15 Things That Never Made Sense About The Races of Fast & Furious

Dom and his crew will be back in May for another round of Fast and Furious action. The franchise’s ninth film—in the main plotline, anyway—looks to add another wrestler into the mix as the series continues to find ways to build after the tragic loss of Paul Walker in 2013. Director Justin Lin is onboard, as are the usual suspects: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, and Charlize Theron. Lucas Black and Bow Wow even look set for serious returns.

But even as the Fast and Furious films have ramped up the insanity every step along the way, plenty of fans might be getting burnt out on the increasingly international espionage-focused plotlines and trumped-up drama. The focus of the first movie was much smaller in scope than each successive installment, way back when a ragtag group of tuners and racers was blasting around the streets of Los Angeles.

And yet, even the first film was pretty ridiculous in its own way. Keep scrolling for 15 things about Fast and Furious race scenes that never made a lick of sense.

15The Shifting

The ridiculous shifting in all the Fast and Furious movies has become something of a film trope. Any time the filmmakers want something to seem intense during a street race or chase in the franchise, a character just shifts—but the corresponding RPMs don’t make sense and the sudden launches are the opposite of what happens in real life.

14The Drifting

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the worst offender here, though the rest of the films also include way too much drifting. The simple fact is that drifting means losing traction, which means slowing down during a race. Sure, it looks good on the silver screen but no real racecar driver ever wants to drift.

13NOS Everywhere

The tuning and modding culture rampant in the Fast and Furious films often trends towards looks over substance, especially when it comes to everybody having NOS systems in their cars. Sure, NOS can boost an engine’s output in a big way—but real street racers don’t want to blow an engine during every race.

12The Jumps

Plenty of absurd moments combine in the Fast and Furious franchise, though all the car jumping needs to really be taken in with a grain of salt. Suspension of disbelief becomes key, especially after scenes like in the opening race of 2 Fast 2 Furious, where the racers all jump off a drawbridge, land by bottoming out and smashing their front bumpers and splitters, then pull up to the finish line in cars that are somehow flawless.

11Dom Lets Brian Win?

A recurring theme in the entirety of the Fast and Furious franchise—until Paul Walker’s untimely demise—was that Dom would let Brian win races. But given the competitive fire that drives these men, even Dom wouldn’t be able to sit with that kind of charity. Plus, there’s nothing worse than a sore loser acting like he could have won if he’d just tried.

10The Wheelies

Part of Dom’s aura in the Fast and Furious films comes from the fact that among a crowd of Japanese imports that have been modded and tuned, he still opts to race in massive American muscle cars. As silly as that is from a weight and handling perspective, it’s even more ridiculous given how he loves to pop wheelies at every opportunity—without bothering to install wheelie bars.

9The Crowds

Hollywood always wants its heroes to be good-looking and popular, though the Fast and Furious franchise gets a little ridiculous and over-the-top by having Dom and Brian basically know everyone everywhere. And everyone loves them, too, despite the duo showing up and wreaking havoc left and right at every opportunity—plus, they win all the races, which is a sure way to get people angry and jealous.

8No Brakes No Worries

One of the most famous and confusing things about any race in the entire franchise came in the first installment, when Jesse takes his Jetta to Race Wars against Johnny Tran’s S2000. As Jesse pulls up to the line, eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed that his Jetta had no brake calipers or pads on the front wheels. But after all, brakes do slow cars down…

7That Viper

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was a major turning point for the franchise, taking things in an even more ridiculous direction as the plotline began anew in a foreign country. The movie started off downright absurd, too, as Lucas Black’s character races in a beat-up old car against the likes of a beastly Viper—and somehow comes out victorious.

6A Mustang Drift Car?

The end of Tokyo Drift capped off an utterly silly film with an utterly silly race, in this case down a mountain while drifting. As ridiculous as drifting is, to begin with, drifting in a vintage Mustang is all the more ridiculous. But at least it looked moderately cool while doing so, in the end.

5No Replacement For Displacement

The first movie in the franchise set the stage for a series of films about tuned imports racing around the streets of Los Angeles. Somehow, by the last couple of installments, the plotlines have gone full-on international spy thiller with a smattering of supercars thrown in for good measure. But how would a Veyron stack up against Ja Rule’s Integra?

4Yelling Back And Forth

One ridiculous element of just about every Fast and Furious race—throughout the entirety of the franchise—is that drivers think they can just yell back and forth between cars. First of all, these are street-racing performance vehicles with straight pipes and massive power, so the sound would be deafening. Second of all, their windows would be rolled up for aerodynamics.

3Time Traveling

Plenty of Hollywood action movies make liberal use of time traveling. Case in point is in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Cap and Scarlett Johansson spend the whole movie sprinting at top speed to get away from The Winter Soldier, who merely strolls around slowly and ominously catches up nonetheless. In the Fast and Furious movies, cars catch up and overtake each other out of nowhere, having seemingly time traveled.

2No Traffic

Every Fast and Furious film has to include at least a few solid race or chase scenes that break or bend the laws of physics. But the most absurd element of most of the racing is that there seems to be a complete lack of any other humans most of the time. The above picture of Los Angeles was probably taken first thing in the morning on Christmas—otherwise, the whole intersection would be blocked full of angry drivers honking at each other.

1Down And Back

In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Brian and Roman (played by Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson) race for pink slips against a couple of Miami thugs. The race is just ridiculous, though, being comprised of nothing more than a down-and-back sprint. No one races like that outside of middle-school gym class.