Fast & Furious: 6 Thoughts I Had While Watching The 2009 Movie For The First Time

Vin Diesel driving a car in Fast & Furious
(Image credit: Universal)

Finally! The moment I’ve been waiting for has come. It’s been two movies and a whole lot of waiting, and now Vin Diesel and co. have officially returned in the concisely named . Admittedly we hit a rough patch on our journey through the Fast and Furious movies with the second the third installments, however, now we’re back on track, as this movie sets up the future of the franchise everyone seems to know and love. It’s worth noting this film is by no means the best, just look where it sits in our Fast and Furious ranking, however, it lays the groundwork for what’s ahead, and helped me understand the journey ahead. 

So, with that being said, let’s jump into my thoughts about Fast & Furious.

Vin Diesel driving a car with Michelle Rodriguez in the passenger seat and an explosion behind them.

(Image credit: Universal)

I Love That The Movie Started With The OG Crew Robbing Semi Trucks

As bluntly stated in my thoughts about 2 Fast 2 Furious and my feelings about Tokyo Drift: not having the OG crew in the movies made me sad, and a tad frustrated. So, when Vin Diesel showed up in the third movie, and then Fast & Furious started with Dom, Letty and Han robbing a semi, I was amped. 

I’ve been waiting weeks for this moment, and everyone who watched the movies in real time waited nearly ten years for this, and the payoff was great. Seeing Michelle Rodriguez navigate the truck and then jump onto Diesel’s car, and then have the chase end in a fiery explosion was iconic, if I do say so myself. While the movie as a whole may not be the best, this scene where the crew robs a semi was epic, and really set the tone for what followed. 

Sung Kang as Han in Fast & Furious.

(Image credit: Universal)

I Get The Convoluted Fast Timeline Now, Thanks To Han

So, as we learned in Tokyo Drift, Han is dead. This means in Fast & Furious he’s either back from the dead, or the movie takes place before the events of Sean’s adventure in Japan. As our handy dandy Fast and Furious timeline explains, the events of the fourth movie take place prior to the third movie, and therefore the convoluted chronology of the Fast franchise has begun. 

I’ll be honest, I don’t fully get why they did this, but I guess the love for Han is real. Turns out, he was such a fan-favorite the movie’s director Justin Lin decided to bring him back and deal with the chronology issues later, as he explained to EW:

And I still remember, I was driving on the on-ramp back after lunch and I said, ‘God, it's too bad Han is dead.’ And Sung looked at me and said, ‘Does he have to be though?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, this is like everything else happening to Vin about, the connection, we can actually now see and we can create our own timeline and mythology.’

With this one decision to bring back Sung Kang, the Fast franchise took a wild turn, and I can’t wait to see how this timeline works itself out (and messes itself up more) over the course of the next few films.

Gal Gadot looking at Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious

(Image credit: Universal)

Gal Gadot Should Have Been Braga

The most exciting addition to the Fast franchise by way of the fourth movie was 100% Gal Gadot. When this movie came out, she was an unknown actress, and Fast & Furious was her only major credit on IMDb. Watching the movie you can feel her power, and she steals every scene she’s in, in my opinion. So, with that being said I think she should have been more than just Gisele, she should have been the big bad Braga.

Along with Gadot’s standout performance, I thought the Braga reveal was a little anti-climactic. So, to make the actress the antagonist would have been epic. Not only would it have been an unexpected and really cool creative choice, it also would have put a woman at the forefront of the franchise, and I would have loved to see that. 

To see Gadot in a bigger role and playing the bad woman would have been iconic. So, with that said – obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and I know Gadot plays a bigger role in the future – I think it was a missed opportunity to not make the stellar actress the movie’s big bad.

Michelle Rodriguez looking at Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious

(Image credit: Universal)

Letty Being A Secret Agent… I Didn’t See That Coming

First of all, I was very shocked when Letty died, even though I know Michelle Rodriguez eventually comes back to the Fast movies, and I was extra surprised when I found out she died while working for the FBI. Much like when I found out Brian was an undercover agent, learning the real reason why Letty died was shocking, sad and surprisingly emotional. 

I was heartbroken for her when Dom left her, and to know that she was working to get Braga so he could come home made it all the more tragic. I’m not sure why these undercover agent plot twists keep getting me, but I’ve been shocked every time it’s happened, and I presume that if it happens again with another character, I’ll still be surprised. 

Paul Walker after he's been beat up in Fast & Furious

(Image credit: Universal)

This Movie Was More Violent And Less Action Packed

My biggest issue with this movie was how violent it was, and the lack of big spectacles. While we had the massive stunt at the beginning, the final battle was nothing like what we’re used to. Rather than racing past a train, jumping onto a yacht or drifting down a long windy road, the final moments of this movie relied on a CGI tunnel race and the big action comes when Fenix gets hit by Dom’s car. Frankly, I barely remember how the movie ended action-wise, I had to look it up again, because of the lack of action-packed spectacles and the emphasis on violent choices. 

There were a lot of moments in this movie where there was just violence for violence's sake. From Dom holding a guy outside the window by his leg, to the multiple injury-inducing physical altercations throughout the film, there was a bit too much meaningless violence for my taste and not enough action-packed stunts. 

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel looking at each other in Fast & Furious

(Image credit: Universal)

Dom And Brian Being BFFLs Is What’s Keeping Me In This

If you’ve read the previous installments in this series, specifically my thoughts on The Fast and the Furious, you’ll know my favorite aspect of these films are the friendships, especially the bromance between Brian and Dom in the first movie. So, to see Vin Diesel and Paul Walker back on screen together was heartwarming, exciting and I loved every second of it. 

How To Watch Fast & Furious

Gal Gadot sitting in front of Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Fast & Furious is currently not available to stream, but can be rented or purchased on Amazon.

The best part about the Brian/Dom bromance is their banter, the two act like frenemies (which they are in the majority of the first movie, and part of this one) but in reality, they love each other and are, say it with me, “family.” Two of my favorite moments that exemplify the boys’ bromance were when they fixed Letty’s car together, and the final scene when Brian is injured and he and Dom debate over who would have won a race that happened earlier in the movie. Classic bestie moments.

Now that the two dudes are 100% BFFLs following the events of Fast & Furious, I can’t wait to see them take on whatever lies ahead in Fast 5

Other Thoughts

  • Dwight is gross.
  • Dom blowing up all the cars was epic.
  • CGI didn’t work in this movie’s favor.
  • Brian’s excitement to drive again was so wholesome.
  • How did Brian get from Miami to LA?
  • This movie should have been named Fast & 4ious.

With our fourth journey on the books, and Fast 5 furiously approaching, I think it’s clear that we’ve now entered the era of this franchise that everyone knows and loves, and I’m so happy to be here. Watching Fast & Furious may not have been my favorite experience, but it helped me understand the universe and the ever-evolving story that will culminate with the release of the highly anticipated Fast X on the 2023 movie schedule

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.