The craziest stuff that’s happened in the Fast & Furious series

As we buckle up for Fast X, Daniel Rutledge looks back at the unlikely (and increasingly unrealistic) two-decades-old blockbuster franchise.

The Fast & Furious series is a uniquely bizarre franchise in a number of ways. Its freakish popularity and surprising box office muscle, the schizophrenic titling system and all the offscreen drama are crazy enough, but within the franchise’s story world things are also pretty batshit. What it started out as versus what it’s become doesn’t make any sense—neither does its timeline jumping or constant retconning and resurrecting every character who ever died. Then there’s the adding of all these new long-lost family members we’ve somehow never heard about, a potential immaculate conception and all sorts of other oddities to keep one guessing.

Back in 2001, The Fast and the Furious seemed like just another action crime thriller copying the Point Break formula, this one set within the underground car racing scene of LA. Over the years as the sequels kept coming, they stopped being set on Planet Earth and about humans, transforming into something set in a cartoon mirror of our world and about superhuman aliens who aren’t bound by physics, logic or any other earthly laws.

As we’ve gotten closer to the 10th film in the main saga, the quality has gotten wildly inconsistent, but the crazy factor has hit the NOS switch and blasted off to glorious levels of absolute fuckedness. Just how fucked? To celebrate the release of Fast X, here are the ten craziest things to have happened in the Fast & Furious movies.

They drove a car through a satellite in space

Arguably the silliest thing to ever happen in this extremely silly series, in F9 two guys drive a car through a satellite in space. Yes, they obviously hit the NOS to do so, because this is the Fast and Furious. No, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s hard to say how comedic this is intended to be; with someone as laughably vain and boneheaded as Vin Diesel captaining this franchise, honestly it could be meant to be dead serious.

It also might not be funny if you’re not in the mood—it might just be annoying bullshit. But yeah, two guys drive a car through space in this movie and then crash it into a satellite to save the world or whatever.

Drifting through Tokyo’s famously busy Shibuya Crossing

This isn’t as crazy as most of the stuff on this list, but it’s a great look at what fans loved about the franchise’s early days—and it would be a pretty insane scene for a normal movie. Director Justin Lin’s flair for putting together thrilling sequences is wonderfully showcased with this illegal street race through Shibuya, filmed for real before these movies turned into CGI-fests.

The district’s main pedestrian crossing is the one used in countless movies as a Tokyo establishing shot with literally thousands of people walking through it every few minutes, so drifting through it at breakneck speed is particularly mental. It’s the best bit of an all-round mint sequence that holds up to this day.

Dom and Brian fly a car from a building to another building

The most over-the-top moment from Furious 7 seems entirely plausible when compared to a lot of the shark-jumping tomfoolery that came in subsequent sequels, but it’s undeniably crazy and a lot of fun to experience. Our two main boys are wearing dapper suits for the occasion, which takes place at the opulent Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi and sees them pilot an ultra-luxurious Lykan HyperSport, of which only seven were ever produced. Ooooh, fancy!

They actually filmed a replica of that model smashing through a replica of one tower and into another to make this scene, which is why it actually looks pretty sweet, despite how goofy it is.

Dom’s car vs missile and nuclear submarine

If there’s one thing to learn about the Fast and Furious franchise it’s that a fast car with NOS installed can defeat literally anything.

In this climactic scene of The Fate of the Furious, Dom uses his powers of driving really fast to trick a heat-seeking missile into chasing him into the wrong target—a huge, nuclear submarine that had recently burst from under the ice and smashed up heaps of cars and then fired the missile in the first place. The huge sub goes boom boom as Dom drives off triumphantly.

Dwayne Johnson vs Vin Diesel beefcake pissing contest

This clip is of Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel’s awesome fistfight in Fast Five. What wasn’t awesome was how these actors got into a serious real-life feud that’s somehow sillier than anything that’s happened in any of these silly movies. It’s a classic case of outlandish Hollywood egos clashing against each other and just another example of two big boys both wanting to rule the little sandpit.

After some grumpy social media posts he since deleted, Dwayne Johnson put it down to “a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating”, while Vin Diesel reckoned he dished out “tough love to assist in getting [Dwayne Johnson’s] performance where it needed to be”.

The feud resulted in the awful Hobbs & Shaw spinoff and Hobbs barely being in Fate of the Furious and not being in F9 at all. A shame.

Cars vs plane on longest runway ever

You know what could smash a plane? Heaps of cars driving really fast, of course! They might need a runway that’s ten times the length of an actual one, but whatever, we’re playing pretend here so why not go stupid crazy.

It’s the climactic scene of Fast and Furious 6 and the runway has been calculated to have been around 30km long, whereas normal airport runways are between 2.4 and 3.9km. On that ultra extended runway there’s a lot of driving really fast, shooting of guns, crashing of cars, hitting of NOS switches, firing of steel harpoons and ultimately a lot of flames as big plane goes boom boom.

Dom’s car turns into a magical giant slingshot

The car-driving-through-space bit isn’t the only maddening example of unbelievably stupid shit to happen in F9. There’s loads of them, many involving extreme car crashes that destroy vehicles but leave the occupants completely unharmed.

But the bit that really hammers home the franchise’s irreversible divorce from anything even resembling reality is the bit where Dom turns his car into a magical giant slingshot. It’s in one of his car vs stealth bomber battles and sees him hit the NOS (of course) to crash through a bit of concrete attached to a broken rope bridge, which then magically connects to the underside of his vehicle and transports the car over the ocean and onto some other cliff.

Bridge crash to mid-air catch

Not only is driving fast the primary method of defeating submarines, planes, stealth bombers, missiles, tanks and all other manner of fearsome enemies, it’s also the primary method of saving the good guys in these movies.

In this Fast and Furious 6 scene, Dom combines driving really fast with his quasi-Superman powers to leap from a vehicle moving at an extreme speed then fly through the air and save Letty who is also flying through the air from another vehicle moving at extreme speed. The pair then land on yet another vehicle, of course, and are totally unscathed by all that stuff that just happened that would kill a standard human several times over.

Dom becomes a cyborg… or a god I guess?

Despite how ludicrous every scene on this list is, this is the worst of the lot, the one that should piss people off the most with how objectively terrible it is.

It’s in F9 and sees Dom physically overcome a few dozen guys at once with superhuman strength. At one point, he’s laid on the ground as about 10 presumably trained fighters stand around kicking him—which would be impossible for anybody to get out of, but y’know, short man Vin Diesel’s hilariously tall ego demands this sort of onscreen nonsense.

Then, just as you’re reeling from how awful that is, Dom grabs a hold of two enormous chains—one in each hand—and yanks on them with the power only a god could wield to demolish a huge concrete structure. That’s where this scene stops even being funny and turns into pure shit.

Dom & Hobbs vs helicopter

Cars can beat a plane and a submarine, so obviously they can beat a helicopter. This climactic scene in Furious 7 features a super cool one-two punch from Dom and Hobbs, marking the last time Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson worked together properly.

Dom uses his powers of driving really fast to escape a collapsing, exploding parking building—hitting the NOS of course—before launching his car at a main bad guy’s chopper. He appears to just miss it, but sneakily somehow managed to freeze time, jump out of the car, attach grenades to the helicopter in mid-air then get back in his car before it crashed below.

Hobbs drops his awesome minigun, draws a revolver and fires three sweet-as shots at the grenades to make bad guy helicopter go boom boom.