If you've caught my other two articles on the Fast franchise, you already know we're doing things in canon order and not release order, which puts Fast & Furious (along with Fast 5 and Fast & Furious 6) ahead of Tokyo Drift. So, now that we're all on the same page, let's dive into the world of fast cars, scantily-clad women, and Vin Diesel's righteous vengeance, shall we?
Vin Diesel is said to have passed on 2 Fast and Tokyo Drift because he thought the scripts were stupid, so with this one, the idea was to get back to the original characters and have it feel like the first film again. Which, of course, meant getting everyone back (because Tokyo Drift had all new characters), which meant they had to have a script Mr. Diesel felt was worthy. That inadvertently reset the franchise and got us back to the characters and storylines from the first movie. And thank goodness for that, because without this movie, the franchise would probably never have grown past Tokyo Drift. But I digress.
First and foremost plot-wise, this is the film that introduced us to Gisele. Yes, before she was Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot was a sexy baddie who was hot for Dom, and damn was she great. Just remember, Fast and Furious did it first. I do dislike that they "fridge'd" Letty in this movie, but come on, do you really expect her to stay dead? I know it's not the Marvel universe, but this is basically a superhero franchise, just with fast cars and a distinct lack of spandex. Don't worry; they still have some stupid outfits, though.
Aside from the series' struggles with female characters (which are slowly getting better), the movie just feels fun. It's fast cars and silly ridiculous stakes street racing and drug smuggling, and really it's just an excuse to root for the good guys doing bad things and having fun with it. It's wonderful seeing Paul Walker back, even if he has a dumb regulation haircut for the whole movie, and watching the costume department try (and increasingly fail) to fit Vin Diesel's beefy arms into shirt sleeves is always a good time. It's fun and silly Hollywood action flick escapism at its finest at the end of the day.
Of course, what did you expect from a franchise of films that (as The Independent puts it), "only 13-year-old boys and Jeremy Clarkson could possibly enjoy"? Well, it looks like I'm heating up pizza rolls and playing street hockey until the lights come on because I'm for sure not Clarkson, and I love this stupid car movie and all the others that come after it. Just don't mistake it for some high brow cinema art piece and enjoy the fast cars, hot actors, and cheesy plots. Bonus points if you enjoy them all with a side of popcorn!
This post is part of a multi-part series: A Slow Recap of the Fast and Furious Saga.
- The Fast and the Furious Didn't Age Well, But We Still Love It
- 2 Fast 2 Furious 4 Your Consideration
- Fast & Furious: It's Time for the Fast Saga to Get Franchise Ready