The heroes of The Fast And The Furious series rarely, if ever, lose during fight scenes, which is becoming something of an issue. The Fast And The Furious from 2001 may have featured its share of crazy stunts, but this franchise starter was still a relatively grounded action thriller. By the time Fast Five arrived in 2011, Dom and his crew were regularly defying the laws of physics and withstanding inhuman amounts of physical punishment.
Fast Five marked a major turning point for the series and saw it move away from street racing to the gang becoming unofficial government agents. Of course, instead of stealth or espionage, they would take down various villains through a combination of fistfights or driving really fast. The more insane or outrageous the stunts and action in the Fast And Furious movie series became, the more audiences seem to love it. Dom and company are borderline superheroes at this point, and in the run-up to the final two entries, it’s doubtful it will return to a more grounded tone.
That said, the superhuman quality of the cast of The Fast And The Furious saga is becoming a problem. Namely, none of the heroes ever seem to truly lose a fight. Take F9, for example, where Dom and his estranged brother Jakob (John Cena) have a battle that destroys entire rooms, but before a clear victory is declared, Jakob just runs away. The same thing happens during a later brawl where Dom is overwhelmed by Jakob’s thugs; instead of losing, Dom causes the catwalk they’re standing on to collapse. Back in Furious 7, a great fight scene between Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s (Ghosts Of Mars) Shaw also ends with no clear winner.
While it’s not uncommon for movies to feature heroes who never lose a fight, the Fast And Furious series is taking this to cartoonish levels. Part of this seems to be actor ego, with the likes of Diesel, Statham and Johnson having it written in their contracts that they can’t be beaten during a fight. The best action movies understand that a hero occasionally losing only heightens the drama and makes their eventual victory all the sweeter. Luke loses his duel with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, Iron Man is beaten by Steve and Bucky in Captain America: Civil War while even Arnie’s T-800 loses during a brutal fight with the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. On the flipside, actors like Steven Seagal would refuse to ever be beaten – or even hit – onscreen, which can make their brawls a little dull as the stakes are automatically lowered.
On very rare occasions, some of Dom’s gang actually will lose a brawl, like Fast & Furious 6. A fight scene in a London train station sees both Roman and Han get beaten badly by henchman Jah (Joe Taslim), which made for a refreshing change. Hopefully, the upcoming final Fast And Furious movies will fix this fight problem. With the characters themselves starting to age and slow down a little, the movies could embrace this and have them lose the occasional bout. This will not only heighten tension but help humanize the seemingly impervious crew. Watching Diesel’s Dom genuinely lose a fight will also show the character is a mere mortal – and will make his eventual victory more hard-earned.