The Fast and the Furious franchise has always been more than just a high-octane saga of fast cars, insane action choreography while defying all laws of physics and big bangs. It is, as they repeatedly yet accurately say, about family bonds. Our chosen family are often closer, and more important, than those we have by blood. They’re there for you in moments of need. Like when you drive your car out of the top floors of the central building in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers and into the neighbouring tower.
Let’s dive into the world of illegal street racing, daring heists, and gravity-defying stunts as we rank the movies from worst to best, considering their impact, storytelling, and overall enjoyment.
11. F9 (2021)
There’s suspension of disbelief when it comes to cinematic magic and then there’s F9. The Justin Lin-directed chapter of the Fast franchise may as well have been shot in space the way it pretended gravity didn’t exist. Oh, that’s right. They did go to space.
10. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
This instalment falls to the bottom due to its lackluster plot and the absence of key characters. Paul Walker’s charisma shines, but without Vin Diesel’s presence, the film feels incomplete. The action sequences can’t save it from being among the weakest link.
9. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
While Tokyo Drift introduces a new setting (Japan) and drift racing (oh ok), it struggles to find its footing within the franchise. The absence of familiar faces and a less cohesive narrative make it feel like a standalone spin-off rather than a core instalment. Also, crap acting. Just crap.
8. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
While the action sequences escalate to new heights, the storyline becomes increasingly convoluted. It’s saved by its emphasis on family ties and the return of Michelle Rodriguez’s character, Letty. Still, it struggles to find the perfect balance between thrills and coherence.
7. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
The franchise takes an unexpected turn with Dom going rogue, making for an interesting plot twist. However, the excessive reliance on CGI and over-the-top action scenes sometimes feels forced. The family theme remains strong, but the franchise starts to feel more like a superhero series.
6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
This spin-off breathes new life into the franchise by focusing on the hilarious rivalry between Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Shaw. It’s a refreshing detour, with over-the-top action and humor that keeps audiences entertained. While it doesn’t quite fit the mold of traditional Fast and Furious films, it’s a worthy addition.
5. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
The one that started it all! The original film introduced us to the world of illegal street racing and undercover police work. Vin Diesel’s iconic “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time” speech remains etched in our memories. It may lack the grandeur of later entries, but its simplicity and genuine enthusiasm for cars make it a classic.
4. Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five kicked the franchise into high gear, introducing the heist element that has since become a staple. The addition of Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs brought a new level of intensity, and the Rio de Janeiro setting provided a refreshing change of scenery. It’s the film where the franchise fully embraced its action-packed, ensemble-cast formula.
3. Furious 7 (2015)
Furious 7 is a bittersweet entry, as it marked the final appearance of Paul Walker, who tragically passed away during production. The filmmakers handled his departure with grace, crafting an emotional farewell for his character, Brian O’Conner. The film is a rollercoaster of epic stunts and heartfelt moments, becoming a fitting tribute to Walker’s legacy.
2. Fast & Furious (2009)
This instalment marked a return to form for the franchise by reuniting the original cast. The storyline explored themes of loyalty and betrayal, and it served as a bridge between the earlier and later films.
1. Fast X (2023)
The latest entry in the franchise, “Fast X” (2023), earns the top spot for its return to the franchise’s roots. It strikes a perfect balance between heart-pounding action and character development. The family theme reignites, and the film pays homage to the late Paul Walker, bringing his character’s journey to a satisfying close. “Fast X” proves that even after two decades, the Fast and Furious franchise can still deliver a thrilling ride with a blend of nostalgia and exhilaration.