12 Things The 'Fast & Furious' Franchise Gets Wrong About Cars
Vote up the car mistakes the Fast & Furious movies should have caught.
Like any Hollywood franchise, the Fast & Furious series has plenty of errors for fans to pick out. And we're not just talking about continuity errors or plot holes here, but actual scientific inaccuracies a lot of people wouldn't even notice at first glance. These are big, dumb action movies, after all, so does it really matter all that much? As long as people go home entertained, science can be flubbed in major ways.
Like that time in The Fate of the Furious where Charlize Theron's team of hackers took over dozens of cars at one time. Or when Dom Toretto used giant magnets to repel cars in F9. Or, going back to the beginning, how a Honda Civic can't actually fit under a standard semi-truck trailer. Get your fact-checking glasses on everyone, we're going through some of the big mistakes the Fast & Furious franchise has made.
- 1612 VOTES
You (Probably) Couldn't Take A Modified Pontiac Fiero Into SpacePhoto: F9: The Fast Saga / Universal Pictures
This is definitely going to rock your world: you probably can't modify a Pontiac Fiero for space travel, launch it into orbit, crash into a satellite, and live to tell the tale. Everybody has to suspend their disbelief while walking into the theater to watch the latest F&F movie, but come on. The screenwriters of this franchise are really just pushing the boundaries of what people will accept these days.
Former NASA astronaut Michael Massimino spoke with Slate about some of the inaccuracies in the scene from F9 where Roman and Tej head out into the great unknown. Most notably was the necessity for intense temperature control. “…In direct sunlight,” he said, “it's a couple hundred degrees Fahrenheit hitting you. When you go into darkness, it's a couple hundred degrees below zero." The lesson here? Don't try to make your standard automobile into a spacecraft.
- 2467 VOTES
Cars Can't Be Repelled By Giant, Moving MagnetsPhoto: F9: The Fast Saga / Universal Pictures
Theoretically, it is somewhat feasible that a magnet plane could catch a car in the future. It would take a lot of money, time, and brain power, so it'll never happen, but it could-maybe-possibly-probably-not come to fruition in the future. But planes weren't the only vehicles to get the magnet treatment in F9 as giant magnets were used in another action sequence as well.
Is it cool to see magnets suck in cars and repel them at will with the turn of a dial? Yes, and Dom Toretto is very good at doing it. Too bad it's literally impossible. Dominic Ryan, professor of physics at McGill University, broke it down for Science Focus quite clearly. “Magnets don't repel steel objects.” That's one power fantasy thrown right out the window, then.
- 3417 VOTES
Hackers Can't Take Over Every Car Around You At OncePhoto: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures
With each passing Fast & Furious movie, the stakes have to keep getting higher and higher. It's the basic law of franchise filmmaking. The MCU movies have to keep getting wilder and wilder. Harry Potter had to, eventually, go toe-to-toe with Voldemort. Each Toy Story movie has to make you cry that much harder at the end. The F&F series is no different, which brings us to the bonkers “hacking every car in sight at once” scene from The Fate of the Furious.
Alyssa Bereznak, on behalf of The Ringer, reached out to two experts in 2017 to inquire about the validity of such nonsense. Unsurprisingly, both Chris Valasek, a group security lead at Uber, and Stefan Savage, a UCSD professor of computer science and engineering, were quick to laugh off the whole thing. The gist is that it is difficult to hack into one car, let alone dozens of them. And, even if you do hack into a vehicle, it is hard to get them to do precisely what you want. So don't worry your pretty little heads about it, folks.
- 4342 VOTES
Cars Wouldn't Lose A Race Against A SubmarinePhoto: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures
Surprise, surprise… The Fate of the Furious isn't the most scientifically accurate film around. If you're looking for your Hollywood blockbusters to be grounded in realism, then the Fast & Furious franchise is not your best bet for entertainment. What other series has a bunch of cars going up against a submarine? In reality, it probably wouldn't be much of a race.
MythBusters' own Brian Louden told The Wrap that “modern submarines fail to reach basic highway speeds.” According to that article, even new US submarines only hit around 35 MPH at top speed. Cars would certainly go much slower while driving on ice, but come on. Had they just driven away from the submarine, it wouldn't have been much of an action sequence. That's not what people pay money to see!
- 5375 VOTES
NOS Doesn't Make A Sound Or Feel Like LightspeedPhoto: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures
The Fast & Furious franchise is essentially responsible for introducing NOS to the masses. Who wouldn't want a button in their car that serves as a superpower of sorts? A nitrous oxide system or nitrous oxide engine allows fuel to be burned at a faster rate, making the vehicle go more quickly for a certain amount of time.
That being said, it won't make your top speed miraculously increase. It won't make a crazy sound as you press that magic button. It definitely won't make it look like you're hitting lightspeed in the Millennium Falcon. Robin Classen of Car Choice even mentions NOS is often referred to as a “sleeper mod” as you can't easily hear or see someone use it. It's a bummer because everybody thinks it looks really cool in the movies when blue flames come out of an exhaust pipe.
- 6379 VOTES
The Franchise's Obsession With Gear-Shifting Isn't RealisticPhoto: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures
You all know the jokes. You've seen the compilations that have gone viral. You've seen the memes inspired by it. The Fast & Furious franchise is known for its unbelivable obsession with shifting gears. Nothing adds dramatic tension like some unnecessary gear-shifting.
Go watch the four-way race in 2 Fast 2 Furious between Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Devon Aoki, and Michael Ealy and you'll be amazed at how much time is spent on watching each driver shift gears. It's almost like a parody of itself. As the movies have strayed further and further away from street racing, this fixation on unrealistic gear-shifting has gone by the wayside a bit. Still, the internet never forgets.