There just isn't any other film series quite like the Fast & Furious film series. Known for its jaw-dropping stunts, fast-paced action, exotic locations, and high-powered cast, the franchise doesn't look like it's going to be slowing down anytime soon.
From its humble beginnings way back in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, the series has seen Dominic Toretto and his crew of thieves and hijackers grow into one of the most successful film franchises of all time.
The series, when it isn't showcasing insane stunts or actors in revealing swimsuits, is about family. Dom and his crew are family, and Vin Diesel and the filmmakers think of their fans the same way. That doesn't mean there haven't been missteps, of course. In a series known for its ludicrous stunts and soap operatic emotional beats, there are bound to be more than a few plot holes, questions, and nonsensical moments.
This list counts down those moments, bringing you the things that make no sense about the entire series. Rather than focus on the plot holes of specific moments, we're talking about head-shakers that affect multiple films (although we do make a few exceptions for the really big moments that made audiences go "Wait, what?!"). Get ready: a series this successful and long-running has more than a few.
Sit back, relax, fire up the grill, crack open a few drinks that may or may not be Coronas, and take a look at 25 Things That Make No Sense About The Fast & Furious Series.
25 The timeline
Most film franchises proceed in a strictly linear fashion, barring the occasional prequel, in terms of their in-world timeline. Not Fast & Furious. Instead, the third entry in this series, Tokyo Drift, is actually the seventh in terms of the actual chronology.
Events in the fourth, fifth, and sixth films all somehow take place before Tokyo Drift, as a character (Han Lue) who appears in those films that gets bumped off in Tokyo Drift.
Needless to say, this isn't the most logical way to structure a film franchise. Fans aren't complaining that they got to see more of Han, but it makes explaining the series to non-fans nearly impossible.
24 The justice system is useless
By this point, any fan knows that the justice system only really exists in the Fast & Furious universe when the plot needs it to exist. Otherwise, cops are easily deceived and evaded, and the government seems to reward criminals just as often as it punishes them.
The first few films may have been somewhat grounded in reality when it came to this subject, but later movies have all but dropped the idea of a criminal justice system entirely.
Dom and co. commit crimes in spectacular fashion and never suffer any consequences for them, because laws don't sell movie tickets, we suppose.
23 Dom and Cipher's kiss
The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the franchise, seems to shake up the series' formula for a bit. In this film, Charlize Theron's character Cipher holds Dom's family hostage and turns him against his own crew. To drive this point him, she kisses him in front of his love, Letty, and Dom just kind of lets it happen.
There's no reason for the kiss to take place.
There's no other romantic tension between the two characters, and it's out of character for Dom.
Even with the threat of hurting his family, there's no reason for him to allow it to happen. It's clearly only there to be shocking enough to put it in the trailer.
22 Letty’s amnesia
Bizarre character choices are nothing new for blockbuster action franchises, but this one never really made sense on any level.
After appearing to pass away at the end of Fast & Furious, Letty resurfaced in Fast & Furious 6.
The fact that Letty hadn't reunited with the group despite being alive was explained away with amnesia as a convenient excuse, like the kind that soap opera characters get.
If this wasn't ridiculous enough, her memories miraculously return at the end of Furious 7.
This kind of plot development may work for soap operas, but here it was just nonsense.
21 They don't abide by the laws of physics
Over the years, the Fast Fam's stunts have only grown bigger and crazier. Unfortunately, this means that while they tend to be at least somewhat plausible, the actual physics at work are just plain bonkers.
From cars driving over ice displaced by an emerging submarine to magical boosted engines to tank-like sports cars, there just isn't a place for something as logical as science here.
It's telling that after years of action, the stunt where Dom jumped a car through the wall of one skyscraper into another skyscraper is actually one of the least implausible things he's done. Any physics that might stop motor stunts need not apply.
20 Forgiving Deckard Shaw
The main theme of every Fast & Furious film is family. Dom's crew is a family, and they look out for one another. This message gets hammered home in nearly every story-- except for the one where they all seem to forgive a guy who terminated a family member.
There's a lot of talk in Furious 7 about avenging Han, who was blown up by Deckard Shaw at the end of the previous movie.
By the next movie, Shaw appears to have joined the crew, saving Dom's son and trading one-liners with the fam. This left fans perplexed, as Han had apparently been forgotten. #JusticeForHan!
19 Dom and Hobbs' offscreen drama
While it's not altogether clear what caused the beef, the feud between Fast & Furious stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has become something of a legend.
Starting with a heated series of Instagram posts and ending with The Rock getting his own spinoff, it's had a major effect on the series, even causing the two not to actually film in the same room on The Fate of the Furious.
Fans are still scratching their heads over what exactly happened, because it never was really explained. There are plenty of theories, but for now, we'll have to watch the spinoffs and keep on speculating.
18 The spinoffs
The Fast & Furious brand only seems to be expanding these days, and that extends to the spinoffs. Not only is a Hobbs & Shaw movie planned, they're also in production on a Netflix animated series. We'll save our judgment till we see it, but fans are wondering whether those really fit with the rest of the series.
An animated series wouldn't seem to target the franchise's demographic.
Still, it's not like the rest of the franchise's business model made a ton of sense, and that worked out well, so who are we to judge?
17 Tej is suddenly a computer genius
Ludacris' character Tej Parker debuted way back in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and has since been a series mainstay. While Tej began the series as a down to earth mechanic and garage owner, that doesn't seem to be who he is anymore.
Instead of a common mechanic, Tej is now a genius tech expert with incredibly implausible knowledge about an impossibly wide range of subjects.
Whether it's electronics, computer code, complex weapons systems, or just regular cars, Tej is now magically able to hack and fix anything in a matter of hours. This huge character change is never really explained.
16 Roman is pretty useless
Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson) is introduced in 2 Fast 2 Furious as Brian O'Connor's childhood friend, and he was clearly brought in as a new protagonist to replace the absent Vin Diesel. However, once Diesel returned to the series, Tyrese couldn't fill that role anymore, so he shifted over to something more akin to comic relief.
Now all Roman does is trade barbs with Tej and react in silly ways to the increasingly crazy stunts the crew does.
Everyone else in the Fast Fam fulfills some kind of super criminal niche, but Roman is just kind of there. Why exactly does the crew keep him around, again?
15 Where’s Sean?
The third film in the series, Tokyo Drift, is mostly known for the addition of fan-favorite Han to the roster of characters. But here's the thing: Han wasn't the main character in the movie. No, that was Sean Boswell, played by Lucas Black, a character who has all but disappeared.
Since starring in the 2006 film that teased him joining Dom's crew, Black has made one cameo appearance in Furious 7, and that's it. No more Sean.
Instead of recruiting Han's protégé, Dom seems to have decided to let Han's assassin, Deckard Shaw, join the crew.
14 Dom forgot his home
The Fast & Furious series is known today for its brand of nitro-boosted, globe-trotting, high-budget action, but that's not how it always was. The first film introduced protagonist Dominic Toretto as a street racer who cares deeply about his chosen family: his fellow racers and mechanics in Los Angeles.
However, aside from Brian O'Connor, Letty Ortiz, and Mia Toretto, pretty much every other character from The Fast and the Furious gets dropped from later installments, and recent movies never show Dom return home.
That means all those people Dom supposedly considered family weren't that important to him, which, needless to say, doesn't really make sense for him as a character.
13 Brian became an expert driver way too fast
Brian O'Connor was introduced back in the first film as a straightlaced cop and an inexpert driver. A total amateur, he was completely outclassed by Dom as a street racer. Yet in the second movie, Brian had suddenly become an excellent racer, on par with any other Fast character. He'd go on to challenge Dom himself.
The issue was addressed somewhat with a short film that served as a prequel to the second film.
It only showed Brian driving across the country, and arriving in Miami an accomplished racer.
We love you, Brian, but one road trip does not an elite driver make-- his abrupt level-up made no sense in the movie.
12 The fam is nothing like it was in the beginning
How did Dom’s crew, a group of street racers and fairly small-time hijackers, become world-class globe-trotting supercriminals, again? For characters that started out as street-level grifters and workers, they've become unrealistically powerful unrealistically quickly.
Plus, characters like Hobbs and Shaw, larger-than-life cops and villains, feel nothing like the common folk that seemed to populate the earlier films.
The franchise has grown to a much larger scope than its humble beginnings, and its characters have grown to fit it, but there's no real explanation in the films themselves.
Take Dom, for example: a guy who lived life "a quarter mile at a time" has basically become the greatest criminal in the world, and nobody thinks that's weird?
11 The bad guy never makes any sense
People don't really watch the Fast & Furious movies for the bad guys, and there's a reason for that. The bad guy in each movie seems to be more ridiculous than the last, with schemes that make less sense than the stunts the Fast Fam have to perform to defeat them.
From Fate of the Furious' Cipher to Owen Shaw to Hernan Reyes to Arturo Braga, the antagonists of these films nearly always have needlessly complicated plans and motivations.
Fans were likely relieved when all Deckard Shaw wanted to do was avenge his brother in Furious 7.
Too bad that film also had an evil mercenary looking for the God's Eye.
10 The disappearing Coronas
Ask literally any Fast & Furious fan, and they'll tell you what the unofficial official beer of the Fast Fam is: Corona.
Starting from the very first film, the characters could only drink Corona if they wanted to blend.
The really weird thing? Corona paid for none of this free advertising.
Gary Scott Thompson, the writer of the first film, included it because some gearheads in his LA neighborhood preferred Corona. For years thereafter, all Dom every drank onscreen was Corona after Corona, all without any paid product placement. Maybe that's why producers of Fate of the Furious quietly switched to Budweiser and Stella Artois.
9 The infamous runway sequence
The runway sequence in Fast & Furious 6, by any logic, completely impossible. Nothing about it makes sense, from the physics of the cars to the plane to the people inside them. Maybe the best example is the simple length of the scene.
The chase goes on for so long that some simple math was used to figure out how long the runway would have to be. The result: over 28 miles of paved runway would have to be used. The longest paved airport runway in the world is just 3.4 miles long.
8 Hack every car in the world
In one memorable sequence in the most recent film, The Fate of the Furious, villain Cipher sends her newly-recruited point man Dominic Toretto in to steal nuclear codes from Russians. To cover his escape and stop his old crew from catching up, she uses her hacking skills to hack every nearby car and essentially hurl them at his pursuers.
This makes no sense at all.
Modern cars may be advanced, but they're not so advanced that the electronic systems can be used to drive the car itself.
They're not self-driving cars, after all. It's not like their GPS can just take over the whole thing. Cipher's a genius hacker, though, so who cares?
7 Fast Five's vault car chase
It's undeniably a fun scene, but one that disobeys pretty much every law of physics: the vault chase in Fast Five.
From the horsepower needed to generate enough thrust to pull a gigantic metal vault to the fact that Dom and Brian's cars somehow outrun police cruisers while doing so, nothing about it works logically.
Then there's the vault itself. Sliding and bouncing around the street, it behaves extremely conveniently. On top of all that, even if it could be moved the way it is, it would have crushed so many pedestrians-- not just the conveniently empty cars and buildings that it does destroy.
6 Mr. Nobody
Kurt Russell entered the series in Furious 7, playing the government agent Mr. Nobody.
So called because he was such a secret agent that he didn't even seem to have a real name, very little about the character is ever explained.
Mr. Nobody is pretty much just a guy who shows up to tell the crew what the plot of the movie is.
He says the government needs them to go grab some powerful device or other, and that's it. He's not so much a character as an exposition deliverer. In a series that constantly explores painful backstories, the lack of information and logic here sticks out.
5 Elena's Fate
Poor Elena. Brought in to serve as Dominic Toretto's love interest in Fast Five, the character played by Elsa Pataky was caring, incorruptible, and good with a gun. Unfortunately, sometimes that isn't enough to keep your spot in a megablockbuster franchise.
As soon as Dom's old flame Letty returned, Elena was on her way out.
Pataky's role got smaller as Letty became the primary love interest again, and by The Fate of the Furious, she was getting used as a hostage to further the plot. Her introduction made sense, but the way the writers basically wrote her out of the show didn't--and fans knew she deserved better.
NOS stands for Nitrous Oxide Systems, and apparently in the Fast & Furious world, it is made entirely of magic. An old standby since the very first street race showed in the franchise, NOS has served as all kinds of physics-defying nonsense.
From boosting cars well beyond what's possible to making light bend like a Stars Wars FTL jump, NOS has always made no sense.
Basically, whatever the writers need NOS to be able to do, it can.
There is no real internal logic here, nothing that points to any kind of scientific accuracy. When asked what NOS actually is or does, fans might as well say "it makes Vin Diesel win car races."
3 The technology
Another fun thing about the confusing timeline is that it creates plotholes throughout the series, in the form of its technology. Since Tokyo Drift was made in 2006 but technically takes place after the films that came out in 2009, 2011, and 2013, all kinds of anachronisms occur in all those films.
Either the technology in Tokyo Drift is laughably outdated for the time it's set in, or the three subsequent films all have ludicrously unrealistic technology for the time they're set in.
It's one or the other, and either way, it's an entire host of plotholes that plague four different films.
2 Brian Connor’s “retirement”
Of course we don't the filmmakers for this one, but it still doesn't make sense in-universe.
Paul Walker passed away in 2013, and rather than bump off the character, the writers decided to "retire" Brian O'Connor so he could spend time with his family.
This was a nice moment and made many a Fast fan cry, but it just doesn't hold up in the logic of the films. There's no way Brian wouldn't get pulled back into the newer adventures, no way they wouldn't call him back for more jobs, if he was still alive. It was the best the writers could do, but it was an awkward fix at best.
1 It got better with age
Fast & Furious is a unique film series, in more ways than one. Can you think of any other blockbuster franchise that didn't really achieve global popularity until the fifth film?
To be clear, every single Fast & Furious film has been at least a modest box office hit, but it wasn't until Fast Five that it took off.
When that film grossed over $600 million, the franchise reached new heights that now see the recent films making over a billion dollars worldwide. No other film series has done that, as it just doesn't make sense from a business standpoint.
Not too bad for a franchise that started so small it couldn't get its star to return for the sequel.
What else doesn't make sense about Fast and Furious? Let us know in the comments!