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Universal Pictures; Photo Illustration by Kenneth Bachor for TIME
, hits theaters April 14. Naturally, we watched every film to determine which movie was the fastest and furious-est of them all. We took notes on the car flips, the quips and the man tears spilled over Corona beers,
Some people may think these movies are all the same, but each one is unique with a diverse array of muscles and motors. The series that began as a somewhat realistic look at illegal street racing evolved into something akin to a superhero franchise. In case you haven't seen them, here's what happens in each one:
A crew of elite street racers is infiltrated by an undercover cop
An undercover cop and friend use knowledge of elite street racing crews to bring down a drug lord
A crew of elite street racers in Tokyo initiates an American teenager
A crew of elite street racers (and an FBI agent) avenge the murder of one of their own
A crew of elite street racers pulls one last job to buy its freedom
A crew of elite street racers pulls one last job to save one of its own
A crew of elite street racers pulls one last job to avenge the murder of one of its own
From the most ridiculous inside-the-engine CGI to that time they actually wrecked 300 cars in one scene.
Driving a car onto a yacht sounds like a stunt from
Sure, in later movies the crew would have just blown up this semi, and absolutely nobody would have been wearing a helmet as they jump from car to car. But the first
opened up the audience's eyes to what planned recklessness could do—including driving under trucks.
in this film, especially this scene of Dom (Vin Diesel) driving under a fiery tanker. However, the stunt did give audiences their first glimpse at director Justin Lin's ambition when it came to action. That ambition paid out in his fifth and sixth entries.
This movie introduced drifting, a technique that was used throughout the rest of the series.
was the last time fans got real high-stakes driving without bells and whistles like explosions and fireworks.
look as real as possible. The car that crashed into the train? They really did that. The two guys jumping off a cliff
-style? That was real too, though stunt doubles were used. The safe the gang drags through Rio? Real, albeit
lighter than your average giant safe
at 12,000 feet, and yet that stunt is upstaged by a CGI moment: Dom and Brian (Paul Walker) crash through two skyscrapers with a car. Still, the skyscraper scene was one of those rare moments when everyone in the theater yells, "Oh my God!"
A testament to Lin's new commitment to reality: A real tank crushed real cars, and the film crew built a fake airplane to film the final, epic moment on the runway. (Yes, the runway would have had to have been 29.3 miles long for this scene to work in real life, but stop nitpicking!)
How long do you have to wait until things get fast?
Number of Cars Harmed While Making This Picture
franchise totaled hundreds of real cars in production.
Sometimes cameos can push the plot forward or establish new characters (Eva Mendes, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham), and sometimes they're just cameos (Iggy Azalea).
This movie was too preoccupied with reuniting Vin Diesel and Paul Walker to bother with a cameo.
Fashion model Devon Aoki plays a street racer.
Ja Rule appeared in the first movie and wrote its theme song.
The biggest movie to date was filled with cameos: Romeo Santos hosts Brian's family at his house, while Iggy Azalea and Ronda Rousey's small roles place the movie firmly in 2015.
While it was tragic to watch Han's death (again), what better villain to kill him than one played by Jason Statham? His cameo set up his bigger role in the next film. (If you thought you recognized the girl who said, "Ready, set, go" in London that's because
franchise, payment of sorts. Though Dom sauntering onscreen to call Han "family" might have seemed like a throwaway line at the time, it sets up an important and somewhat complicated timeline for the future films.
in a mid-credits scene to reveal—spoiler alert—that Letty's alive! "Do you believe in ghosts?"
The franchise is really about how renegades construct a family for themselves. And if you've paid attention to
franchise you know that he especially is all about family.
0 speeches (maybe because Vin Diesel isn't in this movie?)
An extremely scientific ranking of the best cars in every movie.
So many questions: Why are the streets so empty? How could Han tell there were women in that car from a block away? Whose number did they give him? And isn't that really bad for his tires?
Brian and Dom race past a train, and then Dom flips his car. Considering that in an earlier film a similar accident actually resulted in serious injury, Dom would have certainly died in this scene.
Roman's (Tyrese Gibson) car comes equipped with an "ejecto seato" straight out of a bad James Bond movie.
We're fairly certain you cannot control where a giant safe might go when you make a hairpin turn.
Brian holds the bad guy's foot so he can't run away while Dom crashes into him. In real life, this is a great way to lose an arm.
How did Letty even know Brian was climbing up that bus or when to turn her car? And wouldn't Brian be screaming, "Did you see that?!?!" for the rest of the movie? (The Rock
Dom catches Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in mid-air going at least 60 mph, and yet they still land on a car like it's a bouncy house. It looks like makeup didn't even bother to paint fake scratches and bruises on the actors.
Gisele (Gal Gadot) to Dom: "Are you one of those boys who prefers cars to women?"
Neela (Nathalie Kelley): "Boys. All they care about is who's got the biggest engine."
Agent Hobbs (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson): "You know I like my dessert first."
Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) to Brian: "You want time? Buy the magazine!"
Roman to Brian: "Don't even think about taking the convertible. It might loosen your mousse."
Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) to the rest of the crew: "Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabets!"
"How We Roll" by Don Omar featuring Busta Rhymes, J-Doe and Reek da Villain
"See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa, featuring Charlie Puth
This action franchise knows how to pump the breaks for an emotional moment.
Sean's father says he's proud of Sean for not making the same mistakes he did.
Brian tells Dom he's anxious about being an absent father after he finds out Mia's pregnant.
Brian and Roman reminisce about growing up poor, playing football in the dirt and who's to blame for their lives going south.
Brian tears up when he finds out how his decision to put Letty undercover led to her accident and memory loss.
Dom admits his fear of losing control after his father's death: "I watched my dad burn to death."
This movie doesn't have enough Diesel.
is an outlier, too far removed from the franchise's beloved cast.
Despite its confusing title, subbing an ampersand for "and," the movie profitably returned to the series' roots.
Bringing back Letty from the dead was an impressive twist.
is the first film to bring the characters from all the other movies together and create a true "family." (It's also the first one with a
. The Rock was a brilliant addition to the cast. His over-the-top fight scene with Diesel (along with the ludicrous stunts) indicated that the series had developed a much-needed sense of humor about itself.
But for sheer emotional tour de force, no movie in the franchise measures up to
. Walker died during the making of the film, and the end is a deeply moving tribute to the actor. On screen, the stunts are bigger than ever. Though there's too little of the Rock in this movie, Statham more than makes up for it as a villain just as determined to avenge his family as Diesel. When it comes to box office,
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