If you were to go back in time to 2001 and tell your past self that The Fast And The Furious movies would still be around almost two decades after the first film hit, your past would probably laugh. Admittedly, the first couple films were a bit rough, and definitely didn’t signal becoming the box office juggernaut that the series is now. Yet here we are, 14 years and seven films later, still begging for more.
With Furious 7 hitting theaters this weekend, now’s the perfect time to buckle up and rev up 10 memorable moments of high flying, adrenaline pumping, badassed vehicular carnage. These are the moments that we’ve raved about over the past 14 years, and they’re probably going to be the moments we’re talking about 14 years from now. They've got the coolest cars, the fastest speeds and the most danger behind them...
10. Dom Races A Train, Wins, Then LosesLet’s get the harsh truth out of the way: as cool as The Fast And The Furious was, it was a very rough draft of the formula that the films successfully employ today. However, just because the car action was limited in the initial street racing format, doesn’t mean there weren’t some impressively close calls in the early days. The train race is one of those moments that built the Fast And Furious series’ reputation for speedy stunts, and Dom’s wipeout is just the destructive cherry on top.
9. Brian And Roman Catch A FerryWhile 2 Fast 2 Furious lost Vin Diesel’s Dom, it gained Tyrese Gibson’s Roman in his place. Along with the smooth talking egoist came a new found taste for outdoing the action of the past film’s intense street racing. It was a challenge that the film gladly accepted, as the climax featured a race between Brian and villain Carter Verone. While cars may not do their best work on the water, they sure as hell can fly if you know how to drive them.
8. Dom And Brian Exit A Burning Train, Skydive Off A CliffWhile trying to rip off three cars from the associate of a drug dealer, Dom and Brian hit one of their infamous snags in the plan at the beginning of Fast Five. With an armed lunatic on one end, a burning truck on the other, and a bridge rapidly approaching, Brian’s options for escape are limited. That is, until Dom jumps into action and rescues his best friend the only way he knows how… by gunning the engine and knowing how to time a jump.
7. Two Racers Drift Their Way Down A MountainWhile most fans of the franchise will easily dismiss The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift as the film they kind of discredit in the official canon, there are just as many who are ready to defend the under loved gem that kept the series in the game when both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker didn't headline the film. Just as The Fast And The Furious made street racing hot again, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift made its audiences really want to learn how to drift… albeit, minus the harrowing cliffs seen in the sequence above.
6. Dom Races Out of the Nose of a Burning PlaneIf there's any image that sums up Dominic Torretto and his tenacity to prevail, it's definitely this moment in Fast And Furious 6. After kicking Owen Shaw out of a crippled C130, it starts to look like Dom's done for as his options for escape are limited. Never fear, for this iron giant of racers and thieves has a plan after all, and it all hinges on the answer to one question: is it cooler to drive out the back of a burning aircraft, or to burst through the nose cone in spectacular fashion?
5. Dom Rescues Letty, An Exploding TankerWhen opening a film like Fast And Furious, you need a moment that’s going to really grab the audience. After a rousing oil tanker chase that puts Letty in massive danger, Dom rescues his lady love while putting them both between a rock and a hot place. With a fiery wreck barreling down on them, Dom thinks fast and times their escape just right. And by just right, we mean his car passes right under the wreck with the right amount of clearance to save their skins with only minimal roasting.
4. Skydiving, In Order To Catch A Speeding BusIs it too early to throw in some Furious 7 action into a series spanning countdown? Depending on who you talk to, it is. However, after seeing the latest entry into the almost two decades long/seven entries strong series, it's amazing that the franchise has the action and excitement of a much younger property. As if skydiving in a series of high end automobiles wasn't thrilling enough, the whole sequence turns into a road chase between Dom's team and a bunch of terrorist mercenaries. Still think it's too early to include the new stuff?
3. The Gang Attacks a Tank, As One DoesAfter the safe chase antics of Fast Five, how in the world was Fast And Furious 6 ever going to continue ramping up the stakes for us folks in the seats? Justin Lin took the advice of history itself and waged a war against his previous film with superior firepower. Lin’s weapon of choice this time around was a stolen tank, piloted by Luke Evans’ ex-military baddie Owen Shaw. After doing a fair amount of damage, the tank falls prey to a hastily improvised anchor and not only triggers an awesome car stunt, it also sets up an awesome mid-air catch between Dom and Letty.
2. Building to Building to Building in DubaiThe best damned stunt in the entirety of Furious 7 has to be, without a doubt, the tower jump sequence with the Lykan Hypersport jumping between three different towers with two high speed jumps. In a fun nod to the previously mentioned moment from 2 Fast 2 Furious, it's Brian's turn to freak out as Dom not only makes a temporary truce with his deep love for American muscle, he jumps those towers like a madman. Yet with its over the top moment of action, the Furious 7 sequence manages to thrill and impress instead of inspire a big old face palm.
1. Safe Driving With Brian and DomCould the top spot have gone to any other sequence in Fast And Furious history? Honestly, Fast Five redesigned the franchise into a hybrid of Ocean's Eleven thievery, Mission Impossible stunt work, and the flash and panache that made The Fast And The Furious such a long lasting franchise to begin with. Admit it: the moment the safe chase started, your jaw hit the floor and you were hooked. It's what's kept the franchise alive, and it's what's going to bring Furious 7 to glory this weekend. And it all wouldn't have been possible without this insane moment of wonder.