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The Fast & Furious Movie That Fans Agree Took The Franchise Off Course

The "Fast and Furious" franchise is not only one of the most successful in Hollywood history (via Box Office Mojo), but it is also one of the oddest. What began as a rather simple B-movie tale of street racers in 2001 has become a massive story with a large ensemble that regularly gets into the sort of special-effects-heavy hijinks you'd expect to witness in a Marvel or DC movie. In the latest installment, "F9," two characters literally go to space. There's certainly a lot of road and many leaps between that and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) leading a crew that hijacks DVD players and stereo equipment off of trucks.

There's no denying its success though. Diesel, who also produces the later movies, has morphed "Fast and Furious" into something much larger, and there really is no turning back at this point. The films still reference events of the past ("F9" includes numerous flashbacks for Toretto) and also include various characters from different early installments (Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson went from John Singleton's Miami-set "2 Fast 2 Furious" to taking the previously mentioned space detour), but some fans feel the jumps in logic and tone have simply been too much for them.

One specific movie in the franchise has been singled out by fans as the one that changed everything. Some say it was a course correction, while others say the movie simply blew up the franchise and sent the story in the wrong direction. 

Fast Five changed everything

In a Reddit discussion on the r/themovies subreddit, many fans pointed to "Fast Five" as the beginning of the end for the classic version of the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Even though some users reported enjoying the film itself, they also insisted that it pushed the franchise in the wrong direction.

"After ['Fast Five'], they just decided every scene needed to be bigger and better, and the rest of the series from there just feels like a ridiculous self-parody where every character is a superhero," u/legitniga wrote. It's an interesting observation since there's a point in "F9" where Roman (Tyrese Gibson) literally wonders aloud how he and others could have survived some of the insane things they've been through.

Many Reddit users echoed the sentiment, offering praise for "Fast Five," but bemoaning the fact that it took our heroes to a different level, pulling off a massive heist and running from the one-liner-loving Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). "'Fast Five' was the peak," u/TheStryfe wrote. "Once they became 'good guys'/secret agents for hire, it [became] a bit too much."  

Others were nostalgic for the simple days of "Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift" and other earlier installments focused on street racing in Los Angeles. "It was cheesy then, sort of an inside joke, and that's what makes it a cult classic to this day," u/IDGAFOS13 said. "It had the opportunity to get better, but instead, it became much worse, transforming into generic, car-themed action movies."