Do you fast-forward just to watch the stunts? The Fast and Furious saga is full of the most innovative, insane, and incredible stunts you never imagined. Speeding, flying, spinning, racing, and exploding cars are just the beginning of the show. Hold your breath because, for the most part, they're very real. They do use CGI and other digital techniques for mind-blowing over-the-top effects. On the other hand, it is amazing how much of the craziness is the product of talented producers, stunt teams, and crew. Just how much hanging from buses and leaping from cars as they fall off cliffs, can the stars do? A lot!
Continue scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start article in quick view
One of the classic early stunts with three very real elements, it combines street racing, an unstoppable train, and the risks of playing in traffic. This makes it a triple thrill: we're watching for the winner in a two-driver intense race, we realize that the focus of driving and the confidence of adrenaline are pitting them against a fast-moving train, and a surprise twist brings us out into the world as we see that The Fast and the Furious pulls no punches: the winner can still lose as well when he gets distracted by success.
Some of the tallest, most famous, and most beautiful skyscrapers in the world are in the middle east, where Furious 7 produced for several stunts. Both the multimillion-dollar value of the car and the ridiculously insane nature of the stunt brought in the computers, but the thrill is there. From tower to tower -- to tower, the jumps are breathtaking, and CG helps provide rich close-ups for an intense theater experience.
The ferry jump scene in 2 Fast 2 Furious put a lot of work and many cars towards a dozen or so seconds of film, but it was worth it. The Honda S2000 leaped beyond our imaginations onto the ferry, with actress Devon Aoki managing to add a racy catchphrase in mid-air. The secret here was simply a chase car, a Dodge Durango, following the S2000 with a remote control while the cameras were running to capture the event.
Another reason to use CG is because of the heavily populated location, and shopping district Shibuya in Tokyo is no place for a car chase. That adds thrill to the film, especially for people who have seen how dense the pedestrian traffic is there. While some directors have resorted to impromptu filming on the busy streets, that wasn't wise in this case. As Tokyo Today revealed, the Shibuya in Tokyo Drift is mostly created by advanced CG, with drifting scenes and racing interwoven by Hollywood magic.
It's probably a lot easier to get permits to film on mountain roads, and the mountain drifting scenes in Tokyo Drift allow more authentic shots and spontaneous racing physics than downtown Tokyo scenes did. A pullback shot of the switchback roads shows just how difficult the real Japanese mounting driving is, but the location is actually San Gabriel Canyon Road in California.
The Dominican Republic is the setting for the gas tanker attack in Fast & Furious, the fourth movie in the series. Crashes, recoveries, actors on the outside and top of vehicles, there are many details to create in this short sequence. California locations made it easier to get skilled personnel on-site to create the necessary live effects.
Fast & Furious 6 takes street racing action to the staid streets of London along with a few exotic locations in the Canary Islands for great coastal road action. The streets of London are a mix of other UK locations with CG mods to create familiar landmarks, and a few cleverly added features such as the Knight Bus from Harry Potter.
Furious 7 not only created the usual racing stunts and locations where physical filming wasn't practical. It brought the late star, Paul Walker, finishing the film with 350 CG renditions of the actor who died in a car crash during filming. Fortunately, his brothers were able to help provide a visual starting point for the VFX artists to create digital models on which to base his inserted character. The skydiving car scene, however, is said to be 100% real, and there's a GoPro video on YouTube, which reveals many of the secrets.
The Colorado airdrop and bus chase scenes, along with the bus falling off a cliff, had a variety of issues from location costs to complexity, which led the producers to consider eliminating, reducing, or CG-ing parts of the sequence. In the end, this was a case where authenticity reigned, and the sequence was filmed intact, on location.
Aviation fans come from around the world to watch the takeoffs and landings of the spectacular Antonov AN-225, the largest plane in the world. In Fast & Furious 6, driving stunts include Vin Diesel heading straight into the tilt-up nose of the aircraft where cargo is loaded, attempting to stop its takeoff. Given the costs of just using the AN-225 for cargo transport, this was obviously a job for CG. With Fast and Furious' push for authenticity, though, they decided to build parts of the gigantic plane and use CG to pull together real-life stunts as necessary.
If you've been following the Fast and Furious franchise, you probably guessed that the submarine scene in The Fate of the Furious was another case of a ramp jump with CG enhancement. In this case, an exploding submarine was added, a rather big and spectacular deal. As one participant said, though, the rest of the stunts on location in Iceland were real, so enjoy the view and don't blame them for shying away from that icebreaking detail.
Hacked and automated zombie cars raining from above and swarming below, a perfect distraction and a nightmare scenario which happens in The Fate of the Furious. It's a delicious destructive, chaotic free-for-all that gives viewers a treat they can't help but love. It was an insane stunt, dropping hundreds of cars from cranes and using CG only for filler, not the action itself.
Some of the craziest stunts in Fast and Furious films are 100 percent, or nearly 100 percent, real. The cargo plane in Furious 7 had five cars, loads of personnel and film equipment, and skydiving camera operators who recorded this very real incident.
Not only were the car stunts involving the giant cargo plane in Fast and Furious 6 as real as the producers could make them, the chase and fire sequences involving the plane itself were an intricate combination of wireframe models and special effects. In reality, the creation of an action sequence that, had the plane been traveling down a runway, would have taken it around 28 miles to film.
No, the safe heist and chase was not a CG ploy with the object mapped onto a towed cardboard box or something. It was a real, 9,000-pound safe towed by Dodge Chargers. Ninety-eight percent real, crazy action with just a bit of touch-up for artistic reasons, surely.