The Fast and the Furious franchise is probably the most ridiculous series of hit movies ever made. These films are also the most fun you’ll have watching movies about car racin, heists, and loyalty. At their core, the Fast and Furious movies are all about entertainment.
Spanning eight feature films and two short movies, the Fast and Furious franchise has racked up over $5 billion at the box office. Not bad for a franchise that almost had some of its movies on the verge of not being made. After a few films, it almost seemed like Universal Studios and the filmmakers stopped taking the storylines and lore too seriously. This meant forgetting what was written before and only finding ways to top the biggest, most implausible scene in the previous flicks and create even more over-the-top villains. All the movies needed were more explosions and crazy, weird, and intense car chases.
It’s hard to deny the Fast and Furious movies have great star power, humor, heartfelt moments, and keep us on the edge of our seats. People might find arguments to disagrees with some of those descriptions, but not all of them. Deep down, cinephiles have an odd respect for the franchise they often don’t want to admit. For those reasons, it’s easy to overlook the plot holes, impossible physics, and conflicting dialogue in order to have a great time at the movies.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Fast And Furious We All Choose To Ignore.
20 Tej the Instant Hacker
Played by the rapper Ludacris, Tej joined the crew, but didn’t have a definitive role. Not much information was given about his past except that he had his own garage, was a decent mechanic, and if you go by his words, was a “bikini inspector.” Tej wasn’t exactly a complicated character.
Then came Fast 5. The team needed someone who could hack computers, so who got the job? Somehow, it’s Tej. This important skill probably should have been introduced much earlier than Fast 5. Tej performed massive amounts of computer hacking throughout the movie. Brian tried to ask Tej about it, but Tej’s response was: “I had a life before you knew me.” A new character would have been better. The writers did it in Furious 7 with Ramsey so why not do it before that?
19 The timeline makes no sense
Watching the Fast & Furious movies in order of release won't give you a good idea of when the movies take place -- and Tokyo Drift is to blame.
Tokyo Drift has Han pass away in a car crash, but Han was alive in Fast and Furious 4, 5, and 6 so they are technically prequels.
The third movie also messed with the time setting. It’s easy to assume that Fast 5 and 6 are set in 2011 to 2013 since that’s when they were made. Drift might appear to be in the future, but the characters used flip phones! Fast 7 told us directly that Letty perished n 2009. So clearly, Fast and Furious loves to bend time-- or doesn't care.
18 Letty Has No Loyalty
Letty doesn’t actually perish in Fast 4. She was transported to a hospital where the worst of her injuries is amnesia. In Fast 6, Owen Shaw - that movie’s chosen bad guy - took her to use her abilities for his crew. Letty joined with no idea what she was getting into.
Shaw’s group was suspicious but Letty participated in all their questionable activities on her own accord. There was some complaining when innocent people got eliminated, but that passed quickly. When Dom rescued her, she easily attached to the Fast Fam crew of good guys again. Basically, she did what others told her, even though she said: “I know one thing about myself: Nobody makes me do anything I don’t wanna do.”
17 Elena's Relationship with Dom
One likable character introduced in later movies was Elena, played by Elsa Pataky. She worked as a police officer until recruited by Dwayne Johnson’s character, Luke Hobbs. She eventually entered a romantic relationship with Dom. Granted, Dom though Letty was completely gone from his life, and he found love and solace in Elena.
When Letty returned to Dom’s life, Elena got the boot immediately.
The strange thing that’s hard to ignore was that Elena seemed perfectly fine with being dumped. Elena left Dom without so much a complaint or argument, even saying one last line to justify Dom’s choice. “This is your family,” she said. “It’s who you are.”
16 13-Minute Runway Landing
Over-the-top action movies tend to sacrifice logic to capture that one cool moment in the climas. For Fast 6, that moment was the airplane scene at the climax. It’s an intense and amazing scene to watch, but completely implausible.
Owen Shaw was attempting to escape on a large plane. Dom’s crew chased the plane for an edge-of-your-seat time of 13 minute. Every vehicle was going full speed. Many have tried to calculate the length of the runway, and most numbers end at around 28 miles. When you think about the longest runway on Earth at 3 miles, the Fast and Furious runway is absolutely absurd. When the plan was finally stopped, Dom appeared from the opposite direction, which showed more runway still ahead.
15 Pedestrians Somehow Survive
Many scenes in most of the Fast and Furious movies have numerous pedestrians milling about in the background. It makes sense to have multitudes of people as extras to ensure the scene is believable. In most of thhe movies' dangerous chase scenes, no one appears to get hurt. For example, in Tokyo Drift, crowds inexplicably part or dash out of the way during the Shibuya Crossing drifting sequence.
The innocent people are miraculously missed by any crashes or speeding vehicles.
The best example is the safe-pulling scene in Fast Five. The safe is dragged all over the streets of Rio, bashing buildings, nailing cars, and pummeling street lights and signs. All those people you see? They’re fine, just going about their day.
14 The Train Plan in Fast 5
In the fifth movie, things start off with an extensive plan involving hopping onto a moving train to get to a specific car to remove a microchip. There were plenty of safer ways to complete this job - including inserting someone undercover or intercepting the car before it was loaded - but Dom’s crew has a faster and more furious plan.
Their answer was to ride parallel to the speeding train, cut a hole in one of the train cars while it sped along, and hop on without attracting attention. The train was chock-full of agents, but they managed to steal the car they needed-- among others. Then, once they got away, Dom’s team ditched the cars.
13 Speed of Vehicles
The Fast and Furious movies are all about speed. Cars, planes, tanks, trains, boats: if it has an engine, someone in the movie will drive it fast. What we can’t ignore is that some vehicles in the films cannot go as fast as shown. 2 Fast 2 Furious has Brian racing a car on land, with a shot showing the speedometer at 120 MPH) to catch a boat in the water. You’ll notice the car is having a hard time reaching the boat. The boat has been researched by some, which can’t go higher than 40 MPH anyway.
In The Fate of the Furious, the submarine is moving impossibly fast.
The cars should have gotten away with no trouble, but the Akula Class submarine managed to go well over its top speed of 35 knots (or about 40 MPH).
12 The underground mountain tunnel in Fast & Furious
Creating a fresh tunnel through a mountain requires a vast amount of legal permissions and, if approved, powerful equipment. The secret tunnel used to move the cars from one side to the other suddenly appeared with no opposition, planning, or experts.
First, the burrowing machines would have been extremely loud. Since the stone is difficult to break, the sheer numbers of man- and machine-power would have had someone noticed. Also, the mountain/tunnel bordered an entirely different country. It’s surprising that that country or even the border patrol looked the other way. Dom and his crew weren’t experts in tunneling, but they somehow knew how to support the tunnel from collapsing, and run the special machines and technology with precision in a short amount of time.
11 Mr. Nobody
In Fast and Furious 7, Kurt Russell plays Mr. Nobody. That’s the perfect name for the level of importance for this character. He’s a strange character, appearing at the right times to give Dom and his crew any and all resources needed. Nobody’s exact role outside of the context of Dom’s crew is unknown.
Mr. Nobody spouts obvious plot points and manages to only give one command.
Otherwise his presence has no discernible purpose. He’s smart, but easy-going. At one point, he gets hurt, but that’s fine: medical help is suddenly on their way. Oh, and you can leave him near the road.
10 NOS is all-powerful and magic
NOS, or nitrous, allows combustible engines to burn more fuel at once for more power. In the world of Fast and Furious, it’s an important element in car racing. With everything NOS allows some cars to do, the nitrous seems to be a magical automotive juice with multiple uses. Cars can apparently fly when NOS is injected into the engine.
When used, NOS makes cars fast for an unbelievably long time, sometimes for minutes. Plus, oddly enough, it was the only thing that helped Dom win races. He did have some driving skill, but only required the flick of a lever to activate the NOS and leave his competition in the dust. Did they have an unlimited supply of this stuff?
9 Brian's "Retirement"
When Paul Walker passed away in 2013, the Fast and Furious filmmakers and writers had an obstacle to overcome. Instead of eliminating the character, another path was taken. Brian O’Connor retires, and it’s okay with everyone because he wants to be with his family more. It’s a nice way to pay respects to an actor that brought joy through the screen.
In the context of the films, it’s hard to believe that Brian wouldn’t be tempted to return to help Dom on jobs or adventures.
It’s a life O’Connor knew for a long time, and his “family” relied on him for so much. To be fair, the writers probably had to do something quick, and keeping Brian alive kept Paul alive in our hearts.
8 Racing for Money
When Dom or Brian or any part of the crew isn’t driving cars for heists or other jobs, they’re racing for money. However, racing cars in The Fast and Furious movies isn’t profitable. The damage some of the cars take would be much more than the cash prize for a race.
One race has a “prize” of over $10,000 in 2 Fast 2 Furious, but some of the cars use a ramp to jump for an advantage. A heavy car landing on hard road causes visible and extensive damage to the undercarriage that makes the winnings pale in comparison. The only movie that racing for money makes sense is in Tokyo Drift when Sean must go work for Han for destroying Han’s car. At least there’s some consequence there.
7 Tokyo Drift's Unrealistic Drifting
The word "drift" is in the title, so you’re correct to assume there’s car drifting in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. It’s a technique that requires fluid handbrake, steering, and accelerator coordination. In Tokyo Drift, the drifting was flawless. Whether sliding through Shibuya Crossing or drifting up a parking structure’s ramp or careening down a winding mountain road, the drivers in the film were absolute experts when it came to drifting.
During the drifting scenes, especially the chase, it would have probably been more beneficial to drive in a straight line.
Drifting allowed the chaser to catch up because the lead car was slowed by the drift.
6 Dom's exploding house
Buildings and other structures can be built to withstand earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. What about explosions? If engineers could harness the techniques that constructions workers used to build houses in Furious 7, then nothing could ever be knocked down again.
In Furious 7, Dom’s home is destroyed by an explosion. Well, somewhat destroyed. The house is in a populated area, with neighbors on either side of the home and cars visible in the shots. Take a closer look: nothing around Dom’s home is even damaged. The concussive force should have knocked out windows of the houses and cars, and the force of the explosion probably should have done some damage to the walls, roofs, or lawns. At least Dom can live in his unscathed car if he needs to.
5 Cars Pulling Down an Airplane
Fast and Furious 6 has the most memorable scene in the entire franchise. Cars chasing down an airplane on an unbelievably long runway (about 28 miles, remember?) makes for a great hold-your-breath moment. There’s a lot of action every second of the scene, but most important is that Dom is trapped on the plane, which nearly takes off. The plan is to pull the plane back to the ground with normal cars.
It’s no problem for the few cars Dom’s crew uses to keep pace with the plane and pull it back to the runaway when it manages to lift off.
Inaccurate speed, odd physics, and weight imbalances are a few of the things hard to ignore in this scene.
4 L.A. is Tokyo
Tokyo Drift went to Japan to give the franchise a new setting with new characters. This meant film crews had to set up shop internationally-- at least for most of the film. S ometimes it’s hard to completely shoot a movie in a foreign setting.
To keep the budget in check - especially with big name actors on board - Tokyo Drift shot some of the scenes in and around Los Angeles. Two scenes make this obvious. Near the beginning of the movie, Sean Boswell is on his way to school and riding a subway. It’s the L.A. subway system, not the one in Japan. Also, in a different scene, the Los Angeles Sixth Street bridge can be seen in the background.
3 Cipher is not a Great Hacker
If you haven’t seen Fate of the Furious, spoiler alert in the next sentence. Fate has a twist that involved Dom’s necklace: the character had been tracked the whole movie with a device embedded in it. A closer look at the necklace reveals a red, blinking light. Cipher, played by Charlize Theron, is touted as an expert hacker (unlike Tej) with elaborate technology for her amazing security systems. Through different scenes in Fate, you can see how Cipher has the best of the best and is able to detect the best of the best.
On many occasions, when Dom and Cipher are together, she seems to miss the necklace's light every single time.
It's such a simple way to thwart her diabolical plans. Maybe she needed Tej’s help.
2 Sean Knows Yakuza Locations
Another Tokyo Drift improbability is Sean’s ability to track and know where Yakuza members were located. Forget the fact that the Yakuza boss took the time to listen to a teenager when Sean voiced his terms for the climactic race. Sean somehow new where the Yakuza boss would be located to pitch his race idea.
There were a few other moments when Sean appeared with Yakuza, but the Yakuza allowing some guy to stroll through their ranks isn’t how they operate. When Sean basically wins the race at the end, true to Yakuza form, the boss keeps his word to let Sean stay in Tokyo. But it’s unclear what happens to Takashi, the nephew. He most likely met a tragic ending.
1 Dom Evades Police, But Not Brian
In Mexico, Dom lays low, escaping the police with ease. Dom was considered a fugitive at that point, and plenty of resources were in use to find the criminal street racer and mastermind. However, Brian knows exactly where Dom is-- and arrives at Dom’s house. Dom is calmly tinkering with his car. Brian said, “Everyone’s looking for you" but the police didn’t think to look there?
Maybe the police used Bing search, typed in “Dom’s location,” and since nothing came up, and called it a day.
It’s hard to ignore that Dom is basically in plain sight, out in the open working on his ca. It’s a wonder the police catch anyone in that movie.
What problems do you try to ignore in The Fast and Furious franchise? Let us know in the comments!