Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: My Ranking Of THE FAST SAGA


Hello again! Since big big movies are finally starting to slowly trickle their way back into movie theaters, I am here to let you know that I am still only doing mainly smaller 3-4 sentence Background reviews that I am posting on my Facebook page Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews, on my Instagram @zachszanymoviereviews, and my newly relaunched Twitter @zachzanyreviews. BUT…every now and then, like the Friends Reunion review about two weeks ago, I’d like to do something special, like now, and do a ranking of THE FAST SAGA before F9 is released on June 25th, and then I will update the list shortly after I see the film (NOW UPDATED 7/21/2021). I just rewatched all 8 previous movies + Hobbs & Shaw, so I’d like to think that this list is final in a way. Anyway, my rankings from lowest to highest are before you, with a little explanation on why I put them where I put them!


If you go down to the next ranking, you’ll see why I had initially put that movie last on my list because “I realized I didn’t give a shit about any of the other characters.” With F9, I not only didn’t give a shit about ANY of the characters, but everything was so bonkers unbelievable Looney Tunes bullshit, that none of the characters, even John Cena, had any sort of believable character arc, I didn’t care who lived or who died, and I was laughing at literally almost every other bat shit crazy action sequence. Han’s return from the grave was absolutely horseshit, and oh God, don’t get me started on Tyrese and Ludacris going into space. I cringed every time it would switch to them near the end of the movie and laugh when my brother, who I saw this with just for the laughs, started laughing. Also, I had said on the #9 ranking that ‘visually the movie looks nice but there is almost no substance here to hold on to.” There is NO SUBSTANCE here, and the movie wasn’t visually nice…at all. It’s as if they rushed through production just to get a product out on time, but because of COVID, wasn’t nearly on time as they thought, was it? They couldn’t have done some reshoots after delaying the film for over a year? Clean up some of the spotty CGI? That’s really hard to believe. The main problem with this movie? Letting Justin Lin co-write the script and not bringing Chris Morgan back, who has wrote nearly all of the movies in the franchise. And while I didn’t care for The Fate of The Furious or Hobbs & Shaw (Morgan wrote both of these), everything that happens in those movies are masterpieces in believability when you compare it to this giant waste of space. I can’t see how the final two movies in the saga could get any worse, but hey, seeing how I couldn’t stand this movie…it’s entirely possible that family could fuck it up beyond repair. This isn’t beyond repair…but it’s close.


You thought it was going to be 2 Fast 2 Furious or Fast & Furious here huh? Nope. I’m going with Tokyo Drift. My last choice is a very controversial one to fans of the franchise, as this entry has gotten more love over the years. But when I watched it again a week or two ago, I realized that I didn’t give a shit about any other character in the movie other than Han, who isn’t really in the film all that much anyway (**spoiler alert** especially because he *dies* a little over midway thru the movie, and we now know the death is bullshit based on his character just magically showing up unscathed in F9 trailers and tv spots). I don’t like Lucas Black’s character, Lil’ Bow Wow’s character, and I can’t even tell you the name of the love interest’s character or the name of the actress that plays her (nor do I really want to look it up). Other than a mildly interesting opening car race and climatic giant hill drift race, the rest of the movie, other than Han’s character few lines of wisdom (let’s face it, nobody really paid his character any attention until the incredible Fast Five), is very dull, boring, and frankly, stupid. Visually the movie looks nice but there is almost no substance here to hold on to. How director Justin Lin got the job to direct four more movies (2 of them the best of the series) in the franchise and it not sizzle out there is astonishingly shocking.


The only thing that keeps 2 Fast 2 Furious above water from time to time is the chemistry between Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson. I also like the race to win better cars for their mission midway through the film. Eva Mendes also is hot as hell in the movie. Other than that, ho-hum at best. I don’t even know if Vin Diesel being a part of the story would’ve helped matters, as the standard “bust the bad guy” plot is very, very dull, boring, and stupid. Again, visually, the movie looks nice and bright but other than the camaraderie between the two leads, again…no substance. John Singleton should’ve said no to directing.


The really only thing that is noble about the 4th entry in the Fast & Furious franchise is that it brings back all the original central players in a bridge movie that no one new would lead to one of the greatest sequels of all time. Their chemistry and being back into the swing of things is the only slight notch this film has over the last two movies on this list. The last three could easily be shuffled over re watches but will always be the last three, unless F9 sucks a big dick. “Killing” off Letty (we didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be bullshit when F6 came along) was lazy, stupid shock value writing at its worst. Mia just gives herself to Brian after only one scene of being pissed at him, and the climatic cave race to the death is so fucking fake looking you wonder why Justin Lin even agreed to return as director. This movie is usually at the bottom of all lists because of how fake everything looks and the ho-hum bridge to a better movie story, but for me, it’s slightly above the bottom just because the movie’s producers got the band back together again. P.S. Vin Diesel saying “pussy” to a bad guy as his one liner at the end of the film is almost unforgivable.


This and #5 could be switched around if I ever…ever come back to giving these yet another rewatch, but The Fate of the Furious gets the short end of the stick here because none of the action is memorable other than Dwayne Johnson steering a submarine torpedo off course with his arm, hanging off the side of his vehicle in a massively overdone ice chase. You don’t cast Charlize Theron as the villain and have her behind a desk the entire film. And whenever Johnson and Vin Diesel have scenes together, it feels so off kilter because you know that behind the scenes drama led to them not really having any scenes together, it’s all just blatantly edited movie magic…because egos. And changing Jason Statham from a villain to an anti-hero just because the franchise is afraid of killing anyone off that famous is stupid and then when you put that together with the Luke Evans’ cameo, where he ends up saving the life of **spoiler alert** Vin Diesel’s love child, changing his villain character from part 6 into an anti-hero as well (not to mention being out of a coma so suddenly) is just down right God damn abysmal. The very beginning of the movie where they do another street race is a strong opening highlight, but the rest of the action sequences look too CGI’y and I just didn’t care about the stakes. I get that making a “Diesel versus his team” movie was too irresistible to ignore…but separating the group like that just doesn’t work (whether that plot turn was because Johnson and Diesel still hated each other around that time is anyone’s guess). I guess now they know huh? So why isn’t this lower the the last three on this list? Because even though the action isn’t memorable, it is watchable. The other movies the action isn’t really that watchable.


Or the movie Vin Diesel doesn’t want existing in the franchise and doesn’t want YOU to see! Hobbs & Shaw is only okay, and that’s only because the chemistry between Johnson and Statham is electrifying and I love me any kind of Idris Elba, even if his “Black Superman” villain is really not all that menacing or memorable. The action was a little too goofy here for me even though it was all watchable and mildly entertaining. Even though the action was too goofy, all of the sequences, from the climax, to the elevator chase, when put together, beat out any of the action sequences from my #6 pick, to my bottom pick, combined. Would I have preferred that this movie didn’t exist as well so that Statham and Johnson could’ve been in an already too packed F9? Yeah, actually. Unless a Hobbs & Shaw 2 is so overwhelmingly good, this movie could’ve honestly not been made and the only thing I would’ve missed was any Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham screen time.


Okay, so by the end of June there will be 10 movies on this list? If F9 is any good whatsoever, that will mean that The Fast Saga has half excellent to good movies, and half okay to downright blah ones (UPDATED 7/21/2021, it’s not, The Fast Saga has more blah movies than good ones). So until that movie comes out and I can give a true verdict of its value, that means that The Fast Saga has more misses than hits…yikes. Well, the first “hit” on my list is the original. The most grounded (obviously) of all the Fast and Furious movies. The one that made both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker household names. Where it was nothing but street races, vandalism, grand theft auto, and small high speed heists for a bunch of (now) low-tech electronic equipment. But just watching it again recently, the film still holds up because of the characters and the opening street race still gives me chills, especially, after having lost the race, Brian points at Dom and says, “dude, I almost had you” with a smile on his face, even though he just lost his car. It’s the simple things really, and since this movie is so simple, it still has that nice sheen and shine to it that is unlikely to become tarnished anytime in the years to come.


I had a really hard time with ranking my 2 and 3 picks. On the one hand, Furious 7 has a lovingly, if you don’t tear up during it you have no soul, tribute to the late Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car wreck (he was not the driver) when the cast was on a break from filming during Thanksgiving. On the other hand, Fast and Furious 6 has Paul Walker’s final completed performance, and almost any scene that blatantly isn’t Paul Walker in this movie is very noticeable and distracting as fuck. On a third hand, they did the absolute best with what they had already filmed with him, and the movie magic they were given (which included uses Paul’s brothers as body doubles and CGI’ing his face onto them) to give his character closure. And Jason Statham is fucking BAD ASS in this movie. And the cars parachuting from a plane and the subsequent long ass chase action scene in the middle of the movie is superb. And even though the climax is poorly edited with hardly any real Paul Walker footage, it is faced paced, entertaining and exciting. But I still have to give 6 the edge because of Walker’s completed performance and the three main action sequences…


which are almost perfectly filmed, edited, and executed. You have the near beginning chase sequence with the short, tiny, yet oddly personable and satisfying villain vehicles that can fling bigger vehicles up and over them, you have the breath taking climax with the never ending runway and the plane that the team doesn’t want to take off, and you have the extremely memorable, and laugh out loud (in a good way) action sequence in the middle of the film involving not only a tank, but a death and gravity defying mid way highway overpass life saving catch involving two of the main characters. It’s that goofy yet great, and even though the previous movie is the masterpiece that got the franchise back on track, this one was almost near perfect in replicating that sheer “I can’t believe this is a down the line sequel that is better than anything that came before it” joy that I can experience in a theater. This and my #1 pick shows why Justin Lin, when given the correct material, can make great action movie spectacles.


If you don’t have FAST FIVE at #1 or #2 on your ranking of The Fast Saga list, something is seriously wrong with you. They flipped a franchise, that was essentially only about which engines in which car was better mixed with testosterone, and turned it into an action heist mission series. Unbelievable how perfect this movie is. The opening train heist sequence? Masterful. The sequence mid way through the film running through the streets of Rio de Janiero? Masterful. The climax of the safe heist, where two cars are pulling a giant safe down the busy streets of Rio de Janiero? Masterful on top of masterful and easily the best action sequence the entire saga has to offer. I’ve seen Fast Five the most out of any film in the saga, and I honestly think it gets better every time I watch it. The movie is perfectly paced, plotted, and executed. I don’t think they could ever make a better entry. If you want a solid trilogy out of the 9 films thus far, Fast Five, Fast and Furious 6, and Furious 7 fit the bill, and it even somewhat has a beginning, middle and end if you wanted to JUST WATCH THOSE THREE AND FORGET THE REST. My top three picks are the reason why I end up loving this franchise, even if all 9 parts together only really get me a decent Hyundai.


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (now on video, so some spoilers)

Now for a couple of reviews that will be focused upon film that were released earlier this year but I didn’t get a chance (or skipped it thinking it would be terrible) to see in theaters. While I knew that FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY got pretty damn good reviews, it currently sits at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, I didn’t see it really as a theatrical experience. I was right to make myself wait for video. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid movie showcasing the rise to stardom of WWE’s Paige, I figured that I probably wouldn’t have gotten anything more out of it from seeing it on a giant screen (I confess, I watched this on my phone…but on an official HD Streaming Platform). I think it is the best movie about wrestling there is….wait, I mean, are there really many? The only other one I can think of is Ready 2 Rumble with David Arquette, which is a guilty pleasure for me. But the movie did what it set out to do, where as the whole who wins, who loses, choreography, script, etc, etc in wrestling is fake, it in actuality is a lot of work (both mentally and physically) on an individual, and really hard to get into professionally.

Paige actually doesn’t star in this herself (kind of surprising since she is only 3 years older than the actress who plays her and doesn’t she act anyway in the WWE?), so they got a sort of not really familiar face in Florence Pugh. You probably have no idea who this actress is, but I do, and I know she’s been having a helluva 2019 so far. She has this, Midsommar, and the upcoming Oscar bait Little Women, last year she had numerous roles in things as well such as Netflix’s Outlaw King, The Commuter with Liam Neeson, that Little Drummer Girl limited series with Alexander Skaarsgaard. And there’s a good reason why she’s getting so much work. She’s a helluva fucking actress. Everything I see her in she keeps getting better and better (one reason to see Midsommar is that it’s literally her best performance ever). And here, she completely embodies Paige (from the very small real footage I’ve seen of the wrestler), and manages to convince me that she was the underdog her overcame all obstacles thrown at her.

The movie deals with her entire rise to the beginning of her WWE stardom, and also deals with her mom and dad (who run a small Wrestling little Federation in England) being proud of her, but then dealing with her brother, who doesn’t even pass the first stage of getting even remotely close to the WWE. The reason why this wasn’t much of a theatrical experience is that all of these story lines play out exactly as you think. When Paige wants to quit, her parents try to convince her not to, and while her brother is at first jealous of her, he eventually finds his footing and gets mad at her when she wants to give up when she’s so close to both of their dreams. And if you want to see this because you are hoping for several real fun matches of Paige on the WWE, prepare to be disappointed, it’s mostly all just training montages with a couple of short matches in the small England Federation her Mom and Dad own, and then literally her first match on WWE. That’s it. But if you come for the inspiring story, like I do, then you are in for a half way decent treat. Note that when it says, “Based on a true story,” that what it shows you probably didn’t happen exactly as it shows (especially the clamming up during Paige’s first WWE appearance, I don’t think that happened) but the heart of it is plainly there to see. I liked that the movie also had these other women trying out for the WWE and even though they were former models or pin up bikini models, they were actually smart and had actual lives outside of wrestling. It’s a very woman empowering film.

Those wanting to watch it because the are Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson completists, I know that they advertised the shit out of him in the marketing campaign, but he is just a glorified cameo. He is literally in only two scenes, one which is completely spoiled in the trailer to the film. Honestly, whenever any celebrity is on the “and” tail end of a movie poster, I know to not expect them in the film all that much (aka Drew Barrymore in Scream and Bryan Cranston in Godzilla, except Dwayne obviously doesn’t die here). But even in the scenes he is in, he reeks his hard yet gentle charisma and shows why he is getting a lot of work in the film business today. The film is written and directed by Stephen Merchant, and anybody whose anybody knows that he’s a good friend of Simon Pegg’s, Nick Frost (who’s really funny in the limited screen time in this as Paige’s dad), and Ricky Gervais. He’s co-written and co directed several other things, but I think this is his solo debut, and even though it seems like it is a point and shoot affair (even the wrestling scenes are just static shots), he seems like he is a good actor’s director as he gets I feel like were the best performances out of all those involved.

Vince Vaughn seemed to actually give a shit for once since Wedding Crashers and Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Leny Headey (Cersei in Game of Thrones) was charming for the limited screen time she was in, even though it seemed like she walked across the studio lot and just put on a wig for them after a day’s work on the HBO series. What I liked most about the film is the way that shows, even though that some aspects of wrestling are fake, the work to get there and even once there is a lot of physical and mental hard work. These wrestlers and entertainers are challenging themselves mentally and physically all just to put on a good show for those that are willing to watch. Hell, I even had a 3 to 5 year period when I was younger where I loved the shit out of wrestling, even getting free yet shit signals to the pay per view matches that my parents (and when thinking back on it, nor I) didn’t want to pay for. They were enjoyable even though I knew they were fake. If I would’ve known then what I do now, of how hard on a person it can be, I think I would’ve appreciated it more. This is a movie for old or new fans of wrestling that reshapes it all into one giant respect bubble.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: HOBBS & SHAW (no spoilers, and no, I’m not putting Fast & Furious Presents before the real title)

Remember when this series started out by dude bros just stealing VCRs? Then by installment 5 we got a giant bank safe being pulled by cars down a highway, installment 6 we got Vin Diesel being tossed out over a highway during a military tank sequence then catching Michelle Rodriguez in midair and landing safely, then in the 7th installment you have cars going out of airplanes in parachutes and then later having a car jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper, and then in the last one you have Dwayne Johnson being able to steer submarine missiles mid trajectory in the ocean using just his foot. Needless to say, if the franchise ever lost you at one point, you’d have plenty of pretty damn good excuses as to the reasons why. It hasn’t lost me…but with Fate of The Furious and now HOBBS & SHAW, I feel like the franchises good ole’ days are officially behind them, and that it may be finally time to wrap everything up.

That’s not to say Hobbs & Shaw isn’t a half way decent installment in the franchise, it just isn’t a very good one, and doesn’t get anywhere in the ballpark of greatness. But at least it was better than The Fate of The Furious (I’ve only seen it twice, and can’t remember much of what happens in it other than Charlize Theron is the bad guy, that submarine sequence, and Vin Diesel’s baby and other small snippets). The real big problem with Hobbs & Shaw is very apparent, even before you buy your ticket to see it: you’ve already seen the movie. The marketing for this film, ever since the Super Bowl, has been fucking insane, with long ass trailers revealing EVERYTHING in the film, save for two surprise cameos and a bunch of mid and end credit sequences (stay thru ALL of the credits, even when it seems like the mid credits thing is it). There are literally no other surprises in the movie, which kind of bummed me out, as I very quickly pieced together what was going to happen with what sequences I had already seen in trailers and TV spots as the story went along.

It also doesn’t help that the plot elements are ripped straight out of Mission: Impossible 2, and in some ways it is basically the same exact film, albeit with a lot more insane vehicle action sequences, but without people pulling off masks to reveal themselves as different people. The real story? Not much of one, just know that it deals with a virus that Jason Statham character’s sister has, and that he and Dwayne Johnson must go after it before Idris Elba’s villain and whoever he is working for steals it and use it to “cleanse” the Earth (**yawn** sound familiar). As you know from the previous films, Johnson and Statham’s character still hate each other even though they have fantastic chemistry; that chemistry still there and strong being one of the only things that make this a decent one time watch. However, they don’t really have much character development, the only bit of it is that they predictably realize that even though they hate each other they at one point MUST work together in order to seize the day.

Yes, their banter is great and funny and all, and Statham and Johnson know how to act and be a great physical presences in action sequences, but unless you have story/plot arcs to fully back them up, it’s all just hollow shells. And nobody else has character development either, which is another big problem. Vanessa Kirby, who does a great job with physical demands for the role and her acting ability is a little above average, doesn’t do much arc wise but make faces as Statham and Johnson when they are bitching at each other. Idris Elba is one of the most yawn worthy villains in the franchise, and seems to be phoning it in, especially in the part of the film when he is touting himself as a “black superman.” He looks like he is just going through the motions to get this movie done and then go onto the next one. You’ve probably seen what was so effortlessly given away in the trailers that Dwayne Johnson goes to visit his Samoan “family” at one point (none of this should’ve been shown in marketing as it would’ve been a nice surprise). But any kind of character development and intrigue is thrown out the window with a couple of sentences of cliched “I’m sorry” dialogue.

Let me touch on Elba’s villain sci-fi element that has become so controversial to Fast & Furious fans because they want the films to stay a bit grounded. GROUNDED?! Are you fucking kidding me? The series waved bye bye to grounded with 2 Fast 2 Furious. So if you are mad that a new character got some kind of spinal surgery upgrade where he can see combat statistics in his eyeballs and be a helluva lot stronger physically, you can literally blame yourself. How did you not see it coming? If each installment needs to be more insane than the last, and you’ve already done what you could do bat shit crazy wise with vehicles, at some point, they are going to introduce sci-fi, and you just have to accept it. I have. I love the lunacy of it all. It is actually trying to do some shit different than just be the same film over and over and over again. Granted everything else about the film (like dialogue and story) is tired and true but at least none of these films have been a soft reboot of the first film or any of the previous installments. And if you think any of the previous installments action scenes are ridiculous, every single scene in this tells the previous films to hold their beer.

Before I end my review, let me give you some more positives (other than just the banter and chemistry of Statham and Johnson) to prove that I really do think this film is decently an okay one or two time watch. The action (there is a tone of it, almost every 5 minutes for a 2 hour and 10 minute run time) is crisp and clear, no shaky cam, you see every punch, kick, shot, and crash. You have to appreciate films and directors like that. They aren’t hacks that fix boring, slow shots and shoddy camera work by filming it all shaky cam and then editing the shit out of it in post production to try make you think what you are seeing is cool. WE KNOW BETTER. But a steady cam on Statham, seeing all the choreography up close, personal, and flawless? I loved that here. The director is David Leitch, who did Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and was an uncredited co-director on the first John Wick. Solo wise, Deadpool 2 is still his best film, and at least Hobbs & Shaw is a helluva lot better and more fun than Atomic Blonde. Also, the two cameos in the films were a nice surprise, and one of the extended ones was really really funny (even though it ruins the ending of Game of Thrones) and I hope that he continues to pop up in the franchise moving forward.

And while the last vehicle sequence was fucking unbelievably ridiculous but fun and while the other action scenes throughout the movie were very elaborate, ridiculous, and entertaining, the problem boils down to that the marketing ruined this movie. All of the action scenes in this are shown in all the previews, LITERALLY ALL OF THEM. There are no surprises other than the two cameos; you are basically paying a theater $9 to $15 dollars to watch a film where someone just edited all the marketing footage together. Did the studio not have any confidence that the film could survive on its own? They already ruined the title by putting Fast & Furious presents before it, but did they literally have to spoil every fucking action sequence just to get people’s butts in seats? You already had my butt with Statham and Johnson in a movie together. I love those guys and you should have put a little more faith into what you had. It could’ve been one of the top movies, instead, it’s just going to fade into the middle (quite literally, see below).

Rank of the Fast & Furious Films:

  1. Fast 5
  2. Fast & Furious 6
  3. Furious 7
  4. The Fast & The Furious
  5. Hobbs & Shaw
  6. The Fate Of The Furious
  7. Tokyo Drift
  8. Fast & Furious
  9. 2 Fast 2 Furious