All Show and No Go

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the first spin-off in the ridiculously popular Fast & Furious franchise. Since they stole the show in The Fate of the Furious, it only made sense to give them their own movie. It also succeeded in keeping Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel as far away from each other as possible. But the real rivalry is between Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. They’ve fought, shared a prison cell, and had to work together in the past. In Hobbs & Shaw, the fate of the world is in jeopardy. So they have to set aside their differences once more to save it. While at the same time having more hilarious arguments. Really Hobbs and Shaw couldn’t be more different. One’s a jacked federal agent and the other’s a limber British mercenary. Together they have to stop a literal supervillain from retrieving a world ending virus. Idris Elba plays Brixton, a cybernetically enhanced superhuman. Sure the series has reached superhero levels, but this is over-the-top even for Fast & Furious. I know what your thinking, what about the cars and butts? Well they manage to sneak a couple in there. While at the same time incorporating crazy car stunts in with the well choreographed action. It’s here John Wick director David Leitch’s style shines through. Fast cars are best used in intense car chases involving motorcycles and tow cables. The primary beautiful woman is Deckard’s younger sister Hattie Shaw. Vanessa Kirby holds her own alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Just like the rest of the franchise, family is very important to both men. From Shaw’s relationship with his mother and sister to Hobbs’ Samoan heritage. Hobbs & Shaw is full of illogical action and unexpected cameos to hold us over until #9.

9. Hobbs & Shaw

“This guys a real a**hole”

Spin-off: The Fate of the Furious

A Broken Family

The Fate of the Furious is running on star power, massive action set pieces, fast cars, and beautiful women alone. After 8 freaking installments, what more could they do? The cast is barely getting along at this point. Almost like Paul Walker was the glue that held them together. Dwayne Johnson called out Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson needs a paycheck, and Michelle Rodriguez is uncomfortable with her role in the franchise. The Fate of the Furious deals with the fall out of Dom’s family. After Dom seemingly betrays his crew after a routine mission. 2017 seemed to be the year of heroic betrayals. It temporarily leaves his team consisting of: Letty, Rome, Tej, and Ramsey. Along with an obvious Brian substitute. Luke Hobbs is caught and sent to prison where he runs into Deckard Shaw. After a superhuman prison fight, Mr. Nobody forces them to work together to take Dom down. He’s working for a cyberterrorist named Cypher. Played by Charlize Theron with dreadlocks (for some reason). Dom’s reason for going bad does make sense though. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham practically hijack the movie. As they’re responsible for every awesome action scene. Even Helen Mirren steals the show as Shaw’s mother. Making the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw a must. Between the cars and butts are scenes of them evading remote controlled cars, driving on the ice while being chased by a submarine, and protecting a baby on a moving plane. Wasn’t this franchise once about street racing? Although it’s hard to say what Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray’s style is supposed to be. The Fate of the Furious offers enough over-the-top nonsense to satisfy fans of the long running franchise.

8. The Fate of the Furious

Hobbs faces Shaw

Preceded by: Furious 7

When I See You Again

Furious 7 brought everything full circle. By finally connecting the out of place The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and giving Paul Walker a heartfelt send-off. Walker sadly past away in a tragic car accident before filming was complete. Rather than kill off Brian O’Conner, he and Mia were simply retired. Furious 7 picks up with everyone trying to live a normal life. Unfortunately, the sins of their past come back to haunt them. Jason Statham plays Deckard Shaw, brother of Owen Shaw. He takes revenge on the team by killing Han and blowing up the Toretto family house. So despite the very 2006 feel of Tokyo Drift, the movie now takes place in the far future. Only now does Vin Diesel’s cameo make sense. Sean doesn’t join the team though since he’s just a street racer. Something that’s officially left behind in favor of crazier stunts. In exchange for finding Shaw, Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody tasks Dom’s crew with rescuing a hacker named Ramsey who’s invented a high tech surveillance system. Fast cars and beautiful women guarantee the hacker will be a gorgeous young lady. Dom’s team now consists of: Brian, Letty, Rome, Tej, and Ramsey. Luke Hobbs is left out of commission after an epic fight with Shaw. The only time Dwayne Johnson is underused. Leaving room for more cars and butts than ever before. The team drive out a plane, Dom and Brian drive through 3 separate skyscrapers, and Dom launches his car into a helicopter. Completely illogical, but awesome. Makes me glad this was the installment I saw in theaters. Brian and Dom going down separate roads brought grown men to tears. “See You Again” should have been Oscar nominated. Since Horror director James Wan managed to make Furious 7 the heart of the franchise.

7. Furious 7

Dom’s crew in Abu Dhabi

Preceded by: Fast & Furious 6 & Followed by: The Fate of the Furious

They Got a Tank

Fast & Furious 6 evolved the franchise even further. This time street racing is ditched in favor of a spy adventure. Fast cars and beautiful women are on both sides of the latest conflict. After their “last job,” Dom is enjoying retirement with Elena. It’s not long before Luke Hobbs finds him and brings him in for another mission. This time it’s personal. As a mid-credits scene revealed Dom’s sweetheart Letty to still be alive. It would have been a mistake not to bring Michelle Rodriguez back to the growing franchise. Dom’s team now consists of: Brian, Rome, Tej, Han, and Giselle. All of whom leave their luxurious lives to help out. Mia stays home with her son and Leo & Santos couldn’t be bothered. Hobbs is also unofficially part of the team along with his new partner Riley. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson put their brawn to good use. They all work to bring down an evil version of their heist crew. Owen Shaw is the first villain worth mentioning as he’s the one keeping the amnesia stricken Letty on his team. This revelation leads to Dom desperately trying to get her back. Cars and butts are still on full display and the humor just gets better. But it’s really the action that’s gotten crazier. The laws of physics simply don’t exist in this universe. Characters are flung onto vehicles and walk away from explosions unschatted. Fast & Furious 6 has two seperate climaxes. It was apparently supposed to be a 2 parter. The first climax features the team evading a tank on a highway. The second climax features the team trying to bring down a plane on the longest runway in history. Fast & Furious 6 fully embraces it’s ridiculous set up.

6. Fast and Furious 6

Rome leaps

Preceded by: Fast Five & Followed by: Furious 7

The Most Important Thing in Life will Always be Family

Fast Five was the much needed boost this street racing franchise needed. As it ditched the street racing in favor of a massive ensemble action heist flick. It was a decision that more than payed off. Making Fast Five the first film in The Fast and the Furious franchise to get genuinely positive reviews. Dom, Brian, and Mia are now fugitives living in Rio after breaking the former out of police custody. In order to start a new life, the three of them plan a heist to steal over $100,000,000 from a corrupt businessman. This puts them in direct conflict with Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs. Casting Dwayne Johnson in the part was just what this franchise needed. He’s jacked, covered in baby oil, and ready to go toe to toe with Vin Diesel. Their testosterone filled fight is one to behold. Another clever decision was bringing characters from every previous movie together. Dom’s heist team consists of: Brian, Mia, Rome, Tej, Han, Gieselle, and Leo & Santos. Each of whom helped the main characters in some capacity in the past. Their comedic banter has gotten a lot better. Of course Hobbs couldn’t stay an enemy forever. He and fellow officer Elena join Dom’s team and become part of the family he loves so much. Fast Five officially throws all logic out the window. With big action set pieces that define the laws of physics. Like jumping out of a moving car and into the ocean or driving with a giant safe attached. Of course the shift to more action doesn’t eliminate the fast cars and beautiful women. There’s still plenty of cars and butts to ogle. Fast Five just became a serious blockbuster in the process.

5. Fast Five

Brian rides with Dom

Preceded by: Fast & Furious & Followed by: Fast & Furious 6

Without the The’s

Fast & Furious brought the franchise back to its roots. After two loosely connected sequels, they simply decided to drop the the’s from the title. That’s not confusing at all. Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner finally reunite after 8 years. The chemistry between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker is the biggest highlight of one of the weakest installments in the series. While not as dumb as the second or as out of place as the third, Fast & Furious is just too self-serious. Films about fast cars and beautiful women should know how to have fun. After an impressive rig hijacking sequence, Dom’s girlfriend Letty is seemingly killed by a drug lord. Brian somehow got his job back and it puts he and Dom into direct contact. The two work to repair their shattered friendship while at the same time trying to find Letty’s killer. There’s still cars and butts, but they take a back seat to more character drama. Like Brian and Mia falling for eachother all over again. Dom gets a sort of love interest in liaison Gisele. Played by a pre-Wonder Woman Gal Gadot. Fast & Furious is technically a prequel because Han is still alive. A decision that seemed to spell interesting things for the future. Fast & Furious is a serviceable detour before we get to the good stuff.

4. Fast and Furious

Brian reunites with Dom

Preceded by: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift & Followed by: Fast Five

Drifting Away

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift has next to nothing to do with The Fast and the Furious. Aside from the fast cars and beautiful women, none of the original characters star in the “sequel.” The only connection is Vin Diesel’s cameo at the very end. Let’s just say his appearance wasn’t cheap. The lead this time is Lucas Black. He plays a random southern teenager named Sean Boswell. His performance leaves a lot to be desired. Sean’s obsession with street racing gets him shipped off to Tokyo. Where there’s plenty of Japanese cars and butts. Long time series director Justin Lin injects his own Asian flare into the movie. Along with the location, Lin made connections to his film Better Luck Tomorrow. Specifically having Sung Kang play his character Han. He’ll be very important down the line. Despite the terrible acting, questionable series placement, or choice to use another dated rapper with Lil’ Bow Wow, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift actually has more focus on street racing then any of the other films. The art of drifting plays a key role in almost every race in the movie. So if any of that excites you, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift might be less out of place then initially thought.

3. The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift

Drifting

Preceded by: 2 Fast 2 Furious & Followed by: Fast & Furious

Carz n the Hood

2 Fast 2 Furious put 2’s where the the’s should be. Thus beginning the franchise’s tradition of unusual titles. With Vin Diesel choosing to opt out of the sequel, the lead role was instead given to Paul Walker. 2 Fast 2 Furious picks up right after Brian O’Conner decided to let Dominic Toretto go. No longer a police officer, Brian flees to Miami where he works as an illegal street racer. The directing reigns were handed over to late Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton. He injected his own flavor into the racing sequel. Which mostly meant hiring more black performers like Tyrese Gibson or rapper Ludacris. Gibson does the absolute most as Brian’s childhood friend Roman Pearce. Brian and Rome end up working together when U.S. Customs promises to erase their criminal records in exchange for their help in taking down a drug lord. Along with a new bald and muscular best friend, Brian is also given a new love interest. Eva Mendes plays a Customs agent who assists the two. But more cars and more butts aren’t enough to disguise how ridiculously dated 2 Fast 2 Furious is. All the flash with none of the brains. Then again, as long as there are fast cars and beautiful women, fans won’t complain. 2 Fast 2 Furious is plenty of dumb fun.

2. 2 Fast 2 Furious

Brian, Rome, and their crew

Preceded by: The Fast and the Furious & Followed by: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

I Live My Life a ¼ Mile at a Time

The Fast and the Furious introduced us to an underground world of fast cars and beautiful women. It’s truly hard to believe that this one street racing movie sparked a franchise that’s still going on today. I remember when The Fast and the Furious came out, I just didn’t have much interest in it. Cars and racing didn’t start to interest me until I was a little older. So I didn’t officially get into the franchise until around the 7th installment. It’s fun to look back on The Fast and the Furious, and its humble roots as a straight forward street racing movie. The Fast and the Furious centers on both Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner. Dom is a famous street racer who hijacks vehicles with a crew that’s as important to him as family. Brian is an undercover cop tasked with infiltrating his crew. They meet during a nighttime street race full of NOS fueled cars and butts. The cars are cool, but I’m no expert on make and model. So the basic premise is that a cop secretly gets close to a group of righteous criminals who drink Corona. Yes that is the exact same premise as Point Break. What The Fast and the Furious was able to do though, was offer fast paced excitement and engaging characters. Vin Diesel was born to play this part and Paul Walker will be sorely missed. Michelle Rodriguez proves her action cred playing Dom’s girlfriend Letty. While Jordana Brewster plays a key role as Dom’s sister Mia who falls for Brian. Despite their action’s Dom’s ideals are surprisingly christian. The Fast and the Furious is a high-octane thrill ride.

1. The Fast and the Furious

Dom and Brian pull up

Followed by: 2 Fast 2 Furious

Jungle Babies

Rugrats Go Wild did not require a theatrical film. Even if it did crossover Nickelodeon’s Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. I’m sure it was only done that way because both had successful movies. Although this is really more of a Rugrats movie that guest stars the Wild Thornberrys. Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Angelica, Dil, Kimi, Susie (finally!), and their parents all wind up stranded on an uninhabited island. The whole situation is just a less funny rehash of The Rugrats Movie. Only in the jungle instead of the forest. Meanwhile on the Thornberry side, Eliza and Debbie simply want to go on a family vacation. Both properties may be by Klasky Csupo, but it’s still hard to buy how coincidental this all is. Not that seeing the characters together wasn’t cool when I was younger. Angelica meets her bossy match with Debbie. Chuckie trades places with Donnie. The babies encounter Nigel “Strawberry” with the mind of a baby. A less funny rehash of Rugrats episode “Regarding Stuie.” The parents later meet Marianne and Eliza and Darwin talk to Spike. Who has the voice of Bruce Willis. It was one of the three primary marketing tools for the paper thin plot. The crossover, Bruce Willis, and Scratch & sniff cards. They gave you the ability to smell parts of the movie. You could pick them up at either Burger King or Blockbuster. I still remember most of the smells. Unfortunately, Rugrats Go Wild is mostly just gross out humor wrapped in an unoriginal package.

Rugrats Go Wild

Spike speaks

Crossover of: Rugrats & The Wild Thornberrys