The Fast & Furious franchise has been providing fans with elaborate action scenes for over 20 years. Unlike Tom Cruise, who prides himself in completing realistic stunts in the Mission: Impossible movies, The Fast Saga doubles down on unrealistic, over-the-top action. From bringing down a tank on the highway to jumping out of skyscrapers in a sports car, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew overcome the impossible movie after movie. Earth could not contain this franchise as Dom and his crew once sent a Pontiac Fiero into space.
The Fast Saga does not play by the rules, and that’s one of its strengths. These excessive stunts are visually spectacular and highly entertaining — one of the main reasons the franchise has grossed over $6 billion worldwide. To celebrate the release of Fast Xlet’s look at the best action scenes from the Fast & Furious franchise.
7. Saving Vince (The Fast and the Furious)
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The majority of The Fast and the Furious revolves around street racing, but the final truck heist proves the film had more to offer as an action film. Dom and the crew attempt one final heist of a semitruck, but this time, the truckers are armed and ready to fight back. Vince (Matt Schulze) is shot and nearly dies as he hangs off the side of the truck with his bloody arm wrapped around a harpoon cord.
Enter Brian (Paul Walker), who risks it all for Dom and his family by racing onto the scene to rescue Vince, who, keep in mind, hates his guts. Brian jumps from his car onto the truck, unhooks Vince, throws Vince into his car, and jumps off the truck back onto his car, all while being shot at by the trucker. Even though he has to reveal his identity as a police officer moments later, Brian saves Vince’s life despite his disdain for the man. This scene set the stage for future heist sequences in the franchise.
6. Brian’s bus jump (Furious 7)
Speaking of Brian jumping off vehicles, Furious 7 looked at The Fast and Furious and said, “Brian, that jump off the side of the truck was too easy. We need you to jump off a bus before it falls off a cliff.” During the sequence, Brian first leaps out of his car onto a moving bus to free Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) from captivity. There are no style points for the rescue, considering Brian throws Ramsey face-first onto Dom’s car. But, hey, it got the job done.
With the easy part over, Brian then fights multiple mercenaries in hand-to-hand combat. The bus eventually crashes and hangs off the side of a cliff, forcing Brian to improvise his escape. He climbs out the front door and scales the side of the bus that’s overlooking a deadly drop. As the bus starts to slide off the cliff, Brian sprints up the bus and jumps off the back. As he’s suspended in midair, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) comes out of nowhere and drifts her car across the edge of the cliff, just in time for Brian to grab the tail end and avoid death. I’ve watched this scene 50 times. I know Brian survives, and yet, the scene never fails to captivate.
5. It’s raining … cars? (Furious 7)
Minutes before Brian jumped off the bus, the entire crew was airborne over the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. To hijack the bus transporting Ramsey, Dom’s crew has to discreetly drop onto a windy road that runs alongside the mountain. After brainstorming ideas, they decide to parachute out of the plane in their cars. From the visual of cars falling out of the air to forcefully removing Roman (Tyrese Gibson) off the plane, the sequence combines the best parts of a Fast & Furious scene: extreme action and witty one-liners.
The idea of parachuting cars out of a plane is absurd; surely this was the result of CGI, right? Nope, the film dropped real cars out of the plane. Cameramen had to parachute alongside the cars to capture the footage in real time. Real stunts will always look better than CGI — that’s why Tom Cruise still has a career in 2023 – so kudos to Furious 7 for putting in the time (and money) to create a memorable action sequence.
4. Dom vs. Hobbs (Fast Five)
In the Fast & Furious franchise, there are two time periods: before Fast Five and after Fast Five. The fifth film in the franchise represented a seismic shift for the franchise. Street racing took a back seat to heists as Fast Five homed in on jaw-dropping set pieces in iconic locations. However, one of the best action scenes in the franchise was a fistfight between Dom and Hobbs.
Black Adam‘s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the reasons why Fast Five is the best film in the series. Luke Hobbs is essentially Johnson’s wrestling character, The Rock, with a shorter temper. Through four films, no man could defeat Dom in a fight because of his pure strength and determination. However, adding Hobbs made things interesting for Dom as the audience pondered who would win in a fight. Thankfully, our prayers were answered when the two alphas squared off in a warehouse. No window or wall was safe as the two destroyed everything in their path, including each other, with Dom walking away the victor.
3. Skyscraper jump (Fast Five)
Physicists, look away, as this scene calls for reality and the laws of physics to be temporarily suspended. In the scene, Dom and Brian must steal a flash drive that contains a chip for God’s Eye. The chip is inside a Lykan HyperSport, a $3.4 million car. For a crew specializing in grand theft auto, stealing a car is a walk in the park. However, this particular car is stashed in the penthouse of a 909-foot tower in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
When Dom and Brian can’t find the chip in the car, they are forced to drive it around the penthouse to buy themselves more time and avoid the Fast franchise’s best villain, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who is recklessly shooting at them. In need of more time, Dom proves that cars can fly by driving through the window and soaring through the sky to the next building. If that wasn’t enough, Dom elects to floor it, crashing through another window as they jump to the next building. The duo steals the chip and exits the car before it races out the back of the third building, crashing to its demise. Again, do not try and rationalize how this could happen. Embrace the absurdity and appreciate the awesomeness of the stunt.
2. ‘They got a tank’ (Fast & Furious 6)
As a distressed Tej (Ludacris) says from afar, “They got a tank.” It was only a matter of time before the Fast & Furious franchise traded in sports cars for heavily armored fighting vehicles. In Fast & Furious 6Dom, Brian, Roman, Han (Sung Kang), and Gisele (Gal Gadot) are working with Hobbs to capture Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), the film’s primary villain. After Shaw steals a valuable computer chip in a highway assault, Dom’s crew intervenes and attempts to capture the madman.
However, Shaw is in a tank, and this tank recklessly destroys cars as it speeds down the highway. Although some cars swerve out of the way, Shaw kills innocent people as the tank crushes every car in its path. This scene has to be up there for the highest death count in the franchise. And that’s not even the craziest part! When Letty, who is still working with Shaw, climbs to the top of the tank to unhook a cable, Brian and Roman flip the tank with their cars, which sends Letty flying off the tank. Before she can fall to her death, Dom intentionally crashes his car, dives across the highway, catches Letty, and safely lands on a car windshield. For me, this is the most unbelievable stunt in The Fast Saga. This stunt proved Dom was a superhero, not some ordinary street racer from Los Angeles.
1. Dragging the vault (Fast Five)
The best film in The Fast Saga deserves the No. 1 spot on the list, and the vault scene in Fast Five is a big reason why it’s so good. To start a new life, Dom and the crew decide to rob $100 million from the Brazilian drug lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). The money is located inside a vault in a Rio de Janeiro police station. Most crews would hire a safecracker to break into the vault, but that isn’t quick enough for a group that is, wait for it, fast and furious. Lacking all subtlety and grace, Brian and Dom attach cables on the back of their chargers and tear the entire vault out of the police station.
The ensuing car chase sequence is spectacular, as Dom and Brian drag a vault through the streets of Rio. The vault becomes a wrecking ball, destroying cars, motorcycles, and storefronts. Every time one of Reyes’ men comes close to unhooking the vault, Dom and Brian maneuver the vault to eliminate the threat. It’s an excellent display of racing from the crew’s two best drivers. Even Hobbs respects what Dom’s crew pulls off, giving them a head start on their escape. As Dom drives down the Hoover Dam in Fast Xremember that the vault heist was the turning point for action sequences in The Fast Saga and cemented the series’ place in the action movie hall of fame.