The Fast & Furious franchise is well-known for just how absurd it can be, but there is one particular moment that marks the transformation of the series.
The Fast Saga began its family-based tale with humble origins in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, while the early modesty of the series has long since vanished.
The steady shift away from its street-racing roots is a component of how the Fast & Furious series has changed, but an even bigger one is what has taken its place.
Since 2011’s Fast Five, the Fast & Furious films have incrementally indulged in the protagonists of the series, especially Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), engaging in increasingly impossible acts.
2021’s F9 made that change more undeniable than ever with everything from Dom swinging a car on a bridge cable from one cliff side to another to Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) bringing a space car into F9’s climax.
While the makeover of the Fast & Furious films has been gradual, Dom’s rescue of Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) in 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 is the moment when the franchise graduated from implausible to ridiculous.
In the highway chase of Fast & Furious 6, Letty is propelled into the air when the tank driven by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) is brought to a sudden stop. Dom, on the parallel overpass,
saves Letty by crashing his car into the guardrail and sending himself flying from a perched position to catch Letty. With Dom and Letty landing unharmed on the hood of another car,
the heroism of this moment is great, however, it plays as something more at home in a Marvel movie than one about high-speed car chases. It also paved the way for the future of The Fast Saga, Dom himself leading the way.
Dom’s Rescue Of Letty Is Ridiculous, & Set-Up The Fast Saga’s Transformation
Dom’s saving of Letty in Fast & Furious 6’s big highway chase has a virtually non-existent relationship with physics. Even if Dom’s plan to shoot himself into the air was angled and timed perfectly enough for him to catch Letty, there’s no chance either would have survived slamming into each other at that speed.
Still, that abandonment of reality in Fast & Furious 6 can be directly pinpointed as the moment when the series made such absurdity one of its main attributes.
Furious 7 followed that up with action scenes like Dom leaping a car from one Abu Dhabi skyscraper to another, and the Fast & Furious franchise simply grew crazier from there.
Considering how much the series has changed, it is increasingly easy, and perhaps even best, to interpret The Fast Saga as thinly disguised comic book movies.
Looking back on that very change from street-racing to superheroics, the Fast & Furious series was arguably given the courage to continue pushing ahead in that direction by Dom’s aerial rescue of Letty in Fast & Furious 6.
While Fast Five stands as the movie that reshaped The Fast Saga into its established identity, Fast & Furious 6 gave the series its first moment of laughably impossible action heroism being made into an art.
The Fast Saga’s popularity has also only increased as its connection to reality has decreased, so there is little reason for the franchise to regret its transformation.
The Fast Saga took its first real leap into becoming unhinged from physics and logic with Dominic Toretto using his car expertise to rescue Letty in Fast & Furious 6, and the later fortunes of the Fast & Furious series owe a lot to it.