best moment and it’s one of the strongest visual sequences of the film.
9. Ronda Rousey Vs. Michelle Rodriguez (Furious 7): I considered putting this higher on the list but another Rodriguez fight scene plays slightly better for me. This was a scene that was a bit overhyped in trailers and some of the promos but it was ultimately satisfying and I like that it actually doesn’t just stay on the fight and cuts to the various characters trying to complete their own missions.
8. Nissan Silvia S15 vs Nissan 350z (Garage Scene) (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift): The third film of the franchise is the last one to feel purely about street racing and this scene showcases the style that the series became known for in its earlier entries. A part of me misses when the films were this simplistic when it came to the action but I can’t deny that sometimes bigger is better. That being said, this is a solid throwback to the scenes that were once a staple of the films.
7. Brian Saves Vince/Blows His Cover (The Fast and the Furious): Speaking of simplistic, Brian saving Vince as he was strapped to a truck seemed pretty bad ass in 2001 but it’s tame by today’s standards. It’s still a pretty tense action sequence but the end result, when Brian has to blow his cover to get him help, offers up the scenes best moment. I don’t think I want Vin Diesel to ever look at me like that.
6. Street Race Scene (Fast & Furious): The franchise was beginning to change by the time the fourth film was released and its street racing roots were being put on the back burner for loftier plot threads. With the return of the core four to the franchise, it seems fitting that we get one of the last street races to feel like it was lifted from the first film. It’s the second best sequence of the film and still stands out as a fun moment.
5. Hobbs vs. Toretto (Fast Five): Action movies are defined by some of their big brawls and it really doesn’t get any better than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vs. Vin Diesel. If I’m being real, I know Johnson could totally take down Diesel but the film does sell the notion that they would be equally matched and since the film builds to the moment, it makes the inevitable fight all the more fun to watch.
4. Subway Fight (Fast & Furious 6): Probably the best fight sequence in the sixth film and a solid showcase for Gina Carano. The scene is equal parts intense and occasionally funny as Han & Roman try to take down their adversary as well. There are other fun action showcases in the film but this is one I go back to the most.
3. “We Own It” Opening Intro (Fast & Furious 6): When I saw this film on opening night with my group of friends, nothing got us more hyped than this opening intro for the sixth film which showcases a montage of some of the best moments from the previous five films and was backed by the catchy track by 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa, “We Own It.” I blast this opening when I watch it home just to give my surround sound a little bit of a workout.
2. (Tie) First Race (The Fast and the Furious)/Over The Cliff (Fast Five): Ok, I might be cheating but I couldn’t choose between the two scenes. I thought they were both good to pair together because the first race in The Fast and the Furious, while a bit dated, is still highly effective but the over the cliff sequence in Fast Five shows how far the action sequences have come since the franchise debuted in 2001. Humble beginnings and the franchise at the top of its game are on display in both of these scenes.
Honorable Mention – Hide Your Baby Oil (Fast & Furious 6): Had to throw in this scene because it’s clearly a bit un-scripted and the spit take is probably one of the funniest things from the whole franchise.
1. See You Again (Furious 7): It’s probably obvious that the most emotionally poignant moment from the franchise takes the number one spot. With the loss of Paul Walker, the franchise was at a big crossroads but with the help of his family, everyone behind the scenes pulled together to finish the seventh installment and used it as a way to pay tribute to their friend. It really is a break the fourth wall kind of moment where the film not only said goodbye to the character but the actor as well.