Fast & Furious: Ranking The 10 Most Ridiculous Stunts In The Movie Franchise
The Fast & Furious movies are known for their love of Corona beer, family barbeques, really confusing titles, and insane car stunts. A series of films that started with a simple premise of illegal car races and cops and robbers have evolved into bombastic international thrillers with insane action set pieces and now.
The release of the first spin-off in the franchise, Hobbs and Shaw, plays more like a throwback to action comedies of the '90s with The Rock and Jason Statham being forced to team up when a woman named Hattie (Vanessa Kirby)--the sister of Statham's Owen Shaw--is accused of stealing a deadly virus from MI6 and killing her team. The two must now work together to face up against the supersoldier Brixton Lore (Idris Elba).
Where the other Fast & Furious films still stay relatively grounded in reality, this movie introduces the first actual sci-fi concepts to the franchise, like superhuman enhancements and programmable viruses that can wipe out populations. It's a new direction for the franchise to take and, most likely, a good barometer for where future movies in the series will go.
Before the franchise inevitably goes to space, let’s go back and look at the crazy car stunts these movies have pulled off. While the car stunts in the franchise may seem too crazy to be real, many of them were filmed using practical effects and incredible stunt coordination. Now that the first spin-off of the series is out, it is time to rank the 10 best stunts in the Fast & Furious franchise.
10. Driving under a truck (The Fast and the Furious)
The opening scene of the very first Fast & Furious movie already showed us impossible stunts that made us wish we could just go and do. While hijacking a truck full of old DVD players, we see a Honda Civic suddenly drive under the truck. It may not be as crazy elaborate as the stunts in later films, but it did set the scene by showing us impossible but very real driving (the scene was accomplished with a modified truck).
9. Drifting across an entire garage (Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift)
Tokyo Drift is a bit of an outsider among the Fast & Furious films, given that it skipped years ahead in time and had the next three films play catch up, and also introduced the subculture of drifting to the franchise. The second race in the movie took place entirely in a parking garage and the main antagonist, Takashi, drifts up a spiral ramp across four stories without stopping.
8. Gas tanker heist (Fast & Furious)
After Tokyo Drift introduced and killed Han in the same movie, the franchise took a step back in time to reintroduce him and a couple of new characters in Fast & Furious. The opening scene to this movie also upped the ante in terms of insane stunts, as we follow Dom and Letty hijack a gas tank in order to sell it at a higher price. As Dom approaches the back of the tankers, Letty jumps from the car in order to cut loose the individual tankers as Chevys drive in reverse on a mountain road and attach themselves to each tanker before driving off. Michelle Rodriguez actually attached herself to a moving gas tanker and then proceeded to jump from there to the top of a car driven by Vin Diesel (most likely a stunt driver though) while driving in reverse.
7. Hitting cars like a wrecking ball (Fate of the Furious)
The eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise gave us plenty of amazing scenes, including Jason Statham teaming up with a baby, but near the beginning of the film came the scene where the team has to escape from a German factory while being pursued by bad guys. In order to lose the bad guys, the team decides to use a wrecking ball to destroy all the enemy cars. It is a scene too crazy to try and pull off without insane amounts of CGI. Still, they used an actual wrecking ball to destroy cars in real life.
6. Racing an actual tank (Fast & Furious 6)
Despite having the most laughable set piece in the entire franchise (the endless airport runway) and killing both Gisele and Han, Fast & Furious 6 also has one of the best set pieces that is 100% real: the tank destroying a highway in Spain. As Dom and his crew of destruction-savant lunatics are chasing Luke Evans’ crew of supervillains, they discover the enemy has a real-life tank at their disposal and proceed to completely destroy a motorway all before Vin Diesel’s Dom jumps across a bridge and catches Letty mid-air before landing on top of a car he totally knew was there, which completely ignores everything we know about physics.
You gotta love it when a country grants a movie carte blanche to wreck and destroy as much of their infrastructure as they want for the sake of entertainment. The Furious 6’s crew used an actual WWII tank on a motorway in the Canary Islands and used it to pulverize as many cars as they could before using said tank to blow up bridges and concrete partitions between the roads just because they could.
5. Dragging a bank vault through Rio de Janeiro (Fast Five)
The moment Fast & Furious became one of the biggest and most bonkers franchises of all time started right here. A scene where Brian and Dom race away from all the corrupt cops in Rio all while dragging a giant 9000 lbs vault across the streets. The scene looks as impressive as it does impossible, with the vault then crashing through stores, bumping, rolling and seemingly sliding like it was covered in butter across the concrete streets – so of course, it was all real.
Stunt coordinator Jack Gill actually managed to make it all work, using seven actual vaults, including two hollowed out and some that were motorized with drivers inside, steering it to slide, roll and even bounce. The destruction caused by the scene in the movie is honestly worse than what any of the villains have done, yet somehow the crew all became best buds with the incorruptible cop that was chasing them. Gotta love these movies.
4. Racing on a frozen lake (Fate of the Furious)
The biggest set-piece--and the climax to the 8th Fast & Furious--takes place in Russia, where the team has to stop a nuclear submarine from reaching open water. There are dozens of cars, a submarine, torpedoes and a car jumping in front of a missile all happening at the same time, and it is 100% real (except the submarine). It is a scene that is both adrenaline-fueled and also ridiculously funny.
Shot in a real frozen lake in Iceland, the race was completely real, including the bit where Tyrese Gibson’s Roman drives a Lamborghini that sinks.
3. A car jumping out of a skyscraper or two (Furious 7)
One scene is so excessive in its destruction and over-the-top stunt work, and that's where Dom and Brian drive a Lykan HyperSport supercar with no brakes out of an Abu Dhabi skyscraper, soaring through the air before smashing into another skyscraper is too good to be real.
Of course, no actual skyscraper would allow this to be filmed, so the stunt crew did the next best thing: constructing three 40-foot glass and steel buildings inside a soundstage, and had a stunt driver speed through them all. Never change, Fast & Furious franchise.
2. Throwing a bus off a cliff and jumping from it (Furious 7)
Most of the stunts on this list, when seen on film, look too elaborate to be real, but this one takes the cake. A scene in which Paul Walker’s Brian has to run on top of a bus that is falling from a cliff, then jump from it and safely land on a car on top of the cliff. It has to be fake, right? Well, if you thought Justin Lin loved to film dangerous stunts, then James Wan is a madman.
They had an actual bus hanging from a cliff, then a real stuntman had to hang from the bus’s door, pull himself up, and then run on top of the falling bus with nothing but a safety harness preventing his death, all before jumping at the exact moment so he could catch the swerving car approaching him. It was a scene so crazily dangerous, the producers almost backed out.
1. Making cars fly (Furious 7)
We all knew going into Furious 7 that it was going to be a strange movie-going experience. Between the loss of Paul Walker before the end of production, to the over-the-top insanity of the trailer showing a scene of cars driving out of a plane in mid-air, there was no way of knowing the movie would turn out as good as it did. The scene in question especially made it difficult to believe they could pull all this craziness off without turning into a CGI fest. When our favorite team of international criminals have to somehow be in the middle of a mountainside road without driving to it from either side, they decide to parachute down there--while inside of their freaking cars! It’s a scene so crazy I still find it hard to believe there was barely any CGI in place, but actual cars and an actual airplane.
Using skydivers to film the entire sequence, the stunt crew managed to drop sports cars from 12,000 feet. It wasn’t perfect though, as some of the cars would fall apart mid-air or end up wildly off course, but in the end, they gave us the craziest car stunt ever put in a movie that also gave us The Rock flexing out an arm cast until it broke.