Let's be honest, the Fast and the Furious films aren't going to be winning any awards for their math skills, while it could even be argued that Universal should really start staying behind for physics class. However, when #JamesBond isn't too bothered about the physics of whether a helicopter can really fly upside down, and as the Fast and The Furious films move into an espionage-led era, should we really care either?
You know who I blame? Those pesky Mythbusters!
Gone are the days when we could go and watch a film without thinking, wow, that runway would've had to have been 28 miles long, and now the #TheFateoftheFurious writer has thrown Isaac Newton's book out the window to put the argument to bed.
The Math And The Furious
Speaking about jumping the shark (and between buildings in Dubai), series writer Chris Morgan opened up on the math behind the stunts and if he really cares if the audience notices. In short no, and why should he?
Morgan has penned the series since Tokyo Drift in 2006, and even he has noticed a move in the direction of the ludicrous. Speaking to Uproxx, Morgan said that Fast is intended to be a more "grounded" version of Bond:
“Clearly, our movies are not Bond films. We’re more grounded and just kind of guys that lived down the block from you. And it’s kind of more real-world, even though we push physics a little bit.”
Sure, in The Fate of the Furious you won't see the main villain being sucked out the side of an airplane, or #DwayneJohnson firing himself from a torpedo shoot, however, we do see #VinDiesel out maneuver a heat-seeking missile. He continued that they may occasionally "fudge" the stats (to put it mildly):
“Look, we’re clearly very heightened action. But there’s a certain point where that action breaks all physics and all sense of reality and that suddenly will pull me out of the experience. Now I’m not worried about the characters anymore because the science behind it is so blatantly horrible that I can’t enjoy the sequence because nothing has any stakes – because it’s all not real. I would say my goal in all of these is: It’s a real-world setting with real cars, real people, and we push the physics to the very limit. And we’ll talk to people, what are the maximum? And then we’ll fudge that line a little bit. Not too far.”
#Action films are what they are, and all too often we question whether Tom Cruise could've really done that #MissionImpossible stunt, or how many ribs #JasonBourne might have broken. It has sadly become a part of our nitpicking culture. As the Fast films continue at an exponential rate, and there are even rumors that we could head into space, expect that line of reality to get blurred a fair bit more.
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Certain scenes have caused a ruckus among fans of the series, in particular the aforementioned runway that was 28 miles long. Appearing in Fast & Furious 6, the stunt in question saw our unlikely heroes take on a cargo plane with their shiny motors. It was deduced that the extended scene and the 13 minutes of high-speed plane chasing would've lead to one hell of a long runway:
"In the middle of the action sequence, did you stop and say, ‘I can’t enjoy this anymore because clearly, they’ve gone 26 miles and it’s just bugging me’? If that’s the case, then we failed. I think what happens is: You finish the movie, you’ve enjoyed it – and later you go, ‘You know, I was thinking about that land speed in terms of that airplane.’ I’m okay with that! And we are kind of like grinning along with you guys. But we do our best to keep it just on the edge of it so that you don’t break. I think if you break, then I failed, and I’m hoping that we don’t do that, at least too often."
Ironically though, Morgan and his team do put work into trying to at least make it look like their big spectacles could work. Talking about one scene in The Fate of the Furious when Dom and Brian's vehicles leap between the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, it may actually have worked:
“It was funny, I ended up running into Adam Savage from MythBusters, and they’ve done a couple of things of ours. And we just hit it off really well and just were laughing about some of the things they tested that worked and some that don’t. And by the way, I also wrote a movie called Wanted, and he’s like, ‘Listen, the bending the bullets, that’s a no-go.’”
Whether it be taking on tanks or leaping from vehicles at breakneck speed, the moral of the story here is basically lighten up. Those who have followed the Fast films have seen them grow from Hot Wheels street racing in 2001 all the way through to the Monster Truck ideas of The Fate of the Furious. Do we question the character resurrections, the paper-thin dialogue, or Charlize Theron's dreadlocks? Nope, didn't think so. While Diesel, Johnson, and Rodriguez inevitably try out their spacesuits, there is no denying that the franchise will still be burning rubber and the box office well into the future of the franchise.
Check out the trailer for The Fate of the Furious, and don't forget our poll below!
Does the physics from the 'Fast' films bother you?
[Poll Image Credit: Universal]