Six most memorable Fast & Furious stunt scenes
As movie and street racing fans alike await the premiere of this summer’s hottest car flick and sixth installment of “The Fast and the Furious” (FF) franchise, Inquirer Motoring takes a look at six of the most memorable stunt scenes, including one from the official trailer of the upcoming movie.
The Dodge Charger flip
The most memorable stunt from the first movie “The Fast and the Furious” was the famous car flip by a black 1969 Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel. Although in the movie, it was dressed up to be a 1970 model and had menacing hood blowers, the actual stunt cars were fitted with only dummy over-the-hood blowers and had a Chevy 350 V-8 engine instead.
Four of these cars were built and one of the Chargers was later sold by Universal Studios to Volo Auto Museum in Illinois. The museum owner brought it to renowned car customizer Custom Classic, was repainted and completely restored. The unit owned by the museum was the “close-up” vehicle and not the one that was crashed during the last part of the movie.
In the movie, Vin Diesel raced with costar Paul Walker for a quarter mile all the way to the railroad tracks, barely missing a freight train but with the Charger ending up in a huge car-flipping collision with a semi-truck.
Located in the picturesque Volo Village, the Volo Auto Museum is about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago and is listed by Chicago Magazine as one of the top places to visit in Illinois. The museum houses very collectible classic and Hollywood cars on public display.
This writer once interviewed the museum’s owner Greg Grams, whose museum is also home to the famous George Barris “Batmobile” of the 1960’s Adam West fame. Other notable Hollywood automobiles are: the Herbie the Volkswagen, the Ghostbuster mobile, the XXX car, KITT of the Knight Rider fame, Nicolas Cage’s Eleanor from “Gone in 60 Seconds, ”Chris Tucker’s Stingray in “Rush Hour 2” and the original Miami Vice “Daytona” Spider.
All these cars were purchased and are owned by the museum. The museum hosts car shows and several charity events each year and is open seven days a week with over half a million visitors annually. Ironically, he said that despite the fact that he has over 300 cars in his museum, he doesn’t have to drive to work because he lives within the compound.
Too Fast and Too Furious
Roman Pearce (played by Tyrese Gibson) and Paul Walker auditions as street racers for Argentinian drug lord Carter Verone (played by Cole Hauser) as they get recruited by undercover US Customs agent Monica Fuentes (played by Eva Mendes) for a money laundering run with two customized Japanese tuner cars supplied by the US government. After the audition chase, the package they were told to retrieve in the “audition” turned out to be just an expensive cigar case.
Nissan 350Z’s parking drift
This writer also spoke with Hollywood stunt performer and drifting world champion Rhys Millen last year when he flew to Manila to do a promotional video for Red Bull. During the interview, he intimated that FF3 Tokyo Drift’s famous sideways drift race on one of Tokyo’s spiral parking building ramp was not done with CGI (computer-generated image) manipulation but by sheer guts and driving skills.
In his first stint for Fast and Furious, he was the lead driver in the Tokyo Drift sequel of the highly successful car movie franchise. While many would consider the general driving and car control as dangerous, Millen said feels he is just in his element, with him in full control.
Pushing the envelope when it comes to high performance driving, Millen drove a Nissan 350Z on a spiral ramp going up a parking lot while filming in Tokyo in just four passes only, and the whole scene took about 45 minutes to film. Up to now, a lot of people who saw the movie thought it was done through CGI manipulation.
Taurus World Stunt Awards
The fourth FF franchise was nominated four times in three categories while collecting two awards for the Best Work with a Vehicle and Best Stunt Coordination and/or Second Unit Direction at the 2010 Taurus World Stunt Awards.
The movie starts with a car and two tow trucks that follow a fuel tanker roadtrain, with Vin Diesel and his cohorts trying to steal the tanker’s explosive cargo. In the scene, the stunt woman (playing Michelle Rodriguez) walks on top of tanks to release them until the tanker driver realizes he’s being robbed. The tanker then maneuvers and goes over a cliff, while Vin Diesel drives on to the flip rolling tanker to avoid crashing into it.
Dodge Charger bank heist
With his success in the Fast and Furious 3 stunt scenes, Rhys Millen was tasked to do the succeeding sequels FF4 and FF5 as well. “After that, we came in with FF4 and FF5 which we were in Puerto Rico for about 5 weeks. Yeah, it was staged to look like Rio de Janeiro but it was really in Puerto Rico. We drove the two black Dodge Chargers with the vault and made it all happen in the movie,” Millen added.
This was not the first time an FF movie franchise used a Dodge Charger, albeit these new stunt cars were current model 2010 4-door Dodge Chargers depicted as stolen police vehicles during the movie.
The best is yet to come
Any stunt that involves army tanks, fast cars and flying stunt men are bound to be a great action-packed movie. Not surprising was the fact that Vin Diesel will be using a Dodge car once again, a classic 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. There is only one way to find out which stunt would be the most memorable for FF6, watch the movie as it hits the local screens on May 24.
As reported by Inquirer Motoring two weeks ago, FF6 will hold its premiere on May 15, coinciding with a car show to welcome Vin Diesel himself and some of the movie’s celebrities will be held at the SM Mall of Asia. Organized by Ladder Events Production, producers of the highly successful Bumper to Bumper Carshows, Metro Rides, Hotter Summer Nights Carshow and Hot Import Nights Manila. Fast & Furious 6 is a United International Pictures Release through Solar Entertainment Corp.