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Fast Five’s Most Important Fast & Furious Legacy Is Not What You Think

Fast five (2011) changed Fast and furious in many ways, but the film’s greatest legacy to the franchise isn’t what you think. The first Fast and furious movie with a budget of nine figures, Fast five represented a change in scale and tone for the franchise and confirmed the saga as a blockbuster. However, more than increasing the action or adding The Rock, a simple Fast five trick is what changed the saga forever.


After Fast & Furious (2009) proved that there was still a future for the saga after the disappointing box office performances of 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftUniversal had to find the right way to maintain the positive momentum the saga had acquired. It was clear that Dominic Toretto from Vin Diesel and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner should remain the stars, but just making another Dom and Brian adventure for the fifth film wouldn’t work.

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Fast five had to be slightly different in structure to justify its larger budget and international setting. Brian and Doretto also started to get repetitive like Fast & Furious (2009) looked a lot like The Fast and the Furious (2001). The solution was to Fast five an ensemble film with names of all previous four Fast and furious terms and not just Toretto, Brian and Mia. Fast five had the largest cast for a Fast and furious film up to that point, and from then on the movies were about the crew rather than just Brian and Dom.

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Fast Five has brought all corners of the Fast Franchise together

Fast five was the first movie to be made Fast and furious feels like a real saga. The Fast and furious movies had been very incoherent until then, with Fast & Furious (2009) serves as a sequel to the original movie, but mostly ignores 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift. There was no mention of Dom Toretto in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift was an entirely self-contained story, apart from a brief cameo from Vin Diesel, and there was not a single actor who had appeared in the first four Fast and furious movies.

Happy, Fast five embraced all corners of the franchise, bringing together characters from all of the first four films, including The Fast and the Furious‘Vincent, 2 Fast 2 FuriousRoman and Tej, Tokyo Drift‘s Han, en Fast & Furious‘ Giselle. Instead of a quick cameo similar to Han’s in Fast & Furious, Fast five gave substantial roles to all those characters and made them as important to the story as Brian and Dom. The heist setup made it easier to bring all those characters together, and the result was a thrilling interaction between characters who had never met before. Brian Roman and Tej, for example, finally met Don.

The large cast of Fast Five has changed the way Fast & Furious movies work

Fast fiveThe heist plot turned out to be the right decision as it gave each character a chance to shine while keeping the movie entertaining from start to finish. Of Fast five become the most profitable Fast and furious film up to that point, everything that had worked in Justin Lin’s film would now serve as the north for the franchise. Therefore, Fast & Furious 6 not only kept the heist element, but also brought back the whole “family”. Dom Toretto’s crew, now assisting The Rock’s Hobbs, went from fugitive to special agents. That was the perfect setup for Dom’s family to return to for other films, as they were now Hobbs’ personal elite team on top secret missions around the world.

Related: What Would Fast & Furious Movies Look Like Without The Rock?

Fast Five Made “The Family” The Best Of Fast & Furious

Although often jokes are made about Dom Toretto’s overused motto: “I have no friends, I have family” Fast and furious crew has become the best of the movies. As important as Vin Diesel is to the saga, Dom Toretto alone could never carry so many films on his own, especially after the tragic death of Paul Walker. The Fast and furious family, which grows bigger with each film, is now the true heart of the saga. They allow Fast and furious to avoid repetition, because such a large set of characters offers the film endless possibilities.

Each Fast and furious character has a certain set of skills, such as Tej and Ramsey’s hacking skills. At the same time, each actor can bring something different to the table, such as Tyrese’s unique comedy timing. The ensemble-cast approach that evolved from Fast five is why each Fast and furious The film now feels like an event and explains why the franchise has been able to reach so many people around the world.

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