Right. I spent the past week playing an obscene 40 hours of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and watching all 8 Fast and Furious films. So god damn it, I'm gonna get some #content out of it if I have to drag it kicking and screaming. Here's all 8 films rated, and which Mario Kart track best recreated the feeling of that film's key vehicular sequence.
The Fast and The Furious 2001,
The original Fast and the Furious is a fun little undercover cop film about illegal street racers who are robbing trucks. Looking at the pure skeleton of the plot, it reads like a remake of Point Break with cars instead of surfing. The beauty of TFATF isn't in its brain, though, but its heart. The romance between Bryan and Mia is genuinely nice and warm, and the sense of family is real. It's telling that he doesn't let Dom go at the end because of some complex and meaningful philosophy but because they're friends and he can tell Dom is an alright guy, deep down. A lovely film I could watch again and again.
Love it or hate it, this track had to make this list! This is the one track where Mario Kart actually attempts street racing. Dodging and weaving between traffic, doing big jumps on the back of trucks, knocking eachother into the paths of oncoming vehicles . . . that's the stuff!
2 Fast 2 Furious 2003
2 Fast 2 Furious is just pure fun. Vin Diesel's Dom doesn't return, and so Bryan teams up instead with Roman Pearce, played by Tyrese Gibson. His enormous grin and constant banter gives the film a different feel, as does the bright sunshine and beach setting. If the original film is a heartfelt little picture I can put on for a nice evening, this is just big dumb fun to have on in the background. Lives up to the ingenious stupidity of its name.
Sure, this track is clearly based on San Francisco rather than California or Miami, but it is a nice sunny beach track which suits the film well. Most importantly, it features a bit where you can jump your car onto a boat.
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift 2006
This is a weird one. Taken on its own, it's a fun film. I like Japan, I like cars doing cool drifts, I like films about loners finding a family. As part of the F&F series, though, this is really weird. It barely ties into the previous films, bar a cameo at the end (though it is made relevant by later entries), and it sticks almost entirely to the racing side of things, with almost no police or other crime drama/ action. Go into knowing what to expect and you'll have a good time, but it barely relates to the franchise. Plus the main guy's accent is super annoying.
Neo Bowser City
Partially I'm picking this one because it looks like Tokyo. More importantly, this track is made up of tight chicanes with straight plummets either side. This is a track that demands the player master the eponymous drift.
Fast and Furious
Feeling like a direct sequel to the original, this game reunites the original cast and brings some resolution to their relationships and actions in that film. Dom's here, Mia's here, Bryan's a cop again, there's a baddy to take down. This is done well, with some nice action and so on, but it's all very dry. It isn't quite the over-the-top nonsense of later films yet, but it doesn't have the laughs and heart of the first two. A necessary film to bring all the characters where they needed to be, but a forgettable one.
Dry Dry Desert
A dull drive around a desert.
Fast Five 2011
This film is a big turning point for the series. Featuring only one race (and one implied one), this is instead a heist movie. The family steal money from a bad guy who betrayed them. Luke "Dwayne The Rock Johnson" Hobbs is brought in to track them down, but teams up with them to teach the drug kingpin a lesson. Over the top, ridiculous, dumb and brilliant.
Wario's Gold Mine
It was tough to pick a track to represent this film's lovely Rio setting. I opted instead to go for the gold mine. The carts full of cash knocking cars this way and that remind me of the mad final scene of the film, where the family steal a huge safe full of cash and drag it across town. Make sure to hold down L to drag an item behind you and hit people with it.
Furious 6 2013
Following on from Fast Five, this film is more over the top, more action packed, and even more dumb. Hobbs this time recruits Dom and the Family, and they get involved in a mad caper to stop a British secret agent gone rogue. Great punch-ups, sick car chases and an emotional core provided by Michelle Rodriguez's Letty, here suffering from amnesia.
Furious 6 is infamous for a final chase sequence set on a runway. The maths has been done elsewhere, but for the scene to make sense with how fast the cars are going and the length of time, the runway has to be nearly 30 miles long, almost 10x the world's longest actual runway. The closest you'll get in Mario Kart 8 Deluce is Sunshine Airport, which blew my mind the first time I played it with its enormous jumbo jets.
Fast and Furious 7 2015
The biggest, dumbest action film yet in the series was somehow also the most emotionally engaging. Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw goes to war with the family to get revenge for his own family. There's a weird subplot about some computer hacking program and a warlord and all that, but it just feels like an excuse to have extra baddies to explode. That's not a complaint mind. The stunts are outrageous, the fights hit hard and the film gives a touching farewell to Paul Walker. I bawled my eyes out at the end there.
There are two big car stunts the film is famous for: jumping between two skycrapers in Dubai, and parachuting some cars out of an aeroplane. Luckily, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has Mount Wario, a track that opens with all the karts jumping from a plane. It also happens to be one of the best tracks in the game, which is a plus.
F8 of the Furious 2017
The most recent entry in the series, and the first since Tokyo Drift not to star Paul Walker. It remains a fun film: Dom as the antagonist is a great twist, the Die Hard 4-esque computer baddy allows for some mad sequences, and the way former foes are folded into the family is a really nice approach. Friendship is even better than punching, it turns out. These are pure fun films and I could happily watch a new one every two years for the rest of my life.
Sherbert Land isn't the most popular track, though I know at least one fan. It does make a good analogue for F8's finale on a big icy plane with a submarine though. Dropping under water and out again, sliding about, dodging holes and explosions. . . this is actually a really good fit. Ice Ice Outpost is a better track, though.
By Luke Summerhayes