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Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Written by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin

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Dom and Brian arrive at the hospital just in time for Mia’s birth. Life is going well for the Toretto clan in the wake of the Rio job. Dom is living with Elena and starting over. Everything is flipped upside down when Hobbs shows up with a photo of Letty taken days prior. Letty is in the employ of international terrorist Owen Shaw and is the hook Hobbs needs to get Toretto’s crew to help him out. The team travels to London where they begin to uncover a large scale plan to construct a device that could cripple an entire nation’s defense network. The clock is ticking as Dom attempts to get Letty back and stop Shaw’s plans in their tracks.

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Fast Five (2011)
Written by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin

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Dominic Toretto is on his way to prison when Brian O’Conner and Mia show up to bust him out. Months later, Brian and Mia show up in Rio de Janeiro to meet up with Vince, from The Fast & The Furious. Dom is on his way, and Vince has a job involving hijacking a train for cars belonging to local crime kingpin Reyes. Turns out one of these cars actually holds vital information to Reyes’ drug empire and Dom uses this as an opportunity to get rich. The DEA was transporting the cars on the train and want their evidence back. They dispatch Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his team to recover the car and take down Toretto and crew. To pull off the heist of Reyes’ fortune, Dom is going to need help and calls in Gisele, Han, Tej, Roman Pearce, Leo, and Santos. All of these people come together to make an insanely crazy action movie.

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Fast & Furious (2009)
Written by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin

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Five years have passed since The Fast & The Furious, and Dominic Toretto has set up shop in the Dominican Republic. His girlfriend Letty and partners, including Han from Tokyo Drift, are hijacking fuel tankers for money. The heat has increased too much, so the crew disbands and Dominic decides he will leave Letty to draw the heat off of her. Months later, while working Panama City, he learns that Letty has been killed and returns to Los Angeles to attend her funeral in secret. At the same time, Brian O’Connor has inexplicably been allowed to become an FBI Agent despite a continued pattern of lawbreaking. He is pursuing an arms dealer named Braga who wouldn’t you know it, is connected to Letty’s death. Plus, Brian and Mia rekindle their relationship from the first film, because he super serious didn’t mean to betray them all and really loves her.

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The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Written by Chris Morgan
Directed by Justin Lin

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Sean Boswell is a kid who just can’t stay in one place for too long. His penchant for getting into trouble at school, particularly through illegal racing, leaves him getting sent by his mother from Los Angeles to live with his father in Tokyo. Sean quickly befriends military brat Twinkie who introduces his new friend to the drift racing scene. After a disastrous first race against the obvious villain, DK, Sean is taken under the wing of Han, an associate of DK’s. Han teaches Sean how to adapt to a new style of racing while DK is pressured by his uncle in the Yakuza to flex his muscle. Like all these films, it wraps up with a high-speed race where…surprise! The protagonist wins!

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Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Written Ernesto Foronda, Justin Lin, and Fabian Marquez
Directed by Justin Lin

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Ben and Virgil are two Asian-American high school students following the stereotypical honor roll/high achiever path. They participate in extracurricular clubs and sports to pad their applications for college, but there is a hidden side to their lives. At night they pull dumb childish pranks and make petty cash on a computer equipment scam with Virgil’s cousin Han. This changes when the trio become involved with Daric Loo, the golden boy of their high school who pushes them to get involved in drugs and larger scale crime. During this Ben has a major crush on Stephanie, his lab partner. However, Stephanie has a boyfriend, Steve (John Cho). Ben’s activities lead to a violent end and a cell phone ringing from underneath the sod laid across Virgil’s back yard

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Written by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas
Directed by John Singleton

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Former LAPD Brian O’Conner is on the run since he let Dominic Toretto escape at the conclusion of the first film. He’s living in Miami (using his given name instead of an alias bizarrely) and makes a living participating in illegal street racing. Tej Parker (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges) is the local organizer of all things racing and has a relationship in good standing with Brian. Brian’s life on the run comes to a quick end when the FBI brings him and offers a deal: they will drop all charges against the rogue cop if he helps them take down Argentine drug lord Carter Verone. Brian agrees, but on one condition, he gets to bring in his childhood friend Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson). The two are paired with undercover agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) and begin their mission to take down Verone.

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It was at Barley’s Brewing Company in Columbus, Ohio. June 2015. Sunday evening, Origins having wrapped up for the year. We were having dinner with the Magpie crew and the discussion focused on movies. Mark Diaz Truman tells me I should see two films: The Purge: Anarchy and Furious 7. I respond with incredulity, and Mark essentially tells me not to be a movie snob. He explains that the Fast and Furious are very diverse superhero movies at this point in the franchise. I don’t feel in any rush to see them, but it plants a seed. Cut to today.

The Fast and The Furious is inarguably a massively popular film series with eight made and at least four more to come it appears. I have seen fifty-something school bookkeepers who attend church every Sunday and exude all the expectations of Southern femininity make sure they are at the new F & F film opening night. A movie series that has such a cross-demographic appeal must have something redeemable about it. So, I decided I needed to watch them all, starting at the beginning, knowing it would be rough going for awhile, but that there is a chance I might find something good along the way. For better or worse here we go…


The Fast and The Furious (2001)
Written by Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, and David Ayer
Directed by Rob Cohen

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LAPD officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has gone undercover in the illegal street racing scene after a series of electronics truck deliveries were hijacked by crooks with highly specialized driving skills. He becomes embedded in the crew of Dominic Toretto, one of the top racers on the L.A. scene. O’Conner also sparks a relationship with Mia, Dominic’s younger sister which draws the ire of fellow crew member Vince, who also seems to have eyes on Mia. The clock is ticking for Brian as both the LAPD and FBI are demanding he gives them something before things deadly. Will Brian choose his oath as a police officer to serve & protect or will his allegiances fall to the Toretto crew?

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