[WARNING: SPOILERS FOR 'FAST & FURIOUS 6' AHEAD]
While most franchises are running out of gas by the sixth installment, Fast & Furious has shown to have plenty of fuel left in the tank, pun intended, as Fast & Furious 6 has already grossed nearly $175 million and is on pace to be the most profitable entry in the series.
There are several factors that contribute to the series' longevity, with one of the biggest being that the films remain true to what they are. Fast & Furious films don't try to be more than the entertaining popcorn flicks that they are, and the last few entries have proven that there are still stunts we've never seen and thrills we've yet to experience.
Though the climatic finale of Fast & Furious 6 boasts perhaps the most preposterous set-piece yet, audiences couldn't help but be wowed, and a recently released featurette shows how filmmakers pulled it off.
The above video takes moviegoers behind the scenes of the film's epic final sequence, detailing how filmmakers used a combination of partial to-scale plane builds, special effects and digital recreations to bring the scene to life. The crew filmed real stunt drivers speeding in front of an actual burning rig and then filled in the details digitally in post-production.
The digital shot overlay was especially crucial in creating the most incredible part of the sequence, which comes when Dom (Vin Diesel) escapes the exploding wreckage of Shaw's plane by driving his car through the front of the plane's fuselage, joining the rest of his team after they brazenly bring the airliner to the ground. Obviously, such a feat is virtually impossible, so the digital/practical compositions were necessary.
However, the fact that director Justin Lin and his stunt team were able to shoot much of the sequence practically definitely benefits the film in terms of authenticity. Though we know this could never happen in the real world, we can suspend our disbelief as an audience, since it looks and feels somewhat real.
Of course, there are some shots of the plane that are purely digital, but as stated in the video, there's simply no way you can have cars driving beneath a plane in flight. The fact that they even had real stunt drivers maneuvering in front of a burning set was risky enough.
The final product is an action set-piece that audiences won't soon forget, and after ending Fast & Furious 6 with a bang, it's safe to say moviegoers will be returning to see what Fast & Furious 7 has in store and how it might try to top the finale of its predecessor.
Check out Fast & Furious 6 in theaters now and be sure to race to the cinema for Fast & Furious 7 on July 11th, 2014.