The first Fast and the Furious film cruised into cinemas as a street racing movie for niche audiences. Its impressive box-office earnings drove studio heads to keep up the movie's momentum by expanding the concept into a multi-film franchise, and 17 years on, the Fast & Furious universe is still pumping out blockbusters and living life a quarter mile at a time.
Through a total of eight features (and one short), Fast & Furious has taken audiences across four continents, and the franchise's next installment, Fast & Furious 9, may be adding a fifth continent to that list. Earlier this year, Vin Diesel hinted that the upcoming movie will be set in Africa. Now, whether or not that means that the actual shooting will take place there remains to be seen. Although the Fast & Furious movies have slowly moved away from their street racing origins, the franchise has become known for a few recurring elements. Solid friendships, high-powered action sequences, and exotic bombshells are some of the staples in the franchise's toolbox. Nevertheless, both car aficionados and cinephiles have been amused by some of the movies' less convincing scenes. But, the Fast & Furious movies are filled with inconsistent cuts and driving maneuvers that defy the laws of physics and the rules of mechanics. This list takes a look at some of the blunders that the Fast & Furious movies have made over the years.
Here are 20 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In Fast And Furious Movies
20 An Extremely Convenient Weapon
When Furious 7 was shot, weapon-toting drones only existed in the vivid imaginations of scriptwriters. For decades, drones had been used to fire missiles and grenades, but they had not yet begun to fire rounds of bullets. As recently as 2015, a few months after the film premiered, an online video showed a drone firing a handgun, attracting the attention of internet users and the FAA. Fast forward a couple of years, and machine gun-carrying drones have become a reality of modern warfare.
Despite their accurate predictions, the writers behind Furious 7 still made some unrealistic decisions. In the film, Hobbs picked up a gun from a battered drone and used it to take down a helicopter. It is highly unlikely that a remotely triggered gun-drone could be operated manually, or that it would even have a physical trigger to pull.
19 A Sudden Costume Change
The cast of Fast & Furious don't just like showing off the muscle under their hoods, they are also known to put on a muscle tank from time to time. One of the movie's biggest stars, Vin Diesel, has often brought his love of the garment onto other sets as well.
In The Fast and the Furious, as Johnny Tran pulls up to race against Jesse, he is wearing a black shirt. When the scene cuts to a different shot of Johnny, however, he is suddenly sporting a black tank top. The costume department clearly slipped-up during this scene and the mistake made it onto the screen.
18 Faulty Chemistry Causes Explosions
Not once, but twice, in the history of the Fast & Furious franchise have reasonably safe conditions resulted in major explosions. In both the first and fourth movies, the compound “NOS” (i.e. nitrous oxide) has blown cars to smithereens.
Nitrous oxide is often used by the drivers in Fast & Furious to boost their engines. Although the compound can be used for this purpose, the science behind it is different from what the writers seem to think. To put it simply, NOS is not flammable and only supplies more oxygen for the engine to burn. The biggest damage it could cause when in contact with an open flame is that it makes the flame burn a little brighter. The fact that Fast & Furious has managed to make this mistake twice is a testament to how far writers are willing to stretch science to get a cool explosion on screen.
17 Who Opened Reyes' Vault?
An action flick is nothing without a worthy villain. In Fast Five, this position is occupied by Joaquim de Almeida, who plays crime boss Hernan Reyes. Early on in the film, it is established that Reyes has a coveted vault that only he has access to. To open the vault, the Fast & Furious gang have to conspire to get a copy of Reyes’ palm print. At a certain point in the movie, however, Reyes visits his vault to confirm that the money has been placed inside by his agents.
It is highly unlikely that Reyes would leave his high-security vault standing open, since that would also defeat the purpose of having a vault. Since Reyes is the only one who can open the vault, nothing could have been put inside without him present, so there would be no reason for him to check in on the content.
16 The Wrong Arm Of The Law
In Fast & Furious 6, Brian gets himself arrested under a false name in order to gain access to a prison inmate. Attentive viewers might have also noticed that his identity is not the only fake thing about this storyline. When Brian is being brought on a plane by law enforcement officials, you can clearly see that their jacket sleeves read “Marshall.”
Unless they all share the same given name and have decided to emblazon it on their coats, this seems to be a mistake. While “Marshall” is a common first name, law enforcement officials known as “Marshals” write their title with just one L.
15 Outlandish Sugar Cravings
Who has not longed for their favorite treats during a trip abroad? Most people have to wait until they get back to savor their local fare, but the Fast & Furious crew are not most people. In Fast & Furious 6, it would appear that they have brought a whole vending machine full of candy to the UK.
As you can see from the picture, the vending machine contains both Butterfingers, (which are only available in specialty shops in the UK), and traditional Crunch Bars from the U. S. (the UK version looks slightly different). The vending machine’s contents are clearly out of place and it reveals where these scenes were actually shot.
14 Actors Communicating On Different Airways
Ludacris' character Tej has undergone a significant revamp since he was first introduced. He started out as a street-smart race organizer and later blossomed into a tech-genius/master hacker.
His character development may have thrown many viewers for a loop, but if you look closely, you can find subtle indications of his talents already in his first film. Towards the end of 2 Fast 2 Furious, Brian and Tej have a remote conversation where Brian talks into a walkie-talkie and Tej responds over a flip-phone. It looks, by all accounts, like a typical continuity error, but who is to say that Tej did not hack into his phone to communicate across Brian's radio frequency?
13 Cars Equipped With Unseen Exhaust Systems
Car enthusiasts have often gotten a laugh out of the lines that the Fast & Furious cast deliver. A typical example of this was when Brian mentioned the “MoTeC system exhaust” in one of his competitor's cars. This line might not elicit a reaction from most people, but to gear-heads, it comes across as laughable. MoTeC is a manufacturer that makes engine control systems, they have nothing to do with exhaust systems.
As of today, the line stands as one of the franchise's most famous blunders, but MoTeC might still prove the movies right. In 2015, they responded to a cheeky Instagram comment by hinting that they might be working on something similar to what was referenced in the movie.
12 Mixing Up Military Ranks
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift introduced new characters to the franchise and leaned heavily on the theme of street racing. The movie's constant focus on cars did not connect well with audiences and it ended up being the franchise's biggest flop.
Sean Boswell and his father, Mr. Boswell, were among the new characters introduced in Tokyo Drift. Apart from his son’s wayward ways, nothing seemed out of the ordinary about Mr. Boswell, at least not until the credits started to roll. Boswell Senior is listed in the credits as Major Boswell, but in the movie, it is stated that he works for the Navy. The US Navy has no rank that goes under the name of Major, their equivalent to this position is called a Lieutenant Commander.
11 Outracing A Missile
In an adrenaline-fueled, and highly improbable, action sequence from The Fate of the Furious, Dom outraces a heat-seeking missile across a glacial terrain. Dom might dominate on a quarter-mile in his charger, but speed-wise, military missiles have him beat.
The scene starts out with a race between the Fast & Furious crew and a submarine. Despite its probable top speed of 46 mph, the submarine has no trouble keeping up with the cars as it plunges out of the sea. When it finally launches a missile towards the vehicles, Dom manages to lure the missile away from the other cars by keeping it on his tale while he scales the breaking ice, and eventually, redirects it back towards the submarine. In real life, missiles travel at minimum speeds of thousands of miles per hour, and it would have easily caught up to Dom within a few seconds.
10 Birthday Irregularities
In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Verone and Fuentes look into Brian and Dom’s background by digging into their online information. One of the items they pull up is Brian’s California driver’s license. On the computer screen, audiences can clearly make out Brian’s birthday, which is listed as Aug 29th, 1973, along with the license’s expiration date of May 17th, 2000. However, in California, all driver’s licenses expire on the holder’s date of birth.
This is not the only birthday-related mistake the franchise commits, though. In Fast Five, a whooping five years are shaved off Walker’s character as his D.O.B is now reported as July 14th, 1978.
9 Incorrect Extradition Details
By the time Fast Five hit theaters, Brian O’Conner had long since left his days of upholding the law. At the beginning of the film, viewers catch up with him and Mia while they are planning their future during a train trip. Mia flips through a travel magazine and informs Brian that Tokyo, Moscow, and Goa do not have extradition agreements with the U.S.
This is almost completely incorrect as both Japan and India have longstanding extradition agreements. Strangely enough, the original script used more accurate examples for this line, listing Bali, Moscow, and Hong Kong as possible destinations.
8 Phantom Writing
While Tej is talking to Brian over the phone in 2 Fast 2 Furious, a police officer is standing in front of him in the frame. The officer seems to be writing something down on a notepad, but if you look closely, you can see that he is simply tracing over words that were already written down.
Why the director didn't simply ask the actor to scribble onto the pad himself remains a mystery. In any case, the text is illegible to viewers, so the actor could have just jotted down a grocery list or his favorite Haiku.
7 Impossible Street Racing Moves
The final race in The Fast and the Furious sets off with a bang. While waiting at a red light, Dom speeds off while he does a simultaneous burnout and wheelie. The stunt certainly looks impressive, but this move could never have been carried out in real life.
A car needs a lot of traction to achieve a wheelie, but when it does a burnout, it loses traction completely. It would simply be impossible to transition from a burnout into a wheelie as seen in the film. This eye-catching stunt was probably achieved with a lot of movie magic and a little fake smoke.
6 Dom And Letty's Unclear Backstory
The only thing that can compete with Dom and Letty’s passion for cars is their feelings for one another. Not only did Dom have to overcome Letty’s wrongly declared demise, but he was also challenged by her ensuing amnesia. Despite their misfortune, the two rebels always found their way back together.
Although their love remains unwavering, their backstory is a little less clear. In the first film, Mia claims that Dom and Letty grew up on the same street and have known each other since childhood. However, in Fast & Furious 6, Dom says that they first met when Letty was fifteen. Perhaps producers suffered a mild case of amnesia as well, because these two stories definitely do not match up.
5 Driving In The Wrong Lane
Shooting in global metropolises is an extremely difficult and costly exercise, and most productions choose to find more accessible places to film. Over the years, many film crews have avoided working in the Big Apple by finding similar locations to shoot instead.
The team behind The Fate of the Furious opted for this solution as well when they needed footage from New York. Most NY audiences probably noticed immediately that something was off about the scenes as the cast drives through several two-way streets, but most streets in Manhattan are one-way only. It turns out that much of the action was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio.
4 Premature Gender Reveal
One of the most impactful chapters in Fast & Furious’ past was the untimely loss of actor Paul Walker. His passing happened in the middle of filming Furious 7 and left a void in the franchise. The film had to be completed with the help of CGI and Walker’s siblings. On screen, Walker’s character settled down to lead a tranquil family life with his wife Mia.
Brian and Mia had their first child during Fast & Furious 6, and in the following film, Mia told Brian she was carrying their second child. When she delivered the happy news, she also revealed the baby’s gender. At this point, however, Mia was not yet showing. It is not possible to know the gender of a baby until 4-5 months into a pregnancy, so there is no way Mia could already have that information.
3 Foreign Hospital Equipment
Snacks were not the only foreign thing that the Fast & Furious crew brought with them to the UK. In the opening sequence of Furious 7, another exotic item can be spotted as the scene begins with a shot of the London skyline that slowly pans to the interior of a hospital room. Nothing seems out of the ordinary, until you notice the electric outlets on the wall.
Outlets found in the UK usually feature two lower holes and one upper, while the outlets seen in the movie are positioned the other way around. Instead, it looks like this scene was filmed in a hospital located on U.S. soil.
2 Visible Stunt Dummy
While hundreds of cars go to waste in each Fast & Furious movie, filmmakers have to be extra careful not to injure any of their human cargo. Stuntmen often step in for the stars when risky scenes have to be filmed, but even they have to be shielded from the most extreme stunts. If a particularly dangerous scene takes place, stunt dummies are used instead of actual human beings.
With the help of clever editing, audiences usually never notice the tricks that go into making these action sequences. It is, however, unavoidable when the facade slips from time to time. In Tokyo Drift, for example, viewers can easily spot a stunt dummy in the front seat of the Viper as it crashes into a sewer pipe.
1 Hobbs' Missing Beard
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined the cast of Fast & Furious for the franchise’s fifth film. Since then, the former wrestler has been making headlines by feuding with his co-stars. However, it's not only the actor’s relationships that have been on shaky grounds.
In Furious 6, it looks like he also struggled with his facial hair. For most of the film, Johnson appears on screen with a beard, but in a single scene mid-way through the movie, he can be seen clean-shaven. The scene in question shows Hobbs talking on the phone while driving, but when the movie cuts to a new scene, his beard has mysteriously reappeared.
Did you notice any other blunders from the Fast & Furious franchise films? Let us know in the comments below!