Audiences love a great car chase. For the past 12 years, the success of the Fast and Furious franchise has served as living proof. While the automotive stunts featured throughout the series range from semi-plausible to outright ridiculous, the films are works of fiction—if viewers can buy into a grown-ass man crawling up the sides of Manhattan buildings after being bitten by a radioactive spider or Tyler Perry dressing in drag as Madea, why not relish a few overly-spectacular car stunts? Moviegoers need only to succumb to sweet suspension of disbelief.
Before diving into detail on the automotive action sequences from the F&F franchise, a bit of disclosure: I did do some technical consulting on the last film, Fast 5. Although my contribution was small, the experience was eye-opening. It’s hard to make a film, let alone a sequel. People keep watching a series because they want to see more of what they saw before, but presented in a way that’s completely new and different. That can be tricky. Think original Star Wars trilogy and the horrible, horrible prequels.
When it comes to action sequences, there’s an unwritten rule where the next movie has to out-stunt what was in the last. It’s like an arms race with no end game. Except in the Fast and Furious films, the only losers are the destroyed picture cars. And on occasion, the laws of physics.