This week, the king of blockbuster action films returns. With “The Fate of the Furious,” the “Fast” series has reached its eighth entry in the franchise. Perhaps most impressive, the franchise seems to be at an all-time high. Coming off the highly emotional “Furious 7,” which had to be rewritten and shot to account for the death of franchise star Paul Walker, is certainly no easy task. Yet it feels like the filmmakers have tapped into the same ridiculous stunts and comedy that have made the franchise so beloved. With the film currently sitting at a 60% on Metacritic and 65 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, expect another billion-dollar hit on Universal’s hands. With this in mind, what are your favorite films from the “Fast and Furious” franchise? We’ve started off with a few of my favorites, but let us hear yours! Post in the comments below and on the Awards Circuit Message boards.
1. “Fast Five” (2011)
A turning point for the franchise also happens to be the best by a quarter mile. The film adds a team heist element to the franchise that has reinvigorated the series for its last three entries. Not only that, but the franchise added Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who might be the best B-movie action star of his generation. With the cast and crew committing to the motif of family, the franchise has been able to connect to a global audience, and it starts here. The film features the coolest stunts, fights and best one-liners of the franchise. No wonder it remains the most beloved entry since its release.
2. “The Fast and the Furious” (2001)
The original film in the franchise remains one of the best. The clear nods to “Point Break” are littered throughout the film and with good reason. A cop goes undercover with a group of adrenaline junkies that might be thieves? Yeah, it’s basically “Point Break,” if Brody traded in his surfboard for a muscle car. However, the film absolutely devours its world and builds an entirely convincing view of early 2000s street culture. It feels authentic at every turn in its depiction of the world of street racing, and with solid performances from Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, the franchise had an extremely strong foundation that spawned a whopping seven sequels.
3. “2 Fast, 2 Furious” (2003)
This is obviously the most ridiculous film in the franchise, and that is exactly why it’s ranked as high as it is. I’ll admit, this is 100 percent a personal choice for me. The film is not the best as far as plot, stunts or intrigue. That said, it might be the best comedic film in the franchise on a joke-for-joke basis. The series moved from L.A. to Miami for this one film and was directed by the great John Singleton (“Boyz n The Hood“). It also fully embraces the diversity of the franchise, giving Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and Eva Mendes key parts of the film. While it might be the most laughable, you’ll undeniably have a great time watching this film.