Everything has began with 2001 movie, first of the series, Fast And Furious. It was a total unexpected success at box office. The movie was one of the highest grossing movies of 2001. In fact it was not only a highly grossing movie of the year, but it gained an immediate “cult” movie status with thousands of fans and followers. Well, it is not a big secret that the audience loves street race movies, however Fast And Furious turned out to be a top favorite movie in this manner.
The Fast and the Furious movie franchise includes seven movies so far, which focuses on illegal street racings and heists. Besides the franchise became a label itself and it got bigger and bigger through the years. The franchise is also the franchise that led Paul Walker become a worldwide star.
The franchise is distributed by Universal Pictures. The franchise also has a video game series. Seven Fast And Furious movies has grossed more than 3,5 billion dollars at the worldwide box office so far. And it is literally Universal’s biggest franchise of all time.
1. “Fast And Furious” (2001)
The movie is inspired by a magazine article, titled as “Racer X”. The article discuss the street clubs that race Japanese cars late at night. So filmmakers thought it could make a good story for a race movie. It seems they were right.
The movie tells the story of street racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew Leon (Johnny Strong), Vince (Matt Schulze), Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and Jesse (Chad Lindberg) who are stealing some expensive equipments; While undercover police officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) attempts to find out who is stealing the equipment.
The movie is a total action bomb, full of long chase scenes and expensive cars. It could easily be called a “car-fetish” movie. Because there are thousands of people who love to watch expensive cars chasing each other, crashing each other and exploding.
The movie was mostly shot in California and Los Angeles. The budget was about 38 million dollars and the movie grossed more than 207 million dollars worldwide. It is 5 times more than the budget. Although the movie was a total success at the box office, the critical reviews were mixed. Some of the critics found the movie so simple and lack of reason. However most of the critics praised the performances of both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.
2. “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003)
2 Fast 2 Furious is a street racing action movie and it is directed by John Singleton. It is the second of the Fast And Furious franchice and a sequel to the first movie. Movie basicly tells the story of Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) who teams up with Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and works with undercover agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) to bring Miami-based drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) down.
The plot is basicly like this: Brian O’Conner, the hero of the first movie is caught by some secret agents. However he is forced to make a deal by the agents Bilkins and Markham to go undercover once again and this time try to bring down the notorious drug lord Carter Verone. Brian agrees one condition, he wishes to choose his partner. So he be partners with Roman Pearce, an old childhood friend. However he also agrees with one codition, he demands the same deal Brian did.
The couple chases Verona and finds out that he plans to smuggle some money and fly off with his private jet. And at the same time Brian suspect of Monica Fuentes. Things go arwy and there take place lots of car chases and action. However everything goes fine at the end, as always in an action movie…
The movie recieved mixed reactions as the first one, however it grossed more than 236 million dollars at the box office, which led the producers to consider a third movie.
3. “Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006)
What is better than a car racing movie is a car racing movie that takes place in Tokyo. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. It is the third movie of The Fast and the Furious franchise. In fact it is not a direct sequel to the former movies, because it literally takes place after the events of the fourth, fifth, and sixth movies.
It stars Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Brian Tee, Sung Kang and Nathalie Kelle. The movie was shot in Tokyo and some parts were shot in Los Angeles. However all the plot takes place in Tokyo. Another important fact about the third movie is that none of the previous actors are in the movie, but Vin Diesel. He is Dominic Toretto as before and he is an old friend of Han’s. He arrives in Tokyo when he hears the news about Han’s death.
Just like other movies of the franchise, the third movie also recieved some mixed and negatice reactions and critics. However it grossed more than 24 million dollars just in its opening weekend. The movie was limitedly release in Japan. And it grossed more than 158 million dollars worldwide. It was a great number in dead, however it was way lower than the former movies. Besides it was enough to be considered a success and continue for a fourth movie.
4. “Fast & Furious 4” (2009)
Fast & Furious is directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan as the third one. It stars the cast of the first movie; Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster as the same characters. The movie takes place before The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift takes place. It means the fourth movie of the franchise takes place somewhere between the second and the third movies. The movie recieved the most negative critics of the franchise, however it grossed more than 363 million dollars worldwide. It was the highest grossing movie of the first 4 movies.
The cars that were used in the movie were built in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. It is stated that more than 2o0 cars were built for the movie. However, most of the vehicles do not match the specifications they were supposed to represent. But that did not stop the movie becoming a great success at the box office.
The movie tells the story of Dominic and his new crew again. This time they are hijacking fuel tankers in Dominican Republic. Dominic Toretto leaves his girlfriend Letty behind, because he wants to protect her. But several weeks later he learns that Letty has been killed in a car accident. Dominic returns to Los Angeles and examines Letty’s crash. He finds out some traces of nitro-methane. And as a coincidence he knows only one car mechanic that uses nitro-methane, which means there is only one.
Meanwhile, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) is a FBI agent now and he is tracking down another drug lord. And somehow O’Conner and Toretto’s ways are unite and they find each other once again. Like the former movies, the fourth of the franchise consists of illegal street races, car chase scenes and lots and lots of action. As a rule of the genre, the movie also consists of miraculous escapes and survivals. Nobody dies, nobody gets fatal injuries and nobody looses any coolness. Well that is why people love the series…
5. “Fast Five: Rio Heist” (2011)
Fast Five is directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan as the former two movies. Fast Five focuses on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) once again. This time they all together plan to steal 100 million dollars from a corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Since Brian O’Conner is now working with Dominic, they are now being followed by U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
With the fifth movie, the franchise transformed into a heist action series that also involves cars and chase scenes. That was a new turn for the franchise that ended up successfully. Because the heist sub-genre is another top sub-genre of the action genre. Besides some critics suggest that heist movies has a greater audience than the car movies, since the car movies has only a limited and special audience. And the producers were right to think that way because Fast Five broke the box office records for the highest-grossing April opening weekend and the second-highest spring opening weekend, and became the highest-grossing film in the franchise. Fast Five has grossed more than 625 million dollars worldwide. And that made the movie the number 66 on the all-time worldwide list of highest-grossing movies ever.
At the same time the movie was praised by the critics this time. Most of the critics stated that it was the best movie of the franchise so far. Performances of Diesel and Walker was applaused and appreciated. However some critics said that the movie was fine but it was too long to follow, which causes a total over-tension for an fully tense action movie. Another negative feature of the movie was the “corrupted South American city cliché”. In this manner it was Rio de Janeiro.
6. “Fast & Furious 6” (2013)
Fast & Furious 6 is directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. Justin Lind and Chris Morgan are making the Fast & Furious movies since the third movie. The movie has a huge cast, it stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Gina Carano, Jordana Brewster, Chris Bridges, Luke Evans, Sung Kang and John Ortiz.
The sixth of the series focuses on the professional criminal gang led by Dominic Toretto once again. This time they are retired because they had a successful heist in the movie before, Fast Five (2011), however they are still “wanted” fugitives and DSS agent Luke Hobbs still tries to find them. So he offers to clear the group’s criminal records in exchange for helping him to take down a crime organization led by Owen Shaw.
Fast & Furious 6 is the second movie since the producers turned the franchise into a general action genre, releasing it from being a limited car movie franchise. The movie was shot in London, Canary Islands, Glasgow, and Los Angeles. The movie has grossed more than 780 million dollars worldwide. This great success made it number 50 on the all-time worldwide list of highest-grossing movies. Fast and Furious franchise is now considered as one of the most highly grossing movie franchises of all time. The series has a huge fan base and followers, many of which the series hold a cult status, consisting of cult actors such as Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson.
7. “Furious 7” (2015)
Furious 7, the latest movie of the Fast And Furious franchise, is directed by James Wan this time and it is written by Chris Morgan as usual. The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster as usual and it also stars Kurt Russell, Jason Statham and Chris Bridges.
The movie follows once again Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner and the rest of their team. This time they have returned to US and they lead normal lives after the events in sixth movie. However Deckard Shaw (Statham), a rogue special forces assassin decides to seek revenge and that revenge involves the Dominic gang…
the movie is the last movie Paul Walker ever appeared or will appear in the franchise, since he has lost his life in a car accident in Los Angeles. When Walker died, the filming of the movie was delayed and some time later the crew started to work on the movie again. It was released in April, 2015, which means it is a brand new movie of the franchise.
However after the release, the movie immediately became a critical and commercial success. As a show of respect, most of the critics praised the last involvement of Paul Walker. The movie grossed more than 392 million dollars worldwide in first three days. And yet it has grossed more than 1.32 billion dollars worldwide so far. It is literally the highest-grossing movie of the franchise. And yet it is the current highest-grossing film of 2015 and the fifth highest-grossing film of all time ever. A sequel titled as “Furious 8” is said to be released in 2017.