What Time It Was Rapid and frantic Took a Turn for the Farcical
Even though the Fast & Furious movies have a reputation for absurdity, the series saw a major shift in one key scene. The Fast Saga, based on a story that started in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, has come a long way from its modest beginnings. One aspect of the Fast & Furious franchise’s evolution has been a gradual departure from the street-racing genre to which it was originally attached.
Since Fast Five in 2011, the heroes of the Fast & Furious films, notably Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), have participated in more unthinkable activities.
The conclusion of 2021’s F9, which included a space vehicle driven by Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson, and a car swung by Dom from one cliffside to the other on a bridge rope, made the shift clearer than ever. While the Fast & Furious movies have undergone a steady makeover, the series officially crossed over from impossible to absurd with Dom’s rescue of Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) in 2013.
When Owen Shaw’s (Luke Evans) tank comes to an abrupt halt during the highway pursuit in Fast & Furious 6, it launches Letty into the air. Dom, who was driving on the adjacent flyover, swerved his vehicle into the railing and sent himself plummeting down to grab Letty as she fell. Dom and Letty’s heroics in safely landing on the bonnet of another vehicle while being chased at high speed are impressive, but this scene seems more at home in a Marvel film than one involving high-speed car chases. More importantly, it set the stage for the rest of The Fast Saga to follow, with Dom at the helm.
Incredibly implausible as it may seem, Dom’s rescue of Letty served as the catalyst for the Fast Saga’s metamorphosis.
During the high-stakes highway pursuit in Fast and Furious 6, Dom’s attempt to rescue Letty has almost no connection to physics. There is no way that Dom and Letty could have survived a collision at that speed, even if his plan to blast himself into the air had been precisely aimed and timed for him to catch Letty.
Still, Fast & Furious 6’s suspension of disbelief stands out as the turning point when the franchise embraced its newfound craziness. The next instalment, Furious 7, topped it with stunts like Dom jumping a vehicle between two Abu Dhabi skyscrapers. From then, the Fast & Furious series only got wilder.
The Fast Saga has evolved to the point where it is easy—and probably best—to see the films as just veiled adaptations of comic books. Looking back, Dom’s airborne rescue of Letty in Fast 6 may have given the Fast & Furious series the confidence to continue moving in that direction away from street racing and toward superheroics.
While Fast Five is widely credited with giving The Fast Saga its current identity, Fast & Furious 6 introduced the first instance of the series’ trademark ridiculously impossible action heroes being elevated to the level of high art. There’s no need for the Fast Saga franchise to be sad about its new direction, since the series’ popularity has skyrocketed with its distancing from reality.
With Dominic Toretto utilising his automobile knowledge to rescue Letty in Fast & Furious 6, the Fast Saga made its first genuine leap towards being unhinged from physics and logic, and the ensuing success of the Fast & Furious series owes a lot to this moment.