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Death will come to us all, but it will come fast and furious to someone like me if I ever attempt any of the crazy stunts from the Fast & Furious franchise. Every single thing in these movies is too fast and too furious for me, but some would send me to an even quicker car-wrapped death than others.
Here's a confession before the music blasts in and we smash cut to the opening credits: Up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd never seen any movie in the franchise that spawned off 2001's The Fast and the Furious. I had seen scenes for them, I was aware that they grew increasingly insane as the series went on, and I knew that Vin Diesel said "family" a lot. I also knew that their titles got almost as progressively wacky as the plots of the movies themselves.
I made Tokyo Drift jokes, adding that subtitle to many a film that I discussed. Had I earned that right? No, I had not. I was not really a part of that family, and only family can make jokes about family. All of that's changed, though — it was probably sometime around seeing the third trailer for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw for the 16th time that I gave in and decided to dive off a cliff and get rolling with these movies.
They start with a somewhat basic (but still ludicrous) movie about street racing and small-time crime, they go on to try and be somewhat serious, and then they try to get really serious. Then 2011's Fast Five comes around, and you get the feeling that this franchise finally decided to embrace its own insanity. It was for the best. The four movies that came before that one were fun to watch, but Fast Five (and all of the movies that came after) are bats**t insane. They are aware of it, and they own it. I'm convinced that somewhere around the 12th installment of this lunacy, this family will be racing in space. Family space race!
I am, again, not part of the Fast & Furious family, which is probably for the best, because I wouldn't want my family to have to mourn me when I died, horribly, after attempting any of the stunts from the series. Here are the nine stunts that would probably end me the quickest. Grab a corona, and let's race ... enjoy Fast & Furious Presents: My Death.
09. Any attempt to "drift" (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
If I was in the passenger seat while someone else attempted to perform the titular drift that features in this movie? I might survive for about ten minutes before the resulting thrill eventually catches up with me, causing a heart attack. If I was the driver, attempting the drift myself? I'm not getting those ten minutes.
Forget the insanity of the race displayed in the clip above — I could definitely attempt to perform a drift myself, and I'm 99 percent certain that the attempt would fail. I have issues with parallel parking (I hit the curb during my driver's test, they passed me anyway), so am I really going to be able to drift in a car? Not a chance.
RESULT: Failure is guaranteed, and death would not be far behind. Let's be nice and say I'd be dead within a minute of the attempt.
08. Furious boat boarding (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Ettiquette is clearly off the table here, as this is not the proper way to board a boat. This one would also be slightly conditional in terms of whether I'm the passenger or the driver of the boat-boarding car, but... come on. I'm kidding myself.
If I was the passenger, I'd die in the resulting crash. If I was the driver, the car would never make it onto the boat. That car would go right in the drink, taken to the depths of Davy Jones' Locker.
RESULT: Passenger? Death in 10 seconds. Driver? Death in 5 seconds upon hitting the water, followed by a lifetime of service on The Flying Dutchman.
07. Furious truck boarding (The Fast and the Furious)
Who doesn't enjoy jumping onto the front of a truck while it's speeding down the road? I've never tried it, but I doubt that I'd enjoy it. I would have no time to register my enjoyment either way, because I'd be dead.
Let's get crazy and assume for just a split second that there's a universe where I could jump from a speeding car onto a speeding truck and actually stick the landing. What then? Would I be able to hang on, pull some action beats, and then jump back onto the car? Not a chance. I would have to live the rest of my life hanging onto the front of the truck. That would be my new home. Forward my mail there.
RESULT: Even if I made the jump, I'd immediately fall off. Seriously, who am I kidding — there's no way I would ever make the jump. I would fall out of the car while preparing the jump, or even just trying to stand up in the car. Death in 2 seconds.
06. Tunnel racing (Fast & Furious)
This sequence comes towards the end of the film, but I'd never make it there — I'd have gotten popped multiple times in one of this movie's plentiful shootouts. We'll have to imagine a scenario where Toretto is about to use Braga's drug-traffic tunnels against him (as he does in the clip above), and pauses before revving up to say, "You know who should get in on this? That guy with the stupid jokes, he'd be really useful for this tunnel chase action scene. Jump in man, you're family now!"
I would not be useful. Driving in the dark is no fun, this tunnel is loaded with obstacles, and I've fallen off of Rainbow Road enough times to know that there are so very many ways to crash a car into something. If I made it inside the tunnels, I would absolutely crash the car.
RESULT: I wouldn't make it inside. I would miss the entrance to where the tunnel is completely and smash the car into the rocks. Dead in 1 second, end of movie. Braga wins.
05. Cliff diving (Fast Five)
Now we're getting to the truly ludicrous stuff, which really is saying something. This is a stunt that neither of these characters would survive. They're a street-racing beer drinkin' family, but none of them are named Indiana Jones. They might survive, but they'd be seriously injured and need immediate medical attention.
As for me? As for me... I made my mind up back in Chelsea. I'm not making that jump. Are you nuts? I'd have to be pushed, and a heart attack would take me out while I was still in the air.
RESULT: Death by instant mid-air heart attack. That's not the real moment that I remember from this movie, though. At one point Toretto says, "We're gonna do one last job..." If I was in the room for that, the cliche would kill me instantly. When I go, I'm goin' like Elsie.
04. High flyin' hijinks (Fast & Furious 6)
Nope. Take your pick of anything in the above clip. Either by planes, guns, or automobiles, this guy ain't gonna see another Christmas.
Trying to go up against Luke Evans? Dead. Michelle Rodriquez? Dead. Trying to take a selfie with Jordana Brewster? Very dead. Anything and everything involving the truck attached to the plane? Dead. This is a convention of ways to die, everyone came, and no one is signing autographs... not even Marv Wolfman.
RESULT: All it would really take is one smoldering look from Dwayne Johnson and I would dissolve into a fiery mass of melting VHS tape. Several instant deaths.
03. Trying to fight Black Superman (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw)
This isn't about one specific stunt, it's more about the entire plot of this movie. That might not be fair, but you know what else wouldn't be fair? Me trying to go up against an Idris Elba who has had his already awesome power enhanced by the powers of science fiction.
The only reason that I'd even get remotely close to any of this would be so that I could meet Vanessa Kirby and tell her how great I thought she was in The Crown. That would probably mean that I'd have to go up against "Black Superman" as Elba's character calls himself in this film, and how long do you think that little standoff would last?
RESULT: Instant death by my own hands. I don't care how evil his character is, I would never dare to lay a hand on Idris Elba. If Idris Elba went full villain and decided to F some S up, I'd probably be okay with it because he's Idris Elba. It's not like I'd pose any real kind of threat in the first place (seriously), but I don't trust myself. Instant death for myself so that Idris Elba may live in glorious villainy.
02. Ice Car-pades (The Fate of the Furious)
Many years ago, I was driving alone at night, and my car ran over a big sheet of ice in the road. I lost control of the car, and pumped/steered as I was taught to do in such an event. I regained control quickly, but for a brief moment I thought, "here we go, we're done."
This scene makes me recall that moment vividly. It makes me question my own mortality, as well as the point of mortality in general. Again, take your pick of the madness on display — cars on the ice? Dead. Submarine shenanigans? Dead. Smashing the car into the blocks of ice that the aforementioned submarine threw into my path? Dead dead dead.
RESULT: I'm trying to think of a word that means "faster than instant." Chances are zero. A wizard from an alternate dimension would have come to me the night before, show me what was in store, and offer me to chance to leave my current plane of existence rather than go anywhere near this series of stunts. I would take the wizard's offer. Without that wizard? Faster-than-instant death.
01. Hallelujah, it's raining cars (Furious Seven)
No, I will not do this. Why has it come to this?
I've already recounted my nebulous driving skills, as well as my desires not to fall from great heights. Why in heaven or hell would I ever want to see if those two awful tastes taste even worse together?
Falling out of a plane while in the driver's seat of a car? Nah. Na na nahhh. Not even with Michelle Rodriguez holding a gun to my head. Not even with Michelle Rodriguez promising me a nice one-on-one dinner afterwards. Not even if that dinner included an offer for me to receive a tax-free $250,000 every week for the rest of my life, as well as a major speaking role in multiple Star Wars movies. Not happening.
RESULT: Honestly If I was offered all of the things that I just mentioned (nice dinner with Michelle Rodriguez, financial security for life, Star Wars), I'd probably go for it. I would be dead in a negative amount of time, but I'd go for it anyway. Because I'm greedy like that and I know it, I will not let myself take the chance.
Instead, I'll find a way to time travel back to my own birth and change my own history so that this weird, meta-moment never comes to pass. I'll avoid this plane-car-driving stunt and all of this ice-driving, submarine-fighting family's ridiculous death-tempting schemes... and no offer would ever be able to convince me otherwise. I would live.
I very much enjoy watching these movies... but attempting anything that is portrayed in them? I may not fear death, but I do not seek it, either. As a girl once said, "not today."
Not today, Toretto! To live will be an awfully big adventure.