My friend worked on the matte painting for that movie (:
Fast & Furious 2009
A return to form after the garbage Tokyo Drift instalment. In fact, it would have been better to watch the opening action scene of this movie before Tokyo Drift, just to have any connection with the cross-over character in that one.
Some of the action in this movie is a mixture of too-low-stakes plus not-good-enough cgi. Which means that I’m just put off by the looks of the movie, and don’t care about the action. Main example: the first drive through the border tunnel. It just went on and on and looked totally unconvincing. All I could think was “I hope they are setting this up for something more interesting later” and yes, it was used again later, but then it felt like an inevitability.
But the characters were enjoyable again, which makes up for a lot.
Fast Five 2011
The one in Rio de Janeiro. I’d heard this is where the series gets good… and it really does get good!
There is way less emphasis on car racing, and instead car chases and gun fights and parkour. Also most of the action revolves around a heist. And that’s a good thing, because in FF3 and FF4 there seemed to be a lack of clarity about what was going on and what people wanted.
The car physics is just on the right side of believable for the motivations and weight of the moment, so any fudging of CGI is acceptable.
The women get to do some cool things, though rarely manage to escape cameras looking at their butts.
Dwayne the Rock Johnson is a good addition to the cast, and while cast as an antagonist, I never believed for one minute he wouldn’t become a good guy.
“We’ll get to Tokyo eventually.”
Fast & Furious 6 2013
The previous movie still had a connection to cars and street racing, not though the focus on those things specifically, but due to the characters being on the run, or at least down on their luck without much money or funding or resources. Getting cars to drive took skill and competition, etc.
By the time this sixth movie rolls round, they are all millionaires and are being funded by government agencies. Need cars? Just buy them. Easy. The plot is indistinguishable from a Mission Impossible movie. Now I’m a fan of Mission Impossible movies, so that shouldn’t be a bad thing. Except I liked this crew as the underdogs, the criminals, the street racers, and not as international agents of mystery.
There’s also a transition away from caring about human life and collateral damage. In the first movie? Only two or three deaths, like one of the crew and few henchmen, and they are all meaningful. The second movie? One henchman is very unlikely to survive being run over by a truck… and that’s it? Everyone else is knocked out or punched out or shot but survives. Third movie… one death, and it’s super important. Fourth movie? Makes sure we know everyone who dies is a drug criminal, or an innocent victim whose death matters. Fifth movie, the only deaths are again drug criminals and, as quoted in the movie “Every corrupt cop in the city is on your tail!” So right, we’re okay with some casualties here and there.
So here we are in movie six where random people are just being mown down by a tank. Not cops, not soldiers, not criminals or anyone else involved. Just random Spanish drivers and families and whoever. Squash! And at the end of that action sequence our heroes aren’t horrified by how many people have died, but cheering that they “won”. But what is winning when the whole situation was avoidable and was let out of your control? They knew what was going to go down, because it was a repeat of the SAME TRICK THEY PLAYED IN THE PREVIOUS MOVIE!
In a way I’m impressed with the story acrobatics needed to include characters who previously or later may or may not have died. The connections between characters seemed more logical than I thought it might be, so I’ll give them a pass. Turns out you really need to see Tokyo Drift right after this one, not in the order of release.
So it was fun to spend more time with the crew, and the action sequences were appropriately spectacular, but I much much much preferred to follow the underdogs, not the millionaires, and see them racing, not shooting.
Yeah, it’s a bit weird, IIRC the only two things that happen after Tokyo Drift in the timeline is Furious 7, Fate of the Furious, and post credits scene of 6. Agree on the rest, though, as much as I like those movies, I liked them more as underdogs, and when they seemed to give a shit about the people around them rather than just going hog wild wrecking everything around them.
You still have some fun to look forward to, though, 7 and FotF are a fucking trip.
5 is easily my favorite as I feel it really has started the whole REALLY OVER THE TOP wonderful action. Also enjoy a few songs on the soundtrack.
I’ve been rewatching them again because why not?
My best of the FFs:
- Fast Five
- Furious 7
- The Fate of the Furious
- Fast & Furious 6
- The Fast and the Furious
- 2 Fast 2 Furious
- Tokyo Drift
- Fast and Furious (4)
Furious 7 2015
Fast and Furious has almost completely transitioned into a Mission Impossible movie franchise by movie seven. Everything is there: get the team together, find the person, the person helps find a widget, and the widget is important because reasons. The only difference: instead of using face masks twice per movie it’s car chases.
Movie seven is a small but noticeable step up in quality from the sixth. There is a bit too much clunky foreshadowing in terms of “cars can’t fly” which inevitably leads to various different ways cars can fly, but at least there’s a lot of fun to be had along the way.
Jason Statham is the new antagonist, and again I’m putting money on him joining the family in the future, despite killing one of them. But he’s too much of a badass to stay a bad guy.
There’s a new lady hacker? Okay. Kurt Russell turns up but isn’t as good as Alec Baldwin in the same role in the Mission Impossible movies, that of the elder statesman running things politically while the crew do the dirty work. I mean, sure, Mr. Nobody… fine. Could have done with more Dwayne Johnson instead.
Near the end of the first Transformers movie they say “Let’s take the widget to the city to more easily hide it” or similar, but all that really means is “let’s move the action to a big city where there’s lots of things to destroy”. And so too in Furious 7. It’s like the script writers ran out of location ideas, but still wanted some car chases with helicopters and drones, and Los Angeles is as good as anywhere. Why don’t they take the bad guys, I dunno, maybe away from population centers? Cut to: multiple buildings being destroyed whatever.
Anyway, the real kicker is the very end, where I must admit I shed a tear with the “goodbye Paul Walker” sequence, even though it makes little sense in the movie. The script only says he’s retiring and saying goodbye, but it’s a nice touch to give him a eulogy anyway.
It’s only when I looked it up afterwards to see how much of the movie was made without him when I was astonished to find out it’s like six months shooting without him there?!?!? His brothers and other body doubles for most of the live shooting, plus about 400 special effects shots to put his face in the right place. I noticed a few bits of face replacement and using weird angles, but most of it blew right past me. That’s some seriously impressive work for me not to notice it 99% of the time.
It was a strange experience watching the movie expecting one particular main character to die at any moment.
The Fate of the Furious 2017 ★
The movie opens with a street race in Cuba, which is fun, but I guessed that it had to be there or else there would be no other street racing action in the whole movie. And indeed there wasn’t.
Instead just very sub-par Mission Impossible action. But my problem is that if literally the fate of the world is at stake, I don’t want Dom and the gang to solve it, I want Ethan Hawk and his gang.
In the first movie, these guys were stealing DVD players and the main reason the FBI wanted to stop them is that they didn’t want truck drivers arming themselves and dishing out dangerous vigilante justice. And now we are stealing a nuclear bomb, or trying to stop someone from stealing a nuclear bomb.
And so cars are just shoehorned into the action. It doesn’t make sense. Massive car crashes in New York? Just to steal a briefcase? It’s inelegant.
Jason Statham joins the team, despite killing one of the family in the previous movie. A new pretty white guy joins the family too, to replace Paul Walker I guess, but he does nothing to actually earn his place there.
Overall I’m just not impressed.
As far as I can tell, not only was the opening scene the last reference to street racing in the movie, but it also seems to be a final goodbye to street racing in the entire series. Might also be the goodbye to my own interest in the series, which admittedly only lasted for about a week.
Don’t mind me I’ll be over here watching Mission Impossible Fallout for the second time and Fury Road for the 12th time.
I’ve got a theory about 8 Fast 8 Furious.
In the book GEB, one of the parables between Achilles and the tortoise is them having a chat with each other in Tortoise’s home (afternoon tea maybe?). Tortoise laments the fact that an author can’t conceal how much of a book is left - the reader can always tell how many pages there are to go.
They come up with a way to signal to the reader the “real” story has ended, without being at the end of the printed text. Have something so out of character with the story happen, so the reader will realize it’s gone off the rails, and that’s the signal the story is over.
Then the cops break down the door, run in, and arrest everyone. It goes on for a bit longer after that, but I don’t remember that part so much. You get the idea.
So in the trailer for Fast 8, after 7 movies of “families stick together”, and the ending of 7, there’s a part that sticks out for me.
Letty says to Dom, “you don’t turn your back on family”, and then he literally turns his back on his family. My signal it’s done, disregard the rest here.
I haven’t seen the movie though.
Spider-verse was what I needed without knowing what I wanted.
I like this reading. The series ends with Dom having a final street race in Cuba, linking up his new family with his old one (his cousin is there, I think), winning respect from his opponents, and generally ending the series where it began.
That will do for me. I don’t think I need or want anything else from the eighth movie, or maybe the series.
The new Spider-man movie was excellent, but the product placement forced in for the Chinese market is so hamfisted. QQ is the only icon on the phones with any detail. It just doesn’t fit at all with the aesthetic of the rest of the movie.
Spiderverse is so legit.
I need more now.
The Hateful Eight was kind of a dud for me. I’m usually a big Quentin Tarantino fan, but I was mostly bored and unsatisfied with this nearly three hour movie.
Funnily enough, I didn’t notice the product placement at all. I don’t even know what QQ is.
Read some Spider-Man comics. If you want ones that feel like that movie, look for anything written by Dan Slott.
What about the actual Ultimate Spider-Man comics that introduced Miles Morales? How are those?
Ultimate Spider-Man as a whole is good. You can start at number one real easy.
Because it was hamfisted product placement for China, not the US. I’m not surprised it wasn’t in the US version. QQ is Chinese Facebook, but less overtly evil (they hide their evil better).
I enjoyed the Ultimate universe as a whole.
Ah, I didn’t understand your post. I thought you meant that the Chinese market product placement was in all the movie versions, not the China-specific version.