Continuing my program of watching old dumb action flicks: Fast & Furious 1 is a fairly straightforward cops-and-bad-guys story. It's amazing to think how it'll grow from this lowly start into crazy sci-fi spy hijinks in films to follow.

2 Fast 2 Furious: Basically part 1 again, but in Miami, with a highly flimsy and dumb plot. Bad guys not as charismatic. Lots of fun racing and stunt driving, but it can't turn this into a good film. Introduction of Roman is a plus, though.

Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift (a.k.a. 3 Fast 3 Furious): an oddball, but it works. First of four F&F films by Justin Lin, it parts from formula (and chronology) with an unfamiliar star, washi-thin Yakuza plot, and introduction of Han.

Tokyo forms an ultra-stylish backdrop, though our main guy's Nihongo is atrocious. Basically nothing important occurs apart from auto racing, anyway. Twin cross-country sprints (both with a girl as focus) act as intro and climax.


Fast & Furious (2009), a.k.a 4 Fast 4 Furious: Finally, back to Dom and pals. Solid drama, but surprisingly unconvincing car stunts with too much VFX and shakycam.

Fast 5: all you could possibly want from a Fast & Furious flick. A train job, a bank job (almost), crazy stunts, all our pals from prior films, and introducing D. "Rock" Johnson as Lucius Hobbs.

Fast & Furious 6: kind of a disappointing follow-up to Fast 5's highs. Trying way too hard to outdo 5, it just turns out gratuitous (but in a bad way). Absurd macguffins stand in for natural motivation.

Furious 7: Now it's basically a straight-up Bond flick (good action, too many gizmos), with Jason Statham as charismatic villain. Plus a touching "so long" to main actor Paul, who got in an actual IRL car crash. RIP.

F8, a.k.a. Fast & Furiosa. Too ludicrous for my liking. I'm hoping for a back-to-basics approach in any forthcoming outings.

@mbrubck it was amazing how much paul was in this film. rip

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