Fast & Furious: 8-Movie Collection (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Bill Hunt
  • Review Date: Jun 18, 2019
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Fast & Furious: 8-Movie Collection (4K UHD Review)

Director

Rob Cohen, John Singleton, Justin Lin, James Wan, F. Gary Gray

Release Date(s)

2001-2017 (June 11, 2019)

Studio(s)

Original Film/Relativity Media/One Race/China Film/Universal Pictures (Universal)
  • Film/Program Grade: B
  • Video Grade: B+
  • Audio Grade: A
  • Extras Grade: B+
  • Overall Grade: B+

Fast & Furious: 8-Movie Collection (4K Ultra HD)

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Review

I’ve gotta be honest, I’d never really understood the appeal of the Fast & Furious franchise until recently. For one thing, I live in an area where people tend to get arrested (and hurt) in illegal street racing with some regularity. Then there’s the fact that I’d only ever seen the first three films in the series, which means I stopped right at the worst time. When I finally watched a couple more, I totally got it. This is Ronin meets Speed Racer (Need for Speed for you youngsters) with a dash of The Great Train Robbery for good measure. You have to kinda check your brain at the door, sure, but I was totally on board for a while. Then the franchise races into Die Another Day territory, however, and you have to check your other brain at the door too. Since I’m not a Brontosaurus, that ain’t happening. And here we are.

Still, once you get the gist, the films are pretty straightforward. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: In The Fast and the Furious, Brian (Paul Walker) falls for Mia (Jordana Brewster), but Mia’s brother Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) ain’t having it. It happens that Brian’s a street racer, while Toretto has the best racing crew in Los Angeles. Brian eventually joins that crew, but he’s not who he seems. That’s okay though, because Toretto and his crew aren’t either. Illegal racing mayhem ensues. 2 Fast 2 Furious finds Brian in Miami, joined by his old pal Roman (Tyrese Gibson), trying to bring down an Argentinian drug lord (as one does). The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift jumps to Japan, with Sean (played by Lucas Black, the “lips and peckers” kid from Sling Blade) as the fish out of water racer and Han (Sung Kang) as the frenemy who teaches him to drift. Fast & Furious jumps back in time (after the first two films but before Tokyo Drift) and gets the original band back together in L.A. to avenge the death of Toretto’s girlfriend, with Gisele (Gal Godot, of Wonder Woman fame) to spice things up. Fast Five finds them all (including Han) on the lamb in Rio, where they run afoul of another drug lord and are pursed by U.S. agent Lucas Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, because of course). Fast & Furious 6 is an overstuffed Mission: Impossible knock-off that takes the crew to Europe to fight terrorists led by Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and is as preposterous as can be. Furious 7 is all about getting a little justice for Han, goddammit! Jason Statham and Kurt Russell show up too, because—again—of course they do. The film also puts a nice bow on Paul Walker’s last appearance in the franchise. Finally, The Fate of the Furious is just ridiculous, with Charlize Theron there to make sure of it. The film doesn’t exactly feature Toretto para-surfing a tsunami after ejecting from his rocket car, but it gets pretty close.

The stunt driving in these films is mostly damn great, at least when it’s done for real (a bit of it is CG here and there). I wouldn’t say the writing or the acting is ever particularly great though, but this cast has undeniable chemistry and that’s really what keeps it all together. “Family is everything,” as Toretto says along the way. To the extent you like these films, it’s because you like watching these characters doing their thing together. That’s reason enough to like any film. Hey, man… I like The Cutting Edge. And I don’t feel the need to explain that shit to anyone.

Here’s how I’d grade each of these films individually…

  • The Fast and the Furious: B-
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious: C
  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift: B-
  • Fast & Furious: B
  • Fast Five: B+
  • Fast & Furious 6: C+
  • Furious 7: B-
  • The Fate of the Furious: C-

Let’s talk A/V quality…

Starting with The Fast and the Furious, the first six films were all shot on photochemical film in Super 35 format. Furious 7 was shot in a combination of film (Super 35) and digital (at 2.8, 3, and 6K). The Fate of the Furious was all digital (shot at 3.4, 4, and 6K). The films are framed at the 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, except Fast & Furious, Furious 7, and The Fate of the Furious which are 2.40:1. The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious were finished on film and scanned in full native 4K, while the others were upsampled from 2K Digital Intermediates. All have been graded for high dynamic range in HDR10, while The Fate of the Furious also offers Dolby Vision. Note that the last two films were also shown theatrically in 3D, though they’ve not been released on Blu-ray 3D. In terms of image detail and clarity, here’s a basic film-by-film breakdown:

The Fast and the Furious – moderate grain, generally crisp detail, refined texturing, a few shots have an optically soft look, a few titles and effects shots (done digitally and printed out to film) look soft as well, warm push to the palette, nicely saturated colors, deep shadows, dark blacks, eye-reactive highlights – A-

  • Audio: English DTS-X, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese
  • Audio Commentary with director Rob Cohen

2 Fast 2 Furious – moderate grain, generally good detail sometimes very crisp, nice texturing, some shots optically soft, titles and effects shots (done digitally and printed to film) are soft, more natural color palette, very deeply saturated colors, deep shadows, very dark blacks, lightly eye-reactive highlights, some contrast haloing, the odd bit of baked-in edge enhancement – B+

  • Audio: English DTS-X, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese
  • Audio Commentary with director John Singleton

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – light grain, generally good detail and texturing but seldom crisp or tightly refined, some shots optically soft, titles and effects shots (done digitally and printed to film) are soft, natural color palette, nicely saturated colors, deep blacks, moderately bright highlights, some baked in edge enhancement – B-

  • Audio: English DTS-X, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary with director Justin Lin

Fast & Furious – moderate grain, good and often strong detail, good to strong texturing, a few shots optically soft, VFX shots occasionally soft but overall more consistent, slightly warmer but natural color palette, very deep blacks, very strong and eye-reactive highlights – B

  • Audio: English DTS-X, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese
  • Audio Commentary with director Justin Lin

Fast Five – includes both the Theatrical Cut and the Extended Version – light to moderate grain, consistently strong detail and texturing (occasionally very crisp), VFX occasionally soft but more consistent, more natural palette, more nuanced coloring, very deep blacks, bold highlights – B+

  • Audio: English DTS-X, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary with director Justin Lin (Extended Version only)

Fast & Furious 6 – includes both the Theatrical Cut and the Extended Version – light to moderate grain, consistently strong detail and texturing (occasionally very crisp), VFX sometimes soft but more consistent, more natural palette, more nuanced coloring, very deep blacks, bold highlights – B+

  • Audio: English DTS-X (Theatrical Cut only), English DTS-X Headphone (Theatrical Cut only), English 5.1 DTS (Extended Version only), and French and Spanish 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary with director Justin Lin (Extended Version only)

Furious 7 – includes both the Theatrical Cut and the Extended Version – light to very light grain, very strong and often crisp detail (save for a few Tokyo shots), strong and refined texturing, occasionally slightly desaturated to natural palette, more nuanced colors, very deep blacks, strong and eye-reactive highlights, overall a consistently strong presentation – A-

  • Audio: English DTS-X, English DTS-X Headphone, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

The Fate of the Furious – very light grain, consistently crisp detail with refined texturing (VFX shots have a little less detail), very natural and refined coloring with good saturation (except when slightly desaturated by design), Dolby Vision offers somewhat more color nuance and saturation over HDR10, deep blacks (the use of atmospherics in some scenes makes them a little gray occasionally but again this is by design), strong highlights, overall the most consistent of the presentations image-wise (which makes sense given its higher resolution capture) – A

  • Audio: English DTS-X, English DTS-X Headphone, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary with director F. Gary Gray

As you can see, I’ve noted the audio options available on each 4K disc above. In terms of audio quality, there’s much less variability. The new lossless and object-based DTS-X mixes are consistently excellent, ranging from A- (for some of the earlier films) to A and A+ (for the newer mixes). The soundstages are big, wide, and immersive, with generally excellent clarity, smooth movement, and firm bass. At their best, the mixes can be very aggressive and muscular sounding. Each uses the overhead channels to slightly lesser or greater effect, obviously for flying cars and crashes early on and later for more action-oriented effects (jet planes, missiles, explosions and the like). The scores are typically well mixed with good fidelity.

Again, I’ve noted the extras included on the 4K discs above. All of the films but Furious 7 include an audio commentary track on the 4K, while Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7 include both cuts of the film in 4K.

The package also includes the Blu-ray versions of each title, which offer the films in 1080p HD. Rather than list all of the extras included on these discs (which are plentiful) the important thing to note is that these are the same discs as previously released on Blu-ray. So all of those extras carry over here too (including the added material on the Fast & Furious: 2-Disc Special Edition). The discs come in a very nice hardback book package with a hard slipcover and the book pages list all of the special features on the Blu-rays.

What’s more, the package includes an additional DVD Bonus Disc (essentially, the same one that was included in the previous Fast and Furious Collection of the first seven films on Blu-ray). That adds the following content in SD and 16x9:

  • Back Under the Hood (6:16)
  • Mapping Fast & Furious (7:11)
  • International TV Special (21:49)
  • A Home in Ruins (10:21)
  • From Pre-Viz to Final (8:30)
  • Shooting in Abu Dhabi (7:31)
  • Jeff Imada: Up Close and Personal (5:43)

Justin Lin – Director’s Vault

  • The Ear That Almost Took Down the Movie (2:40)
  • Airplane Takedown (5:23)
  • Shaw’s Intro (6:37)
  • Tank Revenge (3:59)

Fast Cars (3 parts – 30:39 in all)

  • Ride of Die: The Vehicles of Fast 6 (18:17)
  • The Tank: Metal Monster (6:18)
  • The Flip Car: Weapon on Wheels (6:15)

Retrospective (6 parts – 12:17 in all)

  • Launch (2:46)
  • Fights (1:29)
  • Stunts (2:05)
  • Fast Cars (1:52)
  • Locations (1:35)
  • Family (2:35)

Cast Favorites (5 parts – 6:54 in all)

  • Stunts – Jordana (1:30)
  • Family – Tyrese (1:07)
  • Locations – Vin (1:19)
  • Fights – Vin, Michelle, Chris (1:47)
  • Cars (1:13)

Finally, you get a paper slip with a Movies Anywhere Digital code for all eight films.

So that’s the Fast and the Furious franchise. It starts slow, wanders around a bit, finds a groove with Fast & Furious, peaks with Fast Five, then goes completely off the rails. Two more films are planned in this series and I’m pretty sure they’re going to take the crew into space. But whatever. If you love this franchise, you’ll love it even more in 4K Ultra HD. Recommended for fans.

- Bill Hunt

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

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