I’ve always enjoyed the Fast and Furious franchise, pretty much all the way through, but even more so after it transitioned into the huge action heist movies that they have become today. After I watched Fast 5 I vowed that I would do a full rewatch and review of all the movies. Obviously there have been three more movies since then, so my rewatch is long overdue and now consists of eight movies in total, spanning a total of eighteen years.

But the time is now. Summer is here and I have stocked up on Corona. I am ready to watch these movies and I’m going to take them a quarter mile at a time.

I’m not just going to watch them in the order they were made though. I’ll be watching them in chronological order. My memory was that there were two films that were out of chronological synch, but actually I believe it’s only one, Tokyo Drift. Basically I just need to watch Tokyo Drift in-between the 6th and 7th movies. But also there are two short films that help bridge the gaps between some of the early movies, which I haven’t seen before.

I think these shorts were required because of how the franchise had such an interesting start and the characters and actors changed around a few times before they settled on the key team. For example, my understanding is that after the first film, Vin Diesel and the original director, Rob Cohen, and producer, Neal H Moritz, went off to start the XXX franchise in the hope of basically making Diesel into the American version of James Bond. 

They stuck with Paul Walker to keep the F&F franchise alive without Vin Diesel as Walker had been the main reason for the first film anyway. The story goes that the producers approached Paul Walker and wanted to create a movie around him and asked him what he would like to do. Walker said a mix of Days of Thunder and Donnie Brasco. Well that’s basically what he got. It could perhaps be better described as a mix of Point Break, Days of Thunder, Donnie Brasco and Point Break (again).

Then, after 2 Fast 2 Furious, I believe Walker didn’t want to return and so they got a whole new cast for Tokyo Drift. When they eventually got most of the original cast back again for Fast & Furious they had to create a short film to fill in the gaps. So in one sense it took a while for the franchise to really find it’s feet, but when it did, boy did it find its feet. It’s very interesting to go back now and watch the series through again to see how it all developed.

Here is the full list of movies and shorts in chronological order that I will be watching for this series rewatch.

• The Fast and the Furious (2001)
• Turbo-Charged Prelude (2003)
• 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
• Los Bandoleros (2009)
• Fast & Furious (2009)
• Fast Five (2011)
• Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
• The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
• Furious 7 (2015)
• The Fate of the Furious (Fast & Furious 8) (2017)

It looks like The Fast and Furious is the first movie I’m going to watch. But it isn’t. The first movie I’m going to watch in my Fast & Furious series rewatch is Point Break! It’s not just the movie that F&F ‘copied’. I feel it is the spiritual forefather, and that they directly and openly homaged several aspects of it. So I think it’s the perfect way to start. And in my next post I will be looking at the similarities and differences between Point Break and The Fast and the Furious.

As it happens I actually just watched Roadhouse properly for the first time in about 25 years, around two weeks ago. For me that’s almost the spiritual forefather to Point Break. You can’t really say that Patrick Swayze’s Dalton is the younger version of Bodhi, because Dalton is just too nice, but I like to think that they could be twin brothers, both very zen and into Kung Fu etc. So I feel that watching Roadhouse and then Point Break is the perfect lead-in to kickstarting the Fast and Furious franchise.

I actually got a pretty great deal on Google Play of getting all the first seven F&F movies on permanent download for only about £22 or something crazy. I can Chromecast these on to my big screen TV or watch them on my commute. 

So, let’s do this. Let’s dive into the Fast & Furiverse. Salute, mi familia.