The Dumbest Decisions In The ‘Fast And Furious’ Saga
It's easy to dismiss The Fast and Furious films as big, dumb blockbusters. They're not about hot button issues, they don't feature sniffly monologues about the human condition, and not a single one of them has appeared in the Criterion Collection. Yet the Fast saga has something that many films - and even the critical jewels of cinema - lack: cars fighting submarines, cars fighting tanks, and cars fighting the laws of physics. It's not high art, but it's quite a lot of fun.
In short, the Fast & Furious movies are indeed big, crowd-pleasing blockbusters, but they are not inherently stupid. Every person involved with these films - from the cinematographers, to the directors, actors, and most importantly the stunt performers - knows exactly what they're making. Fast movies are designed to entertain and excite, and that's why audiences keep showing up for more.
However, this is not to say the Fast saga is flawless. Within its universe, several characters have made questionable decisions that defy logic. Some of these decisions had far-reaching consequences for the series, while others remain mysteries to this day.
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Sean Challenges The 'Drift King' To A Drift Race, Despite Not Knowing How To Drift ('The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift')
There's a reason Sean Boswell, the nominal protagonist of Tokyo Drift, has only starred in one Fast film. He's not the shiniest hubcap on the block.
After the high schooler is effectively exiled from the United States for street racing, he ends his first day in Japan by challenging Takashi Kamata, the local "Drift King," to a drift off. There's just one problem: Sean literally has no idea what drifting is.
Han loans Sean his car, and then watches with quiet amusement as the kid absolutely demolishes it in his attempts to drift.
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Jakande Attempts A Military Assault In Los Angeles ('Furious 7')
Unlike many of the Fast saga's charming or quirky villains, Mose Jakande is strictly business. He's a ruthless mercenary with a literal army at his beck and call. He doesn't quip, he seldom smiles, and he's absolutely not messing around. So it kind of makes sense that he'd do everything in his power to get Ramsey, since she's the only person who can stop him from exploiting her God's Eye hacking program.
Dom understands the stakes, and tells Brian that "war is coming to us whether we like it or not." Except, war doesn't just come to Dom and his crew; it comes to Los Angeles.
Jakande enters LA's air space with a military helicopter and proceeds to blow the ever-loving shiznit out of local landmarks. It doesn't matter what kind of fancy hacking software you've got, that kind of heat would immediately attract the attention of every armed force the US has at its disposal.
As Tony Stark would say, "Not a great plan."
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Dom Runs A Heist Without His Full Crew ('The Fast and the Furious')
In the first Fast and Furious film, Dominic Toretto and his crew are covertly swiping DVD players and digital cameras from container trucks. Brian O'Conner, then a wet-behind-the-ears LA cop, just can't believe Dom's the bad guy, because he's so cool and in control.
On the latter two counts, Brian's not wrong. Despite Dom's imposing frame, he's more of a thinker than a bruiser. That's why it's strange that he orders Letty, Vince, and Leon to go through with a heist they're clearly not ready for. This happens after Jesse freaks out and flees from Race Wars, leaving them short a man. Dom's sister tells him not to go, but Dom ignores her. Later, Leon says things don't feel right, but Dom shuts him up. Even Letty objects, but Dom just won't listen.
The heist ends in a spectacular failure, with Vince nearly bleeding out, Letty injured, and Brian revealing he's an undercover cop - shattering his relationship with Dom for several years.
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Elena Doesn't Tell Dom About His Son ('The Fate of the Furious')
Dom and Elena hook up at the end of Fast 5, then part ways in Fast 6 after Dom learns Letty is still alive. In Fate of the Furious, Elena says she found out she was pregnant around the same time, and decided not to share the news with Dom until after he and Letty got back from their honeymoon. Cipher nixes that plan when she abducts them.
Alright, let's rewind for a second. If Dom's baby is around six months old, as the child actor who portrays him is, and Elena had a nine-month pregnancy, that means she's been sitting on this secret for 15 months. Even if Elena is the most saintly and understanding ex-girlfriend on Earth, and would rather not harsh Dom and Letty's buzz with something as consequential as, y'know, bringing a human being into the world, there's one very good reason she should have told Dom right away: People try to attack him and his "family" all the time. Elena and her baby get snatched by Cipher because of course they would be.
Dom, being a multi-millionaire and freelance government agent, would have the resources to protect them - if he knew. Also, if he knew, he could have saved Elena six months of awkwardly telling people she's waiting for her baby daddy to give the kid a first name.
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Dom Abandons Letty ('Fast & Furious')
After a job to swipe oil from a tanker truck goes explosively pear shaped, Dom decides it's time to stop putting his loved ones in danger. Yet, after kindly telling his buddies to pack up and go home, Dom decides the best way to protect Letty is to take off without saying a word and leave her a few thousand bucks on the nightstand. Yikes.
Dom abandoning Letty is, by itself, a crummy thing to do to a person who left a comfortable, law-abiding existence in California, USA, to go be with the love of her life. (Letty knew what she was getting into when she tracked you down, Dom. She literally says, "Ride or die!") Yet it's the long-term consequence of this abandonment that really twists the knife.
In hopes of clearing Dom's record, Letty agrees to go undercover for Brian, which leads to a series of extremely unfortunate events for the whole crew over multiple installments in the franchise. Dom's decision becomes even harsher in hindsight when we discover, in Fast 7, that he married Letty at some point in the past. This means Dom didn't just abandon his long-time lover in Fast & Furious, he walked out on his wife. Double yikes.
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Whatever's Going On With Brian And Monica ('2 Fast 2 Furious')
The Fast saga could really use more Monica Fuentes, the undercover US Customs Agent who gathered intelligence on Carter Verone and kept Brian and Roman alive in 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Here's the weird thing, though: It is never clearly established what the relationship between Monica and Brian is. Throughout the film, it seems like something's going on between them, and a strong argument can be made that the two have met prior to their introduction in the film's opening. It's possible that Monica and Brian are just super flirty, but it kind of feels like these characters have definitely hooked up before. That would at least explain why they share a kiss near the end of the film without remarking on it at all.
Regardless, whether the two have a thing going on or they're just really into the idea, the fact remains that Monica is in an incredibly precarious position. She's the only government agent to last in Verone's employ, and a single slip up could scuttle the whole operation and put her life in jeopardy. Brian knows that better than anyone, and yet he and Monica continue to make eyes at each other over Verone's shoulder and generally flirt like teenagers.