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Five Things About “Fast & Furious” That Make No Sense

Five Things About “Fast & Furious” That Make No Sense (photo)

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Good news fans of quickness and anger: the fifth film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise opens this Friday. “Fast Five” continues the full cast reunion begun with 2009’s “Fast & Furious” and takes it a step further by bringing in characters from “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Tokyo Drift.” Paul Walker! Vin Diesel! Tyrese Gibson! Ludacris! Sung Kang! Plus new addition Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson! This thing is like the “House of Frankenstein” of muscle-bound muscle car movies.

As I recall, “House of Frankenstein” wasn’t exactly the most tightly plotted film, either. But the insanity is part of the “Fast & Furious” series’ charm. These movies represent a decade-long celebration of the nonsensical, a triumph of swagger over substance, and an unprecedented achievement in the annals of unintentional comedy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the elements from the most recent film in the series, “Fast & Furious,” that made absolutely no sense.

On second thought, let’s just take a look at some of the elements. If we listed them all, we’d be here for a while.

1. The Bad Guy’s Plan Makes No Sense

The villain in “Fast & Furious” is a shadowy drug kingpin named Arturo Braga. He hires drivers from Los Angeles’ underground street racing scene to mule drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border in their hot rods. Now I’m not a drug smuggler, but it just seems like common sense that when you’re smuggling drugs you want to do it as inconspicuously as possible. Hiring a dude in a neon yellow muscle car with LCD televisions for headlights might not be the best way to avoid arousing the border patrol’s suspicions.


Plus, Braga doesn’t just drive the drugs across the border. He sneaks them in through an underground tunnel he built in a mountain. The whole reason he needs street racers and their souped up cars is because they have to be fast enough to sneak into the entrance to this tunnel before they’re detected by security cameras. Fine. But if there are security cameras watching the border, how did Braga build several miles of tunnel through a mountain in the first place?



But wait! It gets dumber! Braga maintains a veil of secrecy around his activities by murdering his drivers after they deliver his goods. As we’ve seen in four different “Fast & Furious” films, the underground street racing scene is a close-knit community. Everybody knows everybody. Wouldn’t someone notice that all the drivers who go to work for this guy comes back deader than disco? Evidently not. Because all the underground street racers in “Fast & Furious” are stupid.

2. The Representation of the American Justice System Makes No Sense

To expose Braga’s operation, FBI Agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) convinces an old street racing buddy named Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to go undercover as one of Braga’s drug mules. She agrees to do it, only on the condition that the government drop their charges against her boyfriend Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who’s currently a fugitive from justice in South America.

Now I’m not a legal expert, but this sounded mildly insane. So I asked a friend who is a legal expert, a practicing attorney, if this scenario — someone becoming an informant in order to obtain leniency for a loved one who is still on the run from the law — was remotely possible. His response:

“It’s possible, but it really doesn’t make sense. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: I swear, I didn’t put him up to saying that.] Usually people become informants to either get a better deal for themselves or for money. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it to get a better deal for another person. I don’t see why any law enforcement agency would give a lighter sentence to a fugitive who’s gone to another country to escape the law without doing anything themselves to earn better treatment.”



Of course, when Brian tells a furious Dom (he’s totally fast too!) why Letty was helping him, his explanation is vague enough that it’s possible he didn’t necessarily guarantee herpreferential treatment for Dom. So someone’s an idiot here, either Brian or Letty. Or maybe the idiot’s me, for actually trying to figure this stuff out.

3. The Government’s Plan Makes No Sense

Brian and Dom follow in Letty’s footsteps and become drivers for Braga in the hopes of destroying his operation from within. Braga tries to kill them, but they’re able to escape with some of Braga’s drugs. Brian’s superiors at the FBI want to hold a press conference and announce the contraband seizure, but he convinces them not to. “Braga’s just gonna send another shipment next week and the week after that,” he tells them. His plan? “Let’s use the shipment to lure Braga out and lop the head off a multibillion dollar cartel.” He wants to catch Braga red-handed during a hand-to-hand exchange. One of the other FBI agents says, “He’ll never show,” to which Brian replies “He can’t afford not to.”

But wait, Brian, you just specifically said Braga could afford not to. You said he could lose one shipment and carry on with his business! What changed in the four seconds since you said that? Other FBI Agent is correct: Braga would never show. But then guess what? He does show after all! Because he’s an idiot too.

4. The Police’s Search Techniques Make No Sense

Before the big finale in Mexico, Brian comes to see Dom at his house, where he’s working on a car. “Everyone’s looking for you,” says Brian. The police were looking for a fugitive and Paul Walker was the only guy who thought to check his house? What kind of police search is that? That’s not a police search, that’s a Google search. Nothing came up and they all went back to playing Zuma Blitz. So add the local police to the list of morons in this movie.

5. The Fact That Paul Walker Is Still Alive At the End of the Movie Makes No Sense

Through the mass stupidity of everyone involved, Brian and Dom capture Braga in Mexico and bring him back to the United States. Braga’s stooge Fenix, played by Laz Alonso, crashes Brian’s car, and pulls him out of the wreckage. He’s about to shoot him when Dom rides to the rescue. Dom guns it at Fenix, and before he can get out of the way, a wounded Brian, lying on the ground at Fenix’s feet, grabs his leg to hold him in place. Dom runs over Fenix, killing him. But somehow Brian, who was laying right next to him, is perfectly fine. He couldn’t have jumped out of the way because a)he was badly wounded and b)he was holding Fenix to keep him from jumping out of the way himself. Which means that Brian should have been crushed by the front right tire of Dom’s car, killing him instantly. But the dumbness must continue in “Fast Five,” and so Brian magically survives.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.