by Kelsey Klemme | Thu., Aug. 1, 2019 6:00 AM
Start your engines!
Nearly two decades after The Fast and the Furious introduced us to the high-speed world of Dominic Toretto and his "family," two of the franchise's cast members are taking a detour for their own spinoff: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
The movie, which stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham, sets characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw as former enemies turned unlikely partners who must take down the cyber-genetically enhanced villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba. The film also stars Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren and Eiza González.
This marks the ninth film in the franchise, which has earned billions of dollars between the domestic and international box office, but the Fast Cinematic Universe had humble beginnings. In the first film, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker settled their conflicts with a good old-fashioned quarter-mile street race which bonded them despite being on opposite sides of the law.
That brotherly connection took what could have been a one-off film into a series that has seen its characters race their cars against submarines, parachute-land vehicles from a helicopter and drag a giant vault through the streets of Rio de Janerio.
As we hit the NOS to race into theaters this weekend for the latest installment, let's look back on our favorite characters who got us this far.
Maybe your favorite lives his life a quarter-mile at a time, like Dominic Toretto. Or you could be partial to the man who likes his tuna sandwiches with no crust, such as Brian O'Conner.
Perhaps you're a jokester, so Tyrese Gibson's Roman Pearce is who you would ride or die with. Then again, maybe you are NOT family and want to see them get taken down, in which case you probably love Charlize Theron's Cipher.
It's a hard choice, like picking between a 1970 Dodge Charger or Toyota Supra Turbo MkIV, but you've got to vote on who your favorite is.
After all, whether it's by one mile or one vote, winning is winning. So, take a look at some of the best characters in the franchise below and vote for who crosses the finish line as the best!
Played by Vin Diesel, Toretto is an OG member of the crew who is partial to the Dodge Charger and calling everyone his family. Toretto has a history of making his former rivals into allies, from Brian O'Conner to Luke Hobbs, and even got a second chance at love when it turned out his girlfriend Letty Ortiz was alive after being presumed dead mid-way through the franchise. Raise your Corona to the man who lives his life a quarter of a mile at a time!
The former cop turned criminal turned FBI agent turned criminal again was portrayed beautifully by the late Paul Walker over six films. Initially tasked to bust Toretto for stealing truckloads of DVDs (it was 2001), the blonde babe ended up riding alongside his mark on the other side of the law. Their brotherly connection (made stronger by O'Conner dating Toretto's sister, Mia) is the heart of the franchise and made it all the more tragic when the actor passed away. We'll always remember O'Conner for ordering his tuna sandwiches with no crust and drag-racing against his partner in crime.
So much of the fun of the Fast & Furious world is that it's not only the boys that get to have fun. Ortiz, played by Michelle Rodriguez, enters the franchise as Toretto's girlfriend whose idea of a fun date is to help him pull off various heists. At one point, she's thought to be dead only to be resurrected in Fast & Furious 6. She is alive but has amnesia and ends up fighting against the people she once called family. Later she remembers who she is, and who matters to her, leading her back to her team and boyfriend.
Article continues below
Scott Garfield/Universal Pictures
Jordana Brewster plays the role of Mia Toretto, Dominic's sister, who would rather not get involved in her brother's criminal activities but gets wrapped up in his world when she helps free him from a bus en route to his prison sentence. She is also key in Fast Five's plot, as announcing her pregnancy sparks Dominic and Brian's interest in stealing money to start a new life for her future child. Her character is sent off at the heartbreaking end of Furious 7, when it's implied she and Brian are retiring from any future missions to focus on family. This was brought on by the real-life death of Paul Walker, so it's a touching resolution within the world of the movies that two of the characters got to ride off into the sunset happily ever after.
Brought in to bring down Dominic Toretto in Rio de Janerio in Fast Five, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson takes on the role of Luke Hobbs with a powerful energy to be reckoned with. However, his tenure as an obstacle to the family is short-lived, working with the team instead of against them in Fast & Furious 6 onward. One of the bad guys he takes down is none other than Deckard Shaw, but the two shake hands and make (sort of) good when they both work together to take down Cipher in The Fate of the Furious. Their love-hate relationship is the heart of the upcoming Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw film, the second spin-off for the series.
Equal parts brains and brawn, Ludacris plays the hacker instrumental to the team's missions, especially as those get higher and higher stakes over the course of the franchise. While he gets ribbed for being the nerd on the squad, his skills help the crew and impress another hacker named Ramsey (played by Nathalie Emmanuel) who catches his eye. He also frequently has comedic spats with Roman Pearce, including trolling him by buying the same hyper-rare car at the end of Fast Five.
Article continues below
If there is a class clown in the ensemble, it's none other than Roman Pearce. Tyrese Gibson plays the fast-talking jokester who first made his debut in the series in 2 Fast 2 Furious, where his most iconic moment was rigging his car with a makeshift seat ejector. While his big mouth gets him in plenty of trouble (his pick-up line on Gisele Yashar in Fast Five is met with a gun to his face), it also gets the team out of trouble as he's frequently sent in to cause a distraction while everyone else steals cars.
Started as a villain now we're here! Deckard Shaw, portrayed by Jason Statham, may have been introduced as the enemy in Furious 7 after killing the team's beloved Han Lue, but he has since become an unlikely ally to the group. In The Fate of the Furious, he teams up with the family to take down Cipher, a cyberterrorist, and in the process becomes frenemies with Luke Hobbs. Their buddy cop chemistry was undeniable, hence the upcoming Hobbs & Shaw spinoff featuring the two saving the world yet again.
Before the whole world knew her in Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot was riding shotgun in Toretto's crew as Gisele Yashar. Gadot's appearance in Fast & Furious was her first big-screen role where she served as a member of the drug operation Brian is sent to take down. Changing allegiances to join Toretto on his future missions, her small part stood out from flirting with the enemy to get intel to when she sacrificed herself in the sixth film to save her on-screen love interest, Han Lue.
Article continues below
Played by Sung Kang, Han Lue may be the most interesting character on this list because his death ultimately caused a chronological rift in the series. In the films, he first is introduced in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (the first attempt at a non-Vin Diesel or Paul Walker spin-off) where he dies in a crash...only to appear in the fourth film, Fast & Furious, a few years later. He then remains a part of Toretto's posse until Gisele dies in the sixth film, after which he takes off to Tokyo to what the audience knows is his demise. While his sendoff in Fast & Furious 6 corrected the timeline, in another twist of events there is a post-credits scene that shows Deckard Shaw was behind his fatal car accident, making it all the weirder that the family allows him on their team in The Fate of the Furious. Will there be justice for Han? Only time (that may jump around) will tell.
Blondes have more fun, even when it comes to trying to take over the world. Portrayed by Charlize Theron, Cipher is a cyber-terrorist who is determined to start a nuclear war and is able to manipulate Toretto against his own team when she reveals she is holding his former lover, Elena, hostage. She is defeated in The Fate of the Furious, but still manages to escape. Theron is billed to show up in additional films, so we likely haven't seen the end of Cipher's plans for world domination.
(E! and Universal are both part of the NBCUniversal family)
Watch the 2019 People's Choice Awards Sunday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m., only on E!
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our US edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Canadian edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our UK edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Australian edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Asia edition?
Dieser Inhalt ist für internationale Besucher verfügbar. Möchtest du ihn in der deutschen Version anschauen?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our German edition?
Une version adaptée de ce contenu est disponible pour notre public international. Souhaitez-vous voir ça dans notre édition française ?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our French edition?