The Fast and Furious franchise careened out of the gate in 2001 with its sights set on living life a quarter mile at a time. Since its humble Californian beginnings, the series has gone on to become a blockbuster behemoth, elevating Dom Toretto's crew to greater flights of fancy. Each installment pushes the limits of extravagance to deliver some of the most exciting action sequences in modern cinema.
Of these, it's the chase scenes that hammer home what The Fast and the Furious is all about; driving fast cars with your friends and beating the bad guys. Ahead of the release of Fast X, join us for a trip down memory lane to relive some of the best chases in the Fast and Furious franchise.
5. Final Chase, The Fast and The Furious (2001)
In this climactic scene, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) pulls up at Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) house to arrest him. His plan swiftly changes when Jesse (Chad Lindberg) arrives moments later, pleading with the pair for protection from gang leader Tran (Rick Yune). But it's too late. The rival racer and his accomplice Lance (Reggie Lee) shoot Jesse in a drive-by attack, prompting Brian and Dom to jump into their cars – a Toyota Supra and Dodge Charger respectively – to hunt them down.
The duo take out Tran and injure Lance, before Brian turns his attention to Dom and the pair have a quarter-mile drag race, both narrowly missing a high-speed train as their cars soar across the tracks. While lacking the elaborate setup of later chases, the finale of the first film lays the foundation for Brian and Dom's relationship, forging their brotherhood from the ashes of Jesse's death as Brian lets Dom go free.
4. Highway Gas Heist, Fast and Furious (2009)
Following the box office disappointment of The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, the next entry had to grab the audience's attention from the get-go. Fast and Furious marks a change in direction for the franchise. Straight out of the gate, the highway gas heist is proof that it's not 2001 anymore – and the Fast family are moving up in the world. Dom, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Han (Sung Kang) and their crew attempt to hijack a gasoline tanker truck while racing down a highway in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of this elaborate heist? To secure a slew of gas so the gang can race, of course!
Despite Dom's perfect planning, the driver of the truck notices Letty's feat of phenomenal acrobatics, trying to unhitch several tankers. While the crew manages to steal two, the driver retaliates and abandons his vehicle while the entire convoy is heading downhill. Dom and Letty only just avoid getting crushed by a runaway tanker.
3. Safe Heist, Fast Five (2011)
The entire movie's plot is orchestrated to end on this final, madcap note wherein Dom's crew are on the cusp of stealing a bank vault from noted Brazilian drug lord, Hernan Reyes. Not interested in subtlety — because when has this series ever favored a gentle touch? — the gang burst into the bank and attach the vault to Dom and Brian's Dodge Chargers. The pair yank the safe free from the bank and drag it through the streets of Rio, like a giant pinball.
This Fast Five finale chase is the series hitting its blockbuster stride. The two avoid Reyes' goons and the police who are both in hot pursuit to try and reclaim the money. Alas, Dom and Brian lay a trail of destruction in their wake, with storefronts, statues, cars, all obliterated as they make their way to freedom. The most impressive part — they switch safes halfway through the heist.
2. Airplane Chase, Fast and Furious 6 (2013)
Look, sometimes you don't want reality when it comes to a Fast and Furious movie. You want pure escapism. And this chase sequence on the runway at the end of Fast and Furious 6 is a testament to the series' ability to make you forget physics and enjoy the frenzied action. It kicks off with Dom's crew in pursuit of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his gang who are holding Mia (Jordana Brewster) hostage on a plane.
Brian, Dom, and Letty board the moving vehicle and engage in some combat, ultimately freeing Mia, the rest of the gang tether their cars to the plane to stop it taking off. While Gisele (Gal Gadot) sacrifices herself for Han, the chase ends on a high with Dom reclaiming the coveted chip and driving his Dodge Charger out of a flaming plane. The BBC reports that the paved runway would have to be 18 miles long to sustain a sequence like the one depicted on screen, but when you're having this much fun, who cares?
1. Plane Drop and Bus Chase, Furious 7 (2015)
The Azerbaijan mountain chase sequence from Furious 7 claims the top spot, a multi-transport skirmish that encompasses planes, buses, and cars. In their quest to rescue hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Dom's crew airdrops their reinforced cars 30,000ft from a plane – with each member of the gang behind the wheel – and onto a mountain pass. Their cars land behind the convoy holding the hacker. Following some skilled driving, they muscle their way aboard the bus and save Ramsey, who takes the passenger seat in Dom's Charger.
This is where director James Wan makes this sequence shine. Dom pursues Deckard Shaw, with Ramsey along for the ride, and they soon find themselves confronted by Mose Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) and his henchmen. Simultaneously, Brian is trapped inside the original bus that comes to a dangerous stop dangling over a cliff. His only way out is to walk to the front end, dipping precariously over the precipice, exit and run up the bus' side before it crashes into the valley below. Luckily, Letty pulls up at the perfect moment to save Brian.
The Best Fast and Furious Chase Sequences
The Fast and Furious franchise boasts so many action-packed chase sequences over its eleven movies to date, and this handful are but some of our top picks. Of course, with a new sequel on the horizon that could all change…
Fast X premieres in theatres on May 19! See it at Regal.