‘Fate of the Furious’: 8 best stunts from the ‘Fast & the Furious’ franchise BY MARK DANIELL, POSTMEDIA NETWORK
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The latest installment in the Furious franchise will see the villainous Cipher (Charllize Theron) send cars flying out of buildings and Vin Diesel’s DominicToretto behind the wheel as his ride goes up in flames.
For a series that ups the ante on death-defying stunts with each new entry, the Furious films – now on number eight – are going to have to send cars into space for episodes 9 and 10 (yes, those are happening and no, gravity and physics do not apply to the Fast flicks).
Before we see any of that, we rounded up the biggest stunts from the previous seven entries to give our wholly biased take on the eight best scenes in the franchise’s history.
Car Skydiving – Furious 7 (2015)
Furious 7 included a 22-minute scene that starts with cars parachuting out of a plane, landing and then embarking on an action-packed chase sequence. It all ends with Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor jumping off the side of a bus just before it goes falling off a cliff.
The best part of all? The stunt was completely real.
Ten cars were dropped out of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules plane – two Chargers, two Subarus, two Challengers, two Jeeps and two Camaros – with the action captured by a mix of skydivers, helicopters and Go-Pro cameras.
Director James Wan filmed the scene in Arizona, Colorado and Atlanta, and the cars were dropped from varying altitudes.
Second-unit director-stunt coordinator Spiro Razatos talked to Variety about the decision to do the stunt for real instead of using CGI.
“Some filmmakers think the audience wants things manipulated — with a lot of fake stuff in your face. And it’s easy for filmmakers to say, ‘We’ll fix it later.’ But ‘later’ is fake. That isn’t what the audience wants. We said, ‘Let’s do it real; that’s the only way it will feel right.’ The producers and Universal were great; they trusted us. It’s high-end action, but it’s real. Even the bus going off a cliff, with a guy running on it — that was done real. He had to time his running and he had one shot to do it right. But it turned out great.”
‘Cars don’t fly!’ – Furious 7 (2015)
The double-skyscraper jump with Brian and Dom and a souped up Lykan HyperSport car did involve CGI, but it’s also the one stunt that Lee Loveridge, a professor of physics at Washington’s Pierce College, says could happen.
“To be honest,” Loveridge told Vulture, “that is probably the most plausible stunt in the whole movie.”
If you don’t remember, the car jumps from one Abu Dhabi skyscraper to another and – when the brakes fail – the Lykan makes a jaw-dropping leap to a third tower.
Loveridge says to make any of these landings, “the shocks would have to be extremely stiff to avoid bottoming out.”
So you’re saying there’s a chance?
Saving Letty – Fast and the Furious 6 (2013)
This stunning sequence involves one highway, double bridges, dozens of cars, a tank (yes, a tank) and a gravity-defying mid-air catch.
Dom launches himself out of his car and soars through the air to grab Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) before she flies off the bridge. The lovers land safely on the hood of a car. The only damage? A cracked windshield.
Daylight drag race – The Fast and the Furious (2001)
The original movie is tame by comparison, but watching Dom vs. Brian race (along with the cheesy slo-mo beefcake shots) set the stage for the characters’ 14-year bromance. It’s a keeper.
Car Meets Boat – 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Brian and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) showed that boats have nothing on a Camaro as they made the jump from land to sea (on a moving yacht no less) in this Vin-less sequel.
Bank Vault Heist – Fast Five (2011)
A bank vault gets dragged around the streets of Rio De Janeiro by a couple of Dodge Chargers like a waterskier on Lake Muskoka. This is one of the series’ best stunts, but physicist Dr. Randall Kelley told Vulture that it would take 467 cars to replicate this in real life. Still, the filmmakers and stunt team did drag around a replica instead of using CGI. “I’ve been doing this 33 years, and I’ve never been as proud of a sequence. I think that’s the best thing I’ve probably ever done in my career,” stunt coordinator Jack Gill told EW in 2011.
Train Rescue – Fast Five (2011)
There’s a lot of moving parts on this one. After barreling his Corvette out of a moving train, Dom races to rescue Brian, who is clinging to the side of a burning wreck embedded in another freight car. Brian sticks the jump (naturally) and the two dive into a river after they narrowly miss an explosive collision with the bridge.
Oil Tanker Escape – Fast & Furious (2009)
As Letty clings to the back of an oil tanker, Dom reverses his Buick Grand National alongside to save her. The stunt could have ended with Letty back in the car, but the flaming rig comes loose and starts tumbling towards them. What does Dom do? He times it perfectly and glides his car safely underneath the fiery wreck.